Published in 1978, Once a Runner is dated; but charmingly so. While there is a noticeable absence of iPods, cell phones, and cable television, exclamations of “Great God in Heaven” and “they don’t know a flying you-know-what about spring sports” are the most notable indicators. Quentin Cassidy is a collegiate “miler”. After he is expelled from the fictional Southeastern University, fellow runner, friend and former Olympian Bruce Denton mentors him as he prepares to break the four minute mile. Olympic and professional athletes will recognize the driving force behind Quentin’s training program, recreational athletes will appreciate the intensity of his focus, and those of us watching from the sidelines will be amazed at the commitment and overwhelming sacrifices Quentin must make if he is to succeed.