My friend Cari has been a book friend for well over a decade: we met through BookCrossing but only actually met in August 2018 when she came over to the UK and spent a couple of days up here – and she’s also a running friend now, so we went for a run then and swap inspiration and support in that area of our lives, too. Cari’s excellent at sending book parcels over here, or bringing piles of books in person, it turns out (I am less good though have sent her some real crackers, and did ‘enable’ her doing some good purchasing in charity shops. So this book was the ideal cross-over of a BookCrossing registered book about a runner, passed to me with a few others when we met!

Sarah Reinertsen (with Alan Goldsher) – “In a Single Bound”

(BookCrossing/Cari 23 August 2018)

Sarah had a congenital defect which left her with one smaller leg, and made the decision to have it amputated to give a better chance of using more useful prosthetics. After a few false starts, she was introduced to a disability sport mentor then took up athletics, first as a sprinter (and a world-record-winning one) and then, when she became frustrated with the lack of numbers in the sport whihc led to farcical races between a field with too many different categorisations at the Paralympics, triathlon and marathon.

As a trained journalist, she notices and describes all aspects of competitions, from the officials to the media surrounding them, as well as her own trials and tribulations and those of the people around her, which gives an extra depth to her descriptions.

I liked her honesty most, from her descriptions of her dysfunctional family and the hard work they put in to mend (or not) to her tales of her wilder student days (and mention of the band The Violent Femmes, which doesn’t happen often!) and her thoughts and thought processes on re-encountering her old football coach, whose behaviour she’d talked about in lots of presentations and in the book. I also loved her comparison of a triathlon to a wedding day (the expense, it lasting approx 18 hours, your family seeing you whizz by for about 6 minutes during the whole day …)!

I’ll be sharing this on with other running readers who I’m sure will appreciate it as much as I did.