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The Ghost Runner by Bill Jones

Release date: 18th July, 2011
Publisher: Mainstream

List Price: £12.99
Our Price: £8.83
You Save: £4.16 (32%)
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The Ghost Runner by Bill Jones is an extraordinary tale of John Tarrant, a man banned from athletics for life in the 1950s for breaching a strict amateur code.

Tarrant admitted receiving £17 as a teenage boxer which resulted in him losing his amateur sporting status, although this did not prevent him from running marathons unofficially. He would often start races in an overcoat and discard it to reveal a strip with no number.

Tarrant, raised in a tough children's home, went on to set a series of world records over 40 miles and 100 miles, but died of cancer aged just 42 without receiving the recognition he deserved. A fantastic read that will have you scurrying back from your Christmas Day walk for more.




Reader comments:

The statement in any review that, 'I could not put this down after starting it' is often a hint to look elsewhere but in this case, this does warrant that phrase.


Tarrant is a strange character drawing sympathy in some areas and in others, appearing to be a total bore and a man possessed with his 'ban' but what you can feel is his passion to overcome the obstacles placed in his way.

Although aware of his story at the time I did not know of his South African ventures and his importance in the development of the black SA runners. He may have been seen as a pawn but with his blinkered approach it is obvious he never saw that - he was there to run and to win his own 'Holy Grail'.

Dead at an early age, it is hard to believe that even until the end he was regarded by the hierarchy as a 'nuisance'. A fantastic read even for those who do not often pick up a 'sports book' - this is more than that.


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