Runners & Other Dreamers

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9780915297245: Runners & Other Dreamers
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Parker's writing is as powerful as ever in this entrancing non-fiction collection of profile and essays.

What really made Jim Ryun tick? Why did Jim Fixx really die? What is the Cinnamon Bun Theory and what does it have to do with Pat Porter, high altitude sickness, and four national cross country championships?

Readers will find the answers to such questions and a great deal more in his latest work.

This one is destined to become a cult classic like Once a Runner and Runners and Other Ghosts on the Trail. This collection of Parker's non-fiction pieces contains everything that originally appeared in the earlier Runners & Other Ghosts on the Trail plus much, much more.

Profiles on Jim Ryun, Pat Porter, Barry Brown, Frank Shorter and others. Incisive essays on The place of sports in the post-industrial age, Comebacks, The Aging Athlete, and Missing the Poetry, all from his highly regarded Ultrasport columns. Lighter moments like The Great Dragon Run, The TeeVee Olympics, Training in Greece, and Getting Beaten by a Woman.

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About the Author:

John L. Parker, Jr. has been writing about runners and running since his competitive days as a member of the early Florida Track Club. His novel, Once a Runner, first published in 1978, has become a cult classic among runners.

The first edition of Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot was widely hailed as the first clear and cogent explanation of heart monitor training for runners. In 1996 using the training principles in this book, Parker finished the 100th running of the Boston Marathon, at age 50, in 2:58:45.As a masters triathlete, he has been ranked nationally, and has completed an Olympic distance triathlon in 2:09:15.

Parker has written for Runner's World, Running Times, The Runner, Ultrasport, Outside, and other magazines. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

From Chapter 3, Rare Atmosphere, Astringent Light

A high desert, like a war, is a very good place to find out some things about yourself that you may not have wanted to know.

How you handle it is your business.

It has always been a favorite of Saints and Madmen and Lost Tribes. A lot of people just leave. The Light gets to them. Or the Space. Or something quite a bit less ethereal, such as the way rattlesnakes like to crawl into your sleeping bag to stay warm. The letters back, though, are always wistful:

. . .I was born and raised in Alamosa. I love every inch of the valley and all the happy memories it holds, and yes, even the sad ones. . .

And: . . .My grandfather settled in the valley not awfully long after the Indians left! Talk about soul--Mine lies deep in that river land surrounded by the Rockies. . .

Those from a literary magazine called Alma, Spanish for soul, published out of Alamosa, Colorado, a small town on the floor of the San Luis Valley. Floor here is deceptive usage. Alamosa is one and one-half miles above sea level. And anywhere you go from here is up. To live in such a place is to break yourself of your oxygen habit. And there is something else about the high desert, something you think you already know, but which if you haven't been there you can't really feel. It is this: the desert doesn't care what kind of hurry you're in or how fast you're going, it's not going to let you get anywhere. You can sit in your rent-a-car going just under a hundred in a perfectly straight line toward the airport at Denver and after a couple of hours you will still be, relatively speaking, in the same place.

You cannot breathe here and you cannot make any progress against the backdrop. It is the long distance runner's most perfectly articulated nightmare.

Pat Porter, a 26-year-old Olympian, a four-time national cross-country champion, voluntarily lives in Alamosa. He likes it. Are you beginning to get the idea?

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9780915297054: Runners and Other Dreamers

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ISBN 10:  0915297051 ISBN 13:  9780915297054
Publisher: Cedarwinds Pub Co, 1988
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