When Running Was Young

Posted: March 16, 2016 by coachwestbrook in Blog, Runnin' & Readin'
Tags: , , ,
AUTHOR: Jack D. Welch
PUBLISHER/DATE:  D & B Publishing / 2014

      This book will best appeal to those runners who have a lot of miles over a long period of time under their belt…or, to those who appreciate the history of our sport, be it a recent history.  It is not a dry, monotonous  historical tome.  It is a collection of articles written by the author.  Welch wrote for Running magazine and for Track & Field News.  In those articles, he chronicled the development of running  in the U.S.A.  This book is a selection of those articles.

      The meat of the book starts with a  1978 article and zooms through to the last pieces, Remembering Pre and Go Pre!  In between are the articles that give us a picture of the roots of modern American distance running, the springboard of where we are today. Welch gives the reader the representative story through a personable account of the successes and failures of some of the giants of the sport.

    Some of the runners will not be familiar to the reader, but their story will be interesting.  Welch is a runner himself and a good writer, so he can relate the things the reader, as a runner, will appreciate.  This helps make the book enjoyable.

    Other runners will jump off the pages through their familiarity.  Some of the stuff you will know; some you will not know.  Just some of the runners are Dick Beardsley, Alberto Salazar, Jon Sinclair, Greg Meyer, Mark Nenow, Ed Eyestone, Chris Fox, Bob Kennedy, Patti Catalano, Lynn Jennings, Ingrid Kristiansen, Gerry Lindgren, Joan Benoit, Jeff Johnson, Mary Decker, and Steve Prefontaine.  Benoit and Prefontaine are highlighted with more in depth information.  One of the better articles is the next-to-last, Remembering Pre.

    At times, the book can get repetitive, but the overall work is a very good read on the sport of distance running.  You don’t have to be an “old” runner to enjoy it, but that may enhance your enjoyment.  It puts the modern history of our running on a personable, individual level.  

    It needs to be on the bookshelf of every serious runner.

Richard Westbrook


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