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This is a landmark book on racing tactics and strategy: crucial for competitive runners, and a heck of a fun read for fans.
This is a landmark book on racing tactics and strategy: crucial for competitive runners, and a heck of a fun read for fans.
49 backers pledged $3,155 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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"How to Race the Mile: Learning Effective Tactics from Great Runners and Races" is a labor of love that has been two years in the making. To me, the 1500m/mile is the most fascinating distance in track & field. That's because it is where ultimate fitness has to mesh with savvy racing skills in order to create a champion.

While there are seemingly millions of books out there on training to be a better runner, this is the first that I know of that goes in depth on the strategy and tactics that go on after the starting gun goes off. In addition to the observations that I have made based on my 30+ years as a writer specializing in running, track & field, and the Olympics, I have also interviewed a wide range of America's and the world's best runners.

From Steve Scott, who has run more four-minute miles (136) than anyone else on earth, to high school phenomenon Grant Fisher, who is threatening to break the barrier for the first time... From Filbert Bayi, who shocked the world with his front-running 1500m world record back in 1974, to Jenny Simpson, the planet's current No. 1 female miler... and many more.

In addition to words of wisdom from so many great runners, the book will also highlight over 60 key races in the history of the event that demonstrate the effectiveness of various tactics. In many cases, the runners themselves discuss what they might have done differently were they given a do-over.

This book will be the essential textbook for any competitive runner interested in running smarter in the big race. However, it will also be a blast for fans and armchair coaches alike, as it is filled with "war stories" from some of the best middle distance runners ever.

Note that this is a low price-tag project. That's because this labor of love for me is nearly done. It will be around 300 pages long. Within the next two weeks, the first draft will be completed, along with initial layout. Then my army of proofreaders goes to work.

What do I need help with? This is a self-published book. As you can see from the video, I am artistically challenged. I am looking to raise enough money to take care of the various production costs--mainly the cost of getting the layout and cover professionally designed.

Please check out the line-up of rewards--especially if you are a supporter of your local running scene, this is a way to boost the project and also get a nice package that will help out your local team!

Risks and challenges

Possible setbacks after funding? Since the project is nearly done, I don't anticipate many. A meteorite could strike my house, killing me and the project in one fell swoop. Probably unlikely.

I don't expect my job to interfere, since finishing this book is my job right now. However, if I run into problems with my artist and have to replace him, that could cause a delay of a month or so. (By the way, I have three potential artists lined up, and the first choice has already agreed to take on the project, pending payment).

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Champion of the cause! You will receive a personalized thank you note on a limited edition special postcard showing the book cover!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    First on your block! You will get a signed first-edition paperback of the book!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All that, and fame too!
    You will get a signed first-edition paperback of the book.
    Plus, your name will be included on the acknowledgements page!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Eagle eyes special! You will get...
    * a proofreading advance copy of the book;
    * a signed first edition paperback of the book;
    * your name in the proofreading credits (if you give me corrections and feedback by the deadline).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Varsity supporter! You will get...
    * a signed hardcover limited edition of the book;
    * your name will be included on my acknowledgements page.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Support your local team! You will get...
    * a signed hardcover limited edition of the book;
    * two paperback first editions for you to give to your local high school team;
    * your name will be included on my acknowledgements page.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    World class team supporter! You will get...
    * a signed hardcover limited edition of the book;
    * five paperback first editions for you to give to your local high school team;
    * your name will be included on my acknowledgements page.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    The Big One.
    I will walk, drive, run, bike, or fly to wherever you live to deliver a special, limited-limited hardcover edition of the book, personally inscribed. You will also be featured in the dedication of the book. We can meet up at the restaurant of your choice, and I will buy dinner. And we can talk about track until the check comes after dessert. We'll have a rollicking good time, and I can tell you some of the stories that didn't end up in the book!

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Funding period

- (30 days)