'Once A Runner'
by John L. Parker Jr.
This novel, self-published in 1978, is only recently back in print, though earlier editions were passed around running clubs until the covers fell off. The story of miler Quenton Cassidy and his obsessive, eventually monastic quest for greatness was written by Parker, a former mile and steeplechase champion, "to capture some of the bittersweet beauty and heartbreak of the only all-consuming quest for physical excellence I would likely experience in my lifetime." He succeeded.