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Moore himself was a world class marathoner in the early 1970's, and has written a variety of great running articles, mostly for Sports Illustrated. Moore also co-wrote "Without Limits", one of the Prefontaine movies and appears in "Fire on the Track", the much better Pre documentary. Pre was driving away from Moore's house when he was killed in a car accident.

"Best Efforts" is a collection of many of his early Sports Illustrated articles. The book was originally published in 1982, and is really a classic. Unfortunately, it is currently out of print, but used copies are floating around on the Internet. I got mine pretty cheap, but I have seen people selling it for $60.

I first read this book in high school, when it was the only book on running in our library. I simply loved it, giving me a glimpse inside the world of elite runners. It is mostly a series of biographies of world class runners from the late 70's and early 80's, but it also includes chapters on some major races and one of the great coach Bill Bowerman.

Re-reading this as an adult, this is still a great book. I didn't enjoy it as much as I did when I was younger, mostly because at that age this was the first thing I had read about running. It is a still a facinating book, however, as good as anything I have ever read about running.

At many points it becomes more of a character study of the individual runners more so that simply presenting the facts. In fact, there is very little mention of training schedules or details, and not a whole lot relaying the specifics of how races transpired. For the most part Moore is interested into delving into what makes these runners tick. He goes to great effort to describe their backgrounds, personalities, and the environments in which they live.

As a character flaw of mine, I sometimes find this a little dull, as I tend to be more into the facts, figures, and the excitement of the race itself. However, that is more the subject for other books and magazines like "Track and Field News." Moore provides great insight into who these people really are, what makes them tick, and what it is (was) really like to be a world class runner.


That sounds like a very interesting book. Thank you! I just added it to my big reading list.