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  • Best Track & Field/Running Book

    We've seen numerous thread pertaining to the best t&f movie but how about the best book? It can be bio, fiction, or non-fiction.

  • #2
    Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

    My RACE Be Won by Satch protege VINCE MATHEWS.

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    • #3
      Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

      ATFS Annuals - definitely non-fiction
      Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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      • #4
        Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

        First 2 I ever had were by Bud Winter:

        "How to Be a Sprinter' and " How to be a High Jumper."

        Then I saw Bud at a TAC/USATF convention, and talked to him about the 2 books. Eerily, he died of a heart attack less than 8 hours later.

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        • #5
          Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

          Each edition of the "IAAF World Records" book. Honorable Mentions: Quercetani's 1964 history; Ron Clarke's "The Lonely Breed"; and Bannister's autobiography.

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          • #6
            Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

            "World Record Breakers in Track & Field Athletics" by Gerard Lawson

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            • #7
              Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

              I agree with kuha1 on the IAAF World record and world best book. I consider it the one essential book on track and field.

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              • #8
                Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

                I'm a bit passionate about t&f books, so, at the risk of putting in more than my two cents worth, let me add the following categories:

                Best Title: Ron Clarke's "The Unforgiving Minute" (1966)

                Most Baffling Title: Peter Snell's "No Bugles, No Drums" (1965)

                Best Pictorial Biography: Frantisek Kozik, "Emil Zatopek in Photographs" (n.d., ca. 1955) [Rare, but fabulous, with beautiful gravure reproductions.]

                Best Vintage Histories: M. Shearman, "Athletics and Football" (1889); and S. Crowther & A. Ruhl, "Rowing and Track Athletics" (1905) [Just in case you thought that no one cared about the sport's history until the last 50 years.]

                Best Recent Reference Work: Tom McNab, Peter Lovesey, and Andrew Huxtable, "An Athletics Compendium" (2001) [The essential and long-awaited update of the famous 1969 Lovesey/McNab, "Guide to British Track and Field Literature"]

                Best Club History: Kevin Kelly, "Herne Hill Harriers Into the Millenium" (2002) [An astonishingly detailed, 600+ page history of a single club, and through it, British athletics since the late 1880s.]

                Best Recent Historical Study: Warren Roe, "Front Runners: The First Athletic Track Champions" (2002) [The definitive study of British pedestrianism.]

                Most unexpected recent find: Henry Eidmark, "Under-Gunder I Amerika" (1943) [An amazing pictorial narrative of Gunder Haegg's 1943 American tour, in Swedish, with many photos of his races, as well as views of him hamming it up for the cameras in a cowboy outfit, meeting celebrities like Gary Cooper, etc.]

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                • #9
                  Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

                  Ok you guys are certifable. I see that title and NO non-fiction books come to mind. Once A Runner. Hands down.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

                    There was "Bullet", the Bob Hayes story (which is also something of an American football book, but tells great track stories),"Wilma",and I think Eliot Asinof (who did great work on "Eight Men Out" and "Seven Days to Sunday: Crisis Week for the New York Football Giants")wrote a book with Henry Carr.

                    In the 1970's "Sports Illustrated" had an staff writer/contributor who'd been a middle distance man- I'm certain he wrote a book or two. Peter Moore?

                    There are also Owens,Thorpe, and King Carl biographies.

                    Bijan

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                    • #11
                      Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

                      I've never read a good novel about track, or even a biography, that would hold the interest of a general reader.
                      But I would add to the class of Best Vintage Histories: H.Archie Richardson's, Archie's Little Black Book

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                      • #12
                        Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

                        >In the 1970's "Sports Illustrated" had an staff writer/contributor who'd been a middle distance man- I'm certain he wrote a book or two. Peter Moore?

                        That would be Kenny Moore, 4th in the Munich marathon. He's in the same league with Roger Kahn and Frank Deford. He has a compendium of his Sports Illustrated track articles called "Best Efforts", an excellent read. One of Moore's last great articles in SI was about the late Mamo Wolde, who was imprisioned during the 1990's in Ethiopia.

                        Moore also had a small role in the film "Personal Best", including an infamous weight lifting scene with Mariel Hemingway.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

                          The best all-round Track&Field book I have ever read is Ken Doherty's Track and Field Omnibook.
                          Best biography is the Bannister book "first four Minutes". Quercetani & Cordner Nelson's "The Milers " is a gem and so is Kozik's Zatopek book.
                          In that book there is an incredible picture of Emil running in the dark woods in the snow among the trees.
                          Herb Elliot's "The Golden Mile" is almost as good as the Bannister book.
                          Cerutty's " How to become a champion" is quite interesting although it gets a bit "preachy" IMHO.
                          I also have fond memories of Bud Winter's two books that HJSTEVE mentioned. I loved the drawings of Champ who did things right and Chump who did things wrong.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

                            Not strictly about track and field but an interesting addition to the list is "Miracle Machine" by Doug Gilbert. Published in 1980. A look into the evolution of the post World War II East German sport system.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Best Track & Field/Running Book

                              I found Marty Liquori's book "On The Run" to be very informatiove and entertaining. I read it several times while competing in high school and college.

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