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Shelly's Book Journal

The 3 Rs: Reading, Reviews & Recs.

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Currently reading

The Civil War, Vol. 2: Fredericksburg to Meridian
Shelby Foote
Progress: 380/976 pages

Ghost Runner: The Tragedy of the Man They Couldn't Stop

The Ghost Runner: The Tragedy of the Man They Couldn't Stop - Bill Jones It is the 1950s. John Tarrant runs. He runs all over the British countryside for miles around his home and dreams of Olympic Gold. But 17 pounds he accepted for boxing as a teenager makes him a professional - and ineligible for running in any races. So Tarrant invents the "Ghost Runner" - jumping into races without a number - to compete. He pleads his case to the Amateur association. While he has some success, his tale is also filled with heartache. If you have ever trained for a race, been addicted to running or watched the running events during the Olympics, this is a book for you. In the 1950s and 60s, athletics all around the world were still muddled in the whole idea of the honor of the amateur athlete. In Britain, where most world class runners were educated scholars, the working class man was mostly disqualified by his need to make money - and running couldn't pay the bills. Tarrant is a victim of this system. Is it honor or outright snobbery? But "The Ghost Runner" does not give up. He never stops seeking justice, and never stops running in races even when he's been told "no".The story is told in a very strait forward manner - which suits Tarrant. For if he was anything, it was honest,forthcoming but above all, determined. Many things about this story go deeper than The Ghost Runner himself - especially his tour of South Africa. I had never heard of Tarrant before reading this book, and now I will never forget him.Recommend for: Runners and biography lovers. Honestly, if you love the story of an underdog, Tarrant is definitely all that.I was provided a copy by the the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.