Once a Runner is the story of Quenton Cassidy, a collegiate runner at fictional Southeastern University whose lifelong dream is to run a four-minute mile. He is less than a second away when the political and cultural turmoil of the Vietnam War era intrudes into the staid recesses of his school's athletic department. After he becomes involved in an athletes' protest, Cassidy is suspended from his track team.
Under the tutelage of his friend and mentor, Bruce Denton, a graduate student and former Olympic gold medalist, Cassidy gives up his scholarship, his girlfriend, and possibly his future to withdraw to a monastic retreat in the countryside and begin training for the race of his life: a head-to-head match with the greatest miler in history.
This audiobook is a rare insider's account of the incredibly intense lives of elite distance runners; an inspiring, funny, and spot-on tale of one man's quest to become a champion.
©2009 John L Parker; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"The best novel ever written about running." (Runner's World)
In a field, far deprived from human contact, Quenton Cassidy and Bruce Denton clip off sixty-second quarters in preparation for the inevitable dance with fate – the ever, elusive four-minute mile. In Once a Runner, John L. Parker, Jr. masterfully captures the collegiate running experience while following his main character Quenton Cassidy.
The research behind this novel is right on the mark. The famed Millrose Games, with its long, rich history is best known for its Wanamaker Mile. John captures the allure of this event, and other great events like the Drake Relays with excitement and passion. Southeastern University is the home to its greatest athletes that are full of college politics, back history, athletes that have Olympic and World hopes and some drama.
Rolling through campus, bobbing and weaving through campus students, Quenton Cassidy and his merry gents feel the wind in there faces, and the ground beneath them. I listened to this book in the car and I found myself lost in my childhood. As a kid, I grew up running with a local track club and then eventually in high school. I remember how it made me feel. I remember the joy of the wind in my face and the rolling hills of a single-track trail winding through a wooded forest. I detested the intervals much like the characters in this book; however, nonetheless this book is a must read for anyone who loves running.
After reading this book, you will want to hit the trails or streets for some exercise – that alone is inspiring.
This book will take you to the limit. immpossible to put down! worth your money, every penny of it!
This book was a pretty realistic telling of the typical journey to being a world class competitive runner. There are many distractions along the way, and John Parker does a good job of laying them out.
Dianne in Canada
Is it a coincidence that when I listened to "The Perfect Mile" (a great book) part of it sounded like this book....did the author of this book use the ideas of The Perfect Mile and change the characters and story around a bit?
It was a good book but I found the first part really boring and dragged on until the storey finally started to emerge. The narrator was kind of irritating to listen to until I became used to his whiney voice.
This is my first regretted purchase on Audible, not bad after 40 plus books. While the subject interested me, the narrator and the writer were less than I expected. I really should've listened to the sample more closely before this purchase.
I didn't run in high school or college. I felt that I was missing a whole bunch by not having been part of that culture. Need to be a life long runner from school to really enjoy this book.
While I appreciate the story and the subject and the performance - I've listened to so many others that I enjoyed even more. I would try another.
Nothing special. Somewhat predictable.
I've listened to over a hundred audiobooks. This one was not in my top 50%. But I wouldn't know that unless I completed it. So I would say yes.
I listened to this while running as I thought it was meant to be a classic running novel. It is, but mostly assuming that all runners are men. Where are the female athletes? I know it's of it's time, but the sexism is pretty blatant, and the female characters are thin and have no get up and go.
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