Personal Record, A Love Affair with Running, by Rachel Toor.
Reading about running would appear, on the surface, to appeal to a limited audience. However, judging by the number of books written on the subject, that statement is erroneous. I enjoy the genre because I enjoy running, something I’ve done religiously since I was a child. I’ve read books about runners who were POWs during WWII (Unbroken), about African runners (Running with the Kenyans), the zen of running (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running) and the science of whether physiologically humans can run 26.219 miles in under 120 minutes (Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon) along with many others. Rachel Toor’s, Personal Record, A Love Affair with Running is a wonderfully written, humorous and informative memoir. She describes her (late) introduction into running as a way to “fit in” with college friends all the way through her successes as an elite marathoner and finally ultra marathoner, competing in races hundreds of miles in length and over challenging terrain. She competes in “Ride and Ties” (2 runners and 1 horse on a 50 km course), is invited to participate in the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race (an ultra marathon located in the foothills of Mt. Everest) and ultimately finds her greatest joy as a pacer (helping others achieve their marathon goals running with them at prescribed times over the course). Toor is an English professor and a contributor to Running Times and her writing is strong. Her infatuation with running is front and center but this short book can be enjoyed by runners and non- runners alike.