My first book, "Running Shorts: A Collection of Stories and Advice for Anyone Who Has Ever Laced Up a Pair of Running Shoes," consisted of tales and wisdom accumulated throughout my running career, dating back to 1976.
At race expos around North America, promoting that book, I met thousands of runners, of all ages and abilities, and, in preparation for my next book, I assessed what they, the runners, hoped wished for in their running lives.
The answer was simple. In a variety of ways, and for many reasons, all runners are on a quest to achieve a personal best.
In my book, "Personal Best," I have attempted to guide the reader toward a personal best, and have offered examples of folks who have, for very personal reasons, earned their personal bests.
But, in the middle of writing the book, I ran the 2013 Boston Marathon.
From that point, my course was altered, as was my outlook on life.
With each word, each, phrase, each sentence, I needed to tell my story of the 2013 Boston Marathon, and the tragic events that surrounded it. I truly believe, when you read this account, you will become a better runner and person. You will have taken a giant step toward achieving your personal best.
Below is the Preface of "Personal Best."
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PREFACE-"Personal Best," by Joe Muldowney
August 1, 2014
On September 12, 2012, I began writing “Personal Best.”
My intent was to offer a road map to runners of all abilities, based on my experience, in an effort to guide readers of the book toward achieving their personal bests. I hope the rest of the book meets that objective.
On April 15, 2013, though, everything changed.
My wife and I were witnesses to terror. We experienced evil in its most vile form as it manifested itself during one of the world’s purest sporting events.
Before the pages of this book celebrate what we do on a daily basis, I feel compelled to share the events of that tragic day with you the readers.
Therefore, I have positioned the chapter, ‘Was That Thunder,’ in its rightful place, at the beginning of the book.
All runners from everywhere on the globe have been touched by the events of that April day. The celebration of joy and the deep bond that exists between the Boston Marathon runners and the Boston Marathon spectators was, for a few tragic seconds, shattered on Boylston Street.
As quickly as the terrorists had completed their despicable acts, the bond between runners and those wonderful Boston Marathon spectators coalesced. All joined to assist the victims. All cooperated to bring the perpetrators to justice.
In the weeks and months that followed, runners in races around the country did their best to assist the wounded spectators who have always done their best to assist the runners.
My first chapter is my personal, on the scene account of the events.
This book is dedicated to my soulmate, my wife Christina. On the streets of Boston on that April afternoon, I recognized how short and fragile life can be, and how much I need her in my life.
In that light I also dedicate this book to the people of Boston, who have embraced the runners of the Boston Marathon for 118 years.
Thanks to you we have all become Boston Strong.