Book Description: Originally self-published in 1978, Once a Runner captures the essence of competitive runningâ€”and of athletic competition in generalâ€”and has become one of the most beloved sports novels ever published..Inspired by the authorâ€™s experience as a collegiate champion, the story focuses on Quenton Cassidy, a competitive runner at fictional Southeastern University whose lifelong dream is to run a four-minute mile. He is less than a second away when the turmoil of the Vietnam War era intrudes into the staid recesses of his schoolâ€™s athletic department. After he becomes involved in an athletesâ€™ protest, Cassidy is suspended from his track team. Under the tutelage of his friend and mentor, Bruce Denton, a graduate student and former Olympic gold medalist, Cassidy gives up his scholarship, his girlfriend, and possibly his future to withdraw to a monastic retreat in the countryside and begin training for the race of his life against the greatest miler in history. .A rare insiderâ€™s account of the incredibly intense lives of elite distance runners, Once a Runner is an inspiring, funny, and spot-on tale of one manâ€™s quest to become a champion..