Brad Feld

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Book Review: The Purple Runner

Jun 12, 2004
Category Books

If you are a runner, you’ll love this book. If not, you won’t.

The Purple Runner was written in 1983 and is based in Hampstead Heath, London. The story tracks an overlapping set of runners that include an arrogant American lawyer who is bored of his life, a kiwi racer who is trying to get her act together and run at her potential, an American who is suffering from some strange illness as he searches for peace and accomplishment, and the Purple Runner who no one knows much about, but turns in incredible training runs while avoiding any substantive interactions with his fellow runners.

While the running scenes and races are well written, the story is delightful. Christman’s characters are colorful (including the Purple one), complex, and interesting. The characters’ relationships with each other reinforce the story and as the book unfolds there are some interesting twists and turns.

I ran this morning, so I don’t think I’ll go again today. But – I’ll have this in my mind tomorrow morning as I churn out a 90 minute run at the Boulder Reservoir.