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Paperback Details
  • 02/2023
  • 978-1-7375178-0-1
  • 200 pages
  • $21.99
Running Toward Life
John Trent, author
When covering the 100-Mile Western States Endurance Run as a pace runner, journalist John Trent found himself running 38 miles after joining his friend Joe Baninburg at the 62-mile mark. That day would see temperatures soar to 104 degrees – still the hottest day ever recorded at the Western States Endurance Run – but it would also ignite his love for the ultrarunning sport and the life-affirming code of compassionate care these competitors live by. The mindset that helps ultrarunners commit to such an arduous journey is one that John found can also help anyone overcoming challenges in life off the trail, too. Over the years, John would document the stories, hard-earned lessons, and the shared experiences within the community he became part of while on the trail. In his debut book, Running Toward Life, John speaks to the various points of development in one’s running life – mentors, companions, and challenges – to help readers come away with a sense of understanding of who they are and what is important to them.
Reviews
“Who we are and what we determine to be important is always magnified by the great distances we run,” ultramarathoner Trent writes in this energizing debut. Dedicated to endurance runs, he recounts a lifetime dream of completing a 100-mile distance run, sharing the ups and downs that led to his accomplishment of that dream as well as his injuries and setbacks along the way. Trent’s appraisal of the immense physical challenges of ultrarunning is just the start: he also shares the spotlight with his mentors and running companions who motivated him to go the distance during the journey.

Trent’s love affair with ultrarunning blossomed during adolescence, when he chose to run cross country during school, and continued into adulthood, exploding after his discovery of the 1995 Western States Endurance Run, one of the world’s first 100-mile runs across rugged mountain territory. Just two years after being inspired to run his own Western States, Trent achieved that goal, barely missing his 24-hour completion benchmark (and the coveted “100 miles in one day” silver buckle award). Despite many such setbacks over the years, Trent’s perseverance is inspiring, as is his continued passion for running that he now shares with his family.

Readers will find Trent’s profiles of mentors and fellow runners heartening. He recalls past Western States’ president Tony Rossmann’s well-timed advice to “remember there are no enemies, only adversaries,” and shares how the trail provided familiarity and comfort during a friend’s cancer battle. Trent’s fondness for anecdotal reminiscing, and his almost-lyrical descriptions of the wildlife and natural environments of his marathons, is alluring, although he sacrifices narrative structure for aesthetics at times. Ultimately, Trent aims to help readers understand “who they are and what is important to them,” and even the most unathletic will want to double-knot their shoelaces and hit the trails.

Takeaway: A passionate celebration of ultrarunning.

Great for fans of: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami; Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home by Heather “Anish” Anderson.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: NA
Editing: B
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 02/2023
  • 978-1-7375178-0-1
  • 200 pages
  • $21.99

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