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Once a Runner by Jr. John L. Parker (1978)
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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)
Originally self-published in 1978, this book became a rite of passage for many runners. It is the story of Quenton, a collegiate runner whose lifelong dream is to run a four-minute mile. When he becomes involved in an anti-war protest, he is suspended from the track team.
(summary from another edition)
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