Customer Reviews for

Once a Runner

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Runner's Cult Classic

ONCE A RUNNER offers an insightful portrait of the competitive runner that remains as true and relevant today as it was when originally published, over thirty-five years ago. Non-runners may feel like outsiders when reading this, but any runner (recreational or competi...
ONCE A RUNNER offers an insightful portrait of the competitive runner that remains as true and relevant today as it was when originally published, over thirty-five years ago. Non-runners may feel like outsiders when reading this, but any runner (recreational or competitive) will be spellbound.

posted by Anonymous on February 21, 2005

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Not the greatest book on running there is...

I thought it was okay. I'm not sure why Runner's World is making this book out to be like its the greatest book on running ever to be published. The chapter on Interval training brought back a lot of memories from my competitive swimming days. It's not something I do a ...
I thought it was okay. I'm not sure why Runner's World is making this book out to be like its the greatest book on running ever to be published. The chapter on Interval training brought back a lot of memories from my competitive swimming days. It's not something I do a whole lot of as a runner - but the way its described in the book is the way I remember the intensity of when I was kid - particularly distance interval training. The writer is very adept at describing accurately what goes through an athlete's mind during all types of training and gruelling races.

The plot was okay - I wasn't too fond of the main characters - they irritated me for some reason. Probably because none of them realized that there is much more to life than running a sub four minute mile. I guess its the difference between being 20 and 40. I always say I'm a 20 year old living in a 40 year old body. After reading this book I'm not so sure.

posted by Dave_C on May 31, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2005

    Runner's Cult Classic

    ONCE A RUNNER offers an insightful portrait of the competitive runner that remains as true and relevant today as it was when originally published, over thirty-five years ago. Non-runners may feel like outsiders when reading this, but any runner (recreational or competitive) will be spellbound.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2012

    Outstanding

    I challenge any endurance athlete to find a better description of what it takes to be at the top. Great read.

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  • Posted September 6, 2011

    Makes you want to run

    Fantastic book about running. For those who run, reading about his training runs and passion for the sport make you want to get out there and run the way you did when you were 20! It reminds you that running does feel good and can bring you that inner happiness you miss.

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  • Posted August 29, 2011

    Awesome

    Great book for anyone who enjoys running & a great story. A classic!!!!!

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  • Posted June 18, 2011

    A gold medal!

    A must read for runners who love fiction. A compelling story, beautifully written. Can't wait to read the sequel. Keith Donnelly, Author The Donald Youngblood Mystery Series

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    HOLY COW! I've read this book 3 times!

    If you're even considering purchasing this book, don't think twice about it. JUST BUY IT! As a runner myself, I feel as though Quenton Cassidy could have been my best friend or teammate! If, after you finish the story you don't feel like busting your gut doing 60 quarter mile repeats, you're impossible to motivate. John Parker is a mindreader. It's as if he took every runner's pain and joy and put it on paper! At certan points he gets a little adjective-happy, but do yourself a favor and read this wonderful novel.

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    you experience this book, not read it!

    Its so easy to identify with thr characters and moments in this book. if you have ever had dreams in competitive running, youll love once a runner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2010

    Awesome

    Once a Runner, by John L. Parker, is about Quenton Cassidy, a fictional and elite college miler who at the beginning of the book has a personal best of 4:00. Quenton ends up breaking 4:00, running 3:52 to beat the fictional world record holder in the book, New Zealander John Walton (based off John Walker). It's a great book for any elite level runner, but probably not anyone else. If you're not a dedicated runner, you're a new runner, or you're not very good at running, you probably won't like this book. If you don't run at all, and you're looking for a good read, you won't find it here. You'll have no idea what's going on, at all. In my opinion, Once a Runner is one of the best running based novels available. I finished it in three days, and the only times I put it down were to eat, sleep, run, or talk about running and the book. My team and I have had many conversations about the book, and how we relate to it. We compare our workouts to Cassidy's, we compare our races to his, and we compare ourselves to Cass himself. It's safe to say that my team, like many other distance teams across the world, have adopted this renowned "cult classic" for ourselves. Parker makes you want to put your shoes on and go for a nice five mile tempo when he describes Quenton's races and the build-up to the races. And when it illustrates him and [Bruce] Denton, his coach and running partner, running through the forest near Bruce's cabin you just want to go for a nice ten miler in the park. The book goes through different stages runners go through during their training, including breaking down and the pre-race feeling. Any and all competitive distance runners will think to themselves "I know exactly what he's going through." It just relates so much with any dedicated distance runner that if you are one it's impossible not to find this book one of the best pieces of literature you've ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    A Great Gift for the Runner in your Life

    I have a 17 year old nephew who runs cross country. I gave him this book as a gift and he said he read it in two days. Another friend's son who is now 25 and continues to run after attending college on a cross country scholarship told me he was inspired by Parker's story. I strongly recommend this book for any young person who has a passion for running.

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  • Posted December 24, 2009

    Triple-tasking

    "Once a Runner" has become a classic among serious runners. Not necessarily elite runners, but runners of any caliber who take their running seriously.

    It's a book that triple tasks. It's a superb novel with a strong story line: a young athlete sets a goal of achieving a record in the mile run.

    It's a training manual. In the story of the central character's training schedule, readers will learn how to train mentally and spiritually, as well as physically.

    And finally its a motivational tool. This book will make any couch potatoe want to run. And any runner proud to be a runner.

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  • Posted June 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A must read for all runners!

    I had heard and read alot about this book before I actually got around to reading it. I was pleasantly surprised that it totally lived up to all it's hype. Although I'm not an elite runner (most runners aren't), I thought Parker completely captured essence of running and training.

    There are beatiful passages in the book that capture the depth of character and desire that it takes to be a competitive runner. Any distance runner will immediately relate to the descriptions of training runs and rituals. Parker's perspective of an elite runner seems to be dead on.

    The last race scene near the end of the book is tremendously well written with a great detailed perspective from the competitor. He captures the thoughts of a runner beautifully while still moving the scene along and maintaining the suspense.

    Also his descriptions of college life in the 70's is accurate and hilarious!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2009

    Very well written

    If you run regularly, and are sort of hardcore, then you will absolutlely love this book. I cannot recommend it enough. I feel like when you read it, you almost become the charecter. I read it in honestly a day. It is so suspensful. It fits in extremely well with other stories about running. If you have ever watched "the four minute mile" (book the perfect mile) or any other stories like that- its a similar mindset.
    It may not have the most challenging or thought provoking charecter development, but honestly, I find that would not suit this kind of running novel well. Its more like you learn about the charecter, and how he reacts to the challenge imposed upon him and him fulfilling that challenge rather than a life long legacy. I read this book when I was injuried and couldnt run. It definitly made me feel better, because it was almost like I could run through the book. Its a silly idea, but if you read the book you will see what I mean.
    If you know a runner, who might be laid up because of an injury, or if its too crazy outside to run, and your feeling kind of down, consider picking up this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2008

    A must read for competitive runners.

    All runners must read this book!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2008

    Stunned

    Why on earth is this book out of print? I just read a copy from my campus library and I seriously thought about stealing it :) Perfect depiction of a race, set my adrenaline pumping so hard I had to stop and calm down before finishing, then went for a run.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2007

    Motivational

    HOW IS THIS OUT OF PRINT?!! I borrowed the book from my brother when I was having a slump in my training. It motivated me to get back out on the trails and PRed by nearly 2 minutes in my 5k time. Whenever I am struggling I think of Cassidy to push me past that wall he was forever tearing down. SOMEBODY PLEASE REPRINT THE BOOK!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2007

    Gets to the heart

    I have read this book several times and each time it brings me back. I first read it when I was a 'serious' runner, trainng for marathons and other road races. It really gets to the heart of what goes into a runner's psyche and personality. Sometimes when we, as humans do things, we can get lost thinking or feeling that we are alone in how we feel about what we are doing. With something lik running, by nature a solitary pursuit, this is even more evident. Not only is 'Once A Runner' a classic and great novel but it reminds you that no matter what you feel, you're never really alone. It's a fabulous book and a must for runners and non-runners alike.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2005

    If you run, buy this

    I have read nearly every book dealing with running, and this one comes out on top. I have had this book for a year and have read it at least 10 times. It is one of the primary reasons I was successfully able to cross over from casual, recreational runner, to a competative runner who loves to train.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2004

    Running Classic

    Perhaps the greatest running book ever written, you get a sense that the author has been there and really knows. If you are not a runner, this book may not be for you, but if you are or have ever been a competitive runner, this book is a MUST own. This is a book that will make you want to get up and run.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2003

    Awsome

    This is the greatest book that I have ever read! I could not put it down. What an inspiration

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2003

    Adrenalin Shot For Your Running

    I have owned this book for four years and have read it six times. After the first few times you read it you will find yourself rationing its inspirational power, only reading one chapter a day or so to make it last longer. thats how good this book is. This book is my most important training tool. It makes you get out and run on those cold wet mornings.

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