The Ghost Runner: The Epic Journey of the Man They Couldn't Stop

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Open Road Media, Mar 5, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 pages
The incredible, inspiring, and heartbreaking story of a phenomenal long-distance runner’s race against insurmountable odds and his own demons.

John Tarrant was one of the best runners the world has ever seen. With a strange, loping gate and a nearly fanatical determination, he dominated the field and crushed ultra-long distance records for 40 and 100 miles.

As a teenage boxer in the 1950s, Tarrant received 17 payment for a match, a pittance that would haunt him for the rest of his life by compromising his amateur athlete status. He would spend his career fighting the rule that banned him from competing, gatecrashing races, and running without a number. Dubbed “the Ghost Runner,” he would again and again defy the odds, making history without officially being recognized for his achievements.

This is the captivating story of his lifelong struggle for victory, acceptance, and justice, from his difficult start as a poor child in WWII England to his fight to legitimize interracial races in Apartheid South Africa. Based on accounts from family, friends, and competitors and told with brutal honesty, Bill Jones uncovers one of the greatest untold sports stories of our time and documents the life of a man who simply would not be stopped.

“Jones tells the story very well ... restores his legend while revealing his very human frailties.” —Kirkus Reviews

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User Review  - NielsenGW - LibraryThing

He was a ghost—no number, no official listing, no limitations. John Tarrant snuck to the starting lines of hundreds of races in the 1950s and 1960s and jetted away once the starter’s pistol sounded ... Read full review


Chapter Two An Honest Endeavour
Chapter Three Torrance of Buxton
Chapter Four The Ghost Runner
Chapter Five Dear Tarrant
Chapter Six The Ageing Maestro
Chapter Seven Return of the Ghost
Chapter Eight A Man Apart
Chapter Nine The Only White
Chapter Ten The Greatest Race

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About the author (2013)

Bill Jones worked for Granada Television for twenty-seven years, where he was an award-winning documentary maker. He was researching a documentary about the centenary of the Manchester running club, Salford Harriers, in 1985 when he first came across the story of John Tarrant (a former Harriers member) and it has haunted him ever since. This is his first book.

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