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Once a Runner by John L. Parker Jr.
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Once a Runner (original 1978; edition 2009)

by John L. Parker Jr., Patrick Lawlor (Reader)

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3761228,713 (4.06)15
Member:breic3
Title:Once a Runner
Authors:John L. Parker Jr.
Other authors:Patrick Lawlor (Reader)
Info:Brilliance Audio on MP3-CD (2009), Edition: MP3 Una, MP3 CD
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:library, running, mile, race, 3:52.5, university, training

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Once a Runner by Jr. John L. Parker (1978)

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A mark of a favorite book is that it shows new treasures on repeated readings. Parker's novel seemed simple and amaturish on a first reading, but I keep finding things, new things, that bring me joy with repeated readings.


September 2013
*******************************

I like this book. It has charmed me so that I find its faults endearing rather than off-putting. Parker is an amateur writer but not amateurish. It has a first-novel feel, but Parker has an eye for a story. I didn't mind when it meandered and I felt engaged with both the author and the character on the pages.

Also, I loved the runner's insight. It should be noted that Quentin's views on training volume and over-training are purely fictional. Parker captures well the elite athlete's drive and conveys the gap between people who run and elite endurance athletes. However, his description of over-training and his character's scorn for recovery periods doesn't mesh with the advice given by the actual coaches he had or other top coaches (read more: http://www.runnerspace.com/news.php?do=view&news_id=6362) It does do a great job as a literary device for communicating the essence of being an elite runner (as far as this non-elite can tell) but it isn't practical training advice. ( )
  nnschiller | Sep 18, 2014 |
"What was the secret, they wanted to know; in a thousand different ways they wanted to know The Secret. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that most unprofound and sometimes heart-rending process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottoms of his training shoes. The Trial of Miles; Miles of Trials." ( )
  stringsn88keys | Aug 7, 2012 |
This book, originally published in the later '70's, became something of the holy grail of running. Copies were sold out of people's trunks at races. Runners passed it around to members of their running clubs. And it's easy to see why. Although a work of fiction, Quenton Cassidy's struggle to become The Best miler is inspiring. ( )
1 vote FireandIce | Oct 30, 2011 |
Once a Runner is a fictional account of a college track athlete, Quenton Cassisdy, who sacrifices just about everything to be his best at running the mile. The story is classified as fiction, but the characters have so much life it is hard to perceive this as anything but a biography of a runner. The mental and physical mechanics of running are described with such authentic detail that you will find your pulse quickening with every step of your vicarious hitchhiking exepedition with Quenton Cassidy on his 1600 meter journey to greatness.

If you are looking for an inspirational story about running, I highly recommend this book. ( )
  JechtShot | Sep 10, 2011 |
My brother Bob, a huge runner from when running wasn't cool, gave me this book. It was written back in 1978 and is recently back in print.

It is novel about running and runners written back during the days of "no pain, no gain" and "pain is what weakness feels like as it leaves the body," and "sweat is just your fat cells crying." The plot doesn't really matter, it is about running by real runners.

The book starts our really slow. One problem is that the author seems to have gotten a brand new thesaurus and is really giving it a workout plus he is pulling the stops on every simile, metaphor, adjective, and adverb he has ever heard about. About halfway through the book though the author starts writing in a more natural style and the story grabs you and pulls you through to the end.

The book is about obsession, dedication, and hard work and has the best description of running a race I've ever read (not that I would know a thing about running a race.)

Buy this book (or get it from your library), and read it. You'll like it. ( )
  YogiABB | Dec 26, 2010 |
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Epigraph
How did I know you ran the mile in 4:30 in high school? That's easy. Everyone ran the mile in 4:30 in high school.

-- Frank Shorter, out running somewhere, circa 1969
Dedication
This book is for Jack Bacheler and Frank Shorter, old friends, great runners. In fond remembrance, fellows, of many Trials and many Miles...
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The night joggers were out as usual.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0915297019, Paperback)

This is the inspirational cult classic that Runner's World (and many others) have called "the best novel ever written about running".

The Reno Gazette-Journal has also called it "a book so good, people will steal it."

How often do you hear about someone borrowing a friend's book, then later buying their own copy because they liked it so much? Or a book so treasured that it gets passed from friend to friend until it simply falls apart from so many readings? Once a Runner is such a book. It has become a cult classic and our all-time best seller. It's been acclaimed over the years by Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar and many other top runners.

Many regard the story of Quenton Cassidy's battle to the top as the most accurate portrayal yet written of the tiny universe of world class runners. And it's a great source of training inspiration and wisdom as well. Many readers say they learned more about running from this novel than from all the training books they have read.

It has won Running magazine's award as the best book of the year, and has been highly acclaimed by Runner's World, Running Times, Racing South, and Track & Field News, as well as by writers like Don Kardong, Kenny Moore Tom Jordan and Hal Higdon.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:48 -0400)

Distance runner Quenton Cassidy is suspended from the track team for his involvement in an athlete protest and risks his future prospects to train on a monastic retreat with an Olympic medalist.

(summary from another edition)

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