Brain Bombardment

A Runner's Diary by Patrick Whalen

Greetings from New York State, where the winter has been unkind to runners.  On days when running is not possible, some of your members may want to read a good book that is partly about running.

The book is called Brain Bombardment; the subtitle is A Runner's Diary. The book begins with the author's desire to set a lifetime personal record for the five-mile run.  Age interferes with the quest itself, but does not interfere with the value of running as an aid to rigorous mental activity.  Chess and mathematic are discussed frequently, but there are a lot of humorous passages.

Read more: Brain Bombardment

The Silence of Great Distance

Women Running Long

By Frank Murphy

Replica Books, 2000; 471 pages

I enjoyed this book, which tells two distinct but related stories.

The first is the history of women's distance running, mostly from about the 1960s forward, with special emphases on Doris Brown and Mary Decker, and several Eastern bloc athletes in the 1970s.

Second, the book traces the career of Stephanie Herbst, a Minnesota high school state champ who became a track and cross-country All-American at the University of Wisconsin in the mid-1980s.  Herbst ran with or against Kathy Ormsby (the N.C. State star who was paralyzed after jumping from a bridge), Suzy Favor, Regina Jacobs, Joan Benoit, and other top collegians of that time.

Read more: The Silence of Great Distance

Cold Clear Day

The Athletic Biography of Buddy Edelen
by Frank J. Murphy (1992)

Leonard "Buddy" Edelen was one of the best American runners that people have never heard of.  He set the world record in the marathon (2:14) in 1963.  Edelen also won the 1964 U.S. Olympic marathon trials; was the first American to break 2:20 for the marathon; was the first American to break 30 minutes for 10,000 meters; and was a Big Ten champion in cross-country and the two-mile at the University of Minnesota.

Read more: Cold Clear Day

Racing The Antelope

I just wanted to let you know about a new book that's due to be released any day now.  Bernd Heinrich, a biology professor at the University of Vermont was visiting PSU last week.  He's written several naturalist-type books (he's an expert on raven behavior), but his latest is on running.  Currently, he's training for a 100K -- his "easy" run was from Bear Meadows back to town!  I met him, and he's a very interesting person.  Here's a synopsis of the book. 

Read more: Racing The Antelope