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Once a Runner

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: John L. Parker Jr.

Narrated By: Patrick Lawlor

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Date: August 2009

Duration: 8 hours 35 minutes


Once a Runner captures the essence of what it means to be a competitive runner; to devote your entire existence to a single-minded pursuit of excellence. It has become one of the most beloved sports novels ever written. Originally self-published in 1978 and sold at road races out of the trunk of the author's car, reading the book became a rite of passage for many runners, and tattered copies were handed down like sacred texts from generation to generation. 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.


  • Ezri S.

    Captured the essence of the runners process through the primary protagonist- Quentin Cassidy. The mental to physical flow of the distance runner in pursuit of self-actualization is surprisingly relatable. The intimate details of a runner’s experience was captured in exquisite fashion.

  • Jessica Lynch

    Looking forward to listening to the audio version and rating the narrator, but as a repeat reader of the print version- this story is a cult classic for mid to long distance runners. At times gut-wrenching but always inspiring, the story of this young amateur struggling to reach the peak of mid-distance running manages to be intimately relatable to anyone who has suffered through "the wall" and reached the runner's high.

  • Brooke Kwaterski

    The very best account of what is like to be a competitive runner in college or beyond. I have never been able to put into words the answer to the question "why would you want to run that far?!?!" I particularly loved the cocktail party scene when Cassidy is recounting all the dumb questions about distance running. I have been in that spot! Excellent book that I will probably read over and over!

Once a Runner

by John L. Parker Jr.

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Once a Runner, John L. Parker Jr.
Once a Runner, John L. Parker Jr.
This title is due for release on August 15, 2009.

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This title is due for release on August 15, 2009
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