A Tale of Two Running Memoirs


I’m not sure how I found this book, but it must have been featured somewhere since I’ve seen several other runners talking about it lately.

I chose to read Rachel Toor’s book Personal Record: A Love Affair with Running because I expected it to be a book that provides a personal connection to the author and to the tales of running.  You would expect to have a shared experience of having a love affair with running yourself, right?  Well, I was disappointed.  While we may both share a love affair with running, the story was told in a way that was mostly fairly dull and unemotional.  Other than a story about how Rachel Toor paced a random woman through the NYC Marathon, she really did not come across as a likable character.  The reader developed no emotional connection to her because her writing style was so matter-of-fact and lacking inspired emotion.  Overall, I felt like she did a poor job expressing her love affair, and I wouldn’t recommend it.  There are too many other great stories out there.

For example, I re-read Bart Yasso’s book My Life on the Run while on the road this week.

Bart is honest and likable and so is his story.  He tells how running saved and really created a life for him, and you share in the passion he has for this sport.  So many times in the book I find myself laughing along with him, choked up, or fighting back tears.  His story is inspirational and motivating.  As a reader you turn the last page and feel like you really know Bart and that he is your friend.  I hope one day I get to meet him and thank him for this story and for being one of the world’s best ambassadors for a sport we love and has saved each one of us in our own way.


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