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Running with the Kenyans: Discovering the secrets of the fastest people on earth
Running with the Kenyans: Discovering the secrets of the fastest people on earth
by Adharanand Finn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bookworm: "Running with the Kenyans" by Adharanand Finn, 15 May 2012
If you had the opportunity to take 6 months off of work to be able to head to Iten, Kenya to train and learn about the workings of the Kenyan runners, would you? Most of us would jump at it, and this is precisely what author Adharanand Finn did. Luckily, he documented this travels and learnings in his new book, "Running with the Kenyans." Finn is an assistant production editor for the British national daily newspaper, The Guardian and was given this special opportunity; one he took full advantage of and delivered an excellent read for fans of distance running worldwide.

Finn's book is filled in fact that while very fascinating, is also is filled with unearthed and often times, sad truths that tell of the not so wonderful tale of the magical Kenyans. Finn finds a friend in Toby Tanser (of the excellent book, "More Fire: How to Run the Kenyan Way") who quickly answers the question of why do Kenyan children run to school. "Are they hoping to become athletes?" asks Finn. "No, they're running because if they're late, they get caned." He also digs into the "age old" question of why many Kenyans official ages are less than their real age. "Each person has a different story, although it usually involves someone else, such as a manager, getting the date wrong at some point." That's one thing that is very evident. The managers are the ones in control of the Kenyan runners, as they operate the running camps, that are essentially tryouts to earn chances to compete internationally. Some run in the camps for years and never make more than a few hundred dollars, relying on the kindness and hospitality of family to help them along.

The most rewarding thing about Finn's 6 month journey to Kenya is his personal journey from 38 minute 10k runner to a very competent "mzungu (foreigner)," who is given incredible access to the who's who of the then and now of the storied Kenyan running scene. The people he met and ran with will any distance running fan's mind.

Read the blog that Finn kept while writing the book at the Guardian and be sure to follow him on Twitter. Finally, be sure to listen to his interview on the House of Run podcast.


14 Minutes: A Running Legend's Life and Death and Life
14 Minutes: A Running Legend's Life and Death and Life
by Alberto Salazar
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.57

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bookworm: "14 Minutes" by Alberto Salazar and John Brant, 6 May 2012
While much of the press on Alberto Salazar's incredible new autobiography, "14 Minutes," has been focused on Salazar's much known faith and his brush with death, that spawned the title of the book (spoiler: he was pronounced dead for 14 minutes), I took away a different set of realizations. Those nuggets of information from the man himself were the confirmations of many rumors that had been floated in circles and message boards for years, but were never really confirmed to the public.

Here are a few of those:

1. Salazar had a hand in the hiring of Vin Lananna
While there's no real confirmation that he was against Martin Smith, he did present to the athletic director that Rupp would attend the University of Portland, unless certain things changed. Most importantly, he had Phil Knight's blessing, to the tune of "I guess you'll just have to fix it." He then goes on to state that after this was remedied, that "Galen joined the Ducks fold, and soon Oregon's distance-running tradition was restored." That certainly can not be argued with, as since Rupp came aboard, Oregon won the NCAA Cross Country title twice and has produced stars like Rupp, Andrew Wheating and Matt Centrowitz.

2. Salazar was not happy with Alan Webb's insubordination
As many distance fans recall, Salazar's goal with Webb was to rebuild him from the ground up; a goal that in his mind, would require Webb to "spend an entire year away from world-class competition." As Salazar puts it "Alan grew impatient and wanted to run some major meets. I told him let's hit some singles and doubles before we swing for a home run, but Alan resisted." Salazar's attention to detail is notorious and while it may not work for all, it certainly has produced World class results.

3. Salazar faced much ridicule for his stance on Prozac
In the mid 90's, many recall that Salazar said that Prozac helped him run faster and break through a plateau. People took issue with this, including a competing Adidas Elite team at the 1994 Hood to Coast Relay, who had a sign on one of their vehicles reading "We Don't Run on Prozac." Salazar was happy to help his Nike team to victory and has always stood by his taking of Prozac ("only for a few months") to help battle depression, which ultimately helped him run better, due to his elevated mood.

4. Salazar was the liaison for Michael Johnson and the Dream Team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics
Being "Charles Barkley's bodyguard" is one of Salazar's favorite jobs, as one of his first duties with Nike after his professional career was tending to Michael Johnson and the Dream Team in Barcelona, the Olympiad in which Johnson faltered (only to return in 1996 to dominate) and Barkley and the boys ripped through the international competition, in the first year where pros would compete for the US team.

5. Salazar won his first of three New York City Marathon titles while still attending the University of Oregon
While many people likely knew this already, this was news to me. It was exciting when Luke Puskedra ran an excellent half at Houston this year, but the idea of an American collegian running a competitive World Class Marathon now seems almost unimaginable.

Much of the information that is discussed in this excellent book is confirmation of Salazar's incredible drive and work ethic, and no question is left unanswered. He discusses his upbringing from elementary school on and talks of the Nike Altitude house, his missteps with Dathan Ritzenhein's form, his coaching of Rupp and the Gouchers and his relationship with Coach Bill Squires and Bill Rodgers. "14 Minutes" is a must for any distance fan. A very quick and informative read form one of the best coaches (and runners) of our time.


Running After Prefontaine
Running After Prefontaine
by Scott F. Parker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Bookworm: "Running After Prefontaine" by Scott F. Parker, 26 Mar 2012
If I were to write a memoir at this point in my life, there would certainly be some striking similarities with what I would put to paper and with what Scott F. Parker has done in "Running After Prefontaine." Parker is a few year's younger than I and from the opposite side of the country, but there are plenty of parallels, as I am sure there are with plenty of 20 and 30-something distance runners out there.

With a title like "Running After Prefontaine," one would think there would be a ton of Pre talk.Well, there is, but it doesn't come until about 170 pages in. Where Parker excels is in telling his own story (/memoir) of his evolution as a runner and what it's meant to him over the years. He romanticizes the art of the run and the pain of the marathon very eloquently, as it did a great job of bringing nightmares of my first attempt at the marathon on no training.

In telling the story of his life and the running component to it, Parker speaks of his Portland, OR upbringing and the excellent running at Forest Park. I've heard the Nike folks mention this, as well as the 3 Non Joggers. When I visit Eugene again this summer for the 2012 Prefontaine Classic, I hope someone will take me on a 10+ mile tour! And while speaking of Forest Park, one chapter is especially entertaining, entitled "On Sh**ting in the Woods and Other Tragedies of Running." Pretty much any distance runner worth their mettle has had an "episode" and lost a sock or two. On that note, I can happily endorse a product for any runner who spends time in the woods: a box of Wet Ones singles. Thank me later.

The pilgrimage Parker took to Coos Bay, where he saw Pre's sister speak during a theater viewing of Fire on the Track, shows his passion for the story of the sport. His PR at the Prefontaine Memorial Run was an obvious personal highlight as well. At the time, it's apparent that he's been slightly obsessed with the Pre biopic, Without Limits, and the mythic figure that Prefontaine has become in his untimely passing.

"Runners, by tendency not definition are misfits, in high school particularly so." That quote couldn't be more true. Parker embraces the joy of running, per his between chapter interludes, and it's no surprise that he was a fan of Gabe Jennings at the 2008 Olympic Trials, rather that someone like Galen Rupp. Jennings came from that bizarre mold that Pre had a lot in common with. That is the underlying theme of the whole book. To enjoy running for what it gives you. To embrace the good and the bad and to ride it out. Sure, one can follow a training program and achieve a goal, but sometimes it's more fun and intrinsically satisfying just to run free!


RUN TO OVERCOME HB
RUN TO OVERCOME HB
by KEFLEZIGHI MEB
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.66

4.0 out of 5 stars "Run to Overcome" for the Win!, 26 Dec 2011
This review is from: RUN TO OVERCOME HB (Hardcover)
November 1, 2009 is a day I will always hold special. The New York Marathon was the first marathon I had really trained for and it was on what would have been my Grandmother's 83rd birthday. She had just passed away the week before and I would be channeling her for strength in those last 5 miles. Luckily, I persevered and achieved my goal of qualifying for the 2010 Boston Marathon. Not long after I finished and got my phone from the UPS trucks that had our personal belongings, I called a friend of mine in Raleigh who had been watching the race on Universal Sports. "Who won?" I asked, being a huge fan of the sport. "The American!" he said. "Ryan Hall?" I thought? "No, Meb. He left Robert Cheruiyot at Mile 22 or so." I couldn't believe it. I was one of those that had all but written Meb off on the world marathoning scene, but after reading "Run to Overcome," I should have never doubted him.

"Run to Overcome" is a nicely put together biography written by Meb himself with the help of ex-longtime USA Today Track & Field contributor Dick Patrick that will please new runners and experienced veterans alike. It is a genuine account in the vein of Tom Jordan's "Pre" that starts with Meb's childhood in Eritrea and his family's difficult trek to the States. Being a long time fan of Meb, "Run to Overcome" does a focused job of telling the story of his rise through the ranks in the US running system, starting with his outstanding San Diego High School career that ended with a 2nd place finish at the 1993 Foot Locker Cross Country Championship and would earn him a full scholarship to UCLA, where he would meet his longtime coach, Bob Larsen. For those unfamiliar with Meb's college career, he would win 4 national titles including the 5k/10k double on the track in the spring of 1997, followed by the cross country title later that fall. He would also go on to receive a bachelors degree in Communications, something that he is very proud of, even negotiating with Larsen to let him retake a Calculus class over the summer to better his GPA.

Where the book will please more serious runners is in the later chapters where Meb divulges some of the tough aspects of being a professional runner and he pulls back the curtain a little to show how that side of the business works, and how he has been affected by it. Meb also shares what goes into a typical training week and some other key components (weights/core/diet/massage) that have kept him world class into his mid thirties. What makes this book excellent is the fact that Meb doesn't shy away from his failures and uses each of them as fuel for his next achievement. He mentions a goal that has eluded him is a Boston Marathon victory. I, for one, hope he lines up with me again in 2011 to take it to the Newton Hills one more time before preparing for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston!


Running The Sahara [DVD] [2008]
Running The Sahara [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Matt Damon

4.0 out of 5 stars "Running the Sahara" and Beyond, 26 Dec 2011
When I started running again in 2008, there was an article I distinctly remembered reading about a guy who had pretty similar high school running credentials to mine and then had gotten into some trouble while attending the University of North Carolina, ultimately getting back into running later in his 20's with a great deal of success. This article was Jeff Pearlman's Runner's World profile on Greensboro's Charlie Engle. Now while my twenties weren't nearly as wild as Charlie's were, running was something that took a back seat to "socializing" and then came back into play around my 30th birthday. So when the opening scenes of the film showed Charlie running on Irwin Belk Track at Fetzer Field and in the Eddie Smith Field House, I was hooked.

All this being said, I found it shocking earlier this year when news surfaced that Charlie had been arrested for fraud as "IRS special agent Robert Nordlander began looking into Engle's finances after reading a story about the ultramarathon across the desert and wondered how Engle could afford to pay for such an adventure." This just goes to show, don't try to cheat the IRS, "they read the newspaper."

All this aside, "Running the Sahara" was an enjoyable documentary about Charlie, Ray Zahab, and Kevin Lin running over 4300 miles in 111 days across Africa, the equivalent of 170 marathons with no days off. Quite a feat to say the least! The cinematography was great as was the narration, which was done by Matt Damon, who also was an executive producer on the project. There were some expected testy moments as runners can get a little grumpy and running in sandstorms would likely make one extremely on edge. As you would expect, ultimately the three men and their crew soldiered through and they finished up at the Red Sea with a little daylight to spare (and with their friends and family looking on).

While admittedly I am a fan of the "bigger picture" Charlie Engle story and not just the movie, I can assure you "Running the Sahara" is worth a few hours of your time (and it is available on Netflix and on Showtime with regularity per the Track & Field Superblog). Also, they started a charity, H2O Africa, that raises "awareness about the African water crisis, and facilitates cost-effective and impactful work that eradicates the problem in targeted regions of Africa." They were able to secure a slot on the Jay Leno show to tell about their trek through Africa and to champion their noble cause.

And if you are interested in following Charlie's case, he'll be sentenced January 10th and has just written an excellent note over on his blog and tweets occasionally as well. Best of luck to him in a tough situation. It sounds like he is pretty remorseful of what happened and is doing his best to make the best out of a difficult situation.


Running with Joy
Running with Joy
by Hall Ryan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Running With Joy" by Ryan Hall, 26 Dec 2011
This review is from: Running with Joy (Paperback)
On April 18, 2011, Ryan Hall will make his third consecutive trip to Beantown to toe the line at the 115th Boston Marathon. In an interview this week at the Endurance Live Awards Gala, Ryan said "Something about Boston grabs my heart. Runners are rock stars that weekend. I love when I'm standing on the starting line in Hopkinton. I feel like I'm living in a history book and I'm writing history." Many of us who treat the Boston Marathon like our personal Olympics feel the same way! "Running with Joy" really embraces Ryan's love of the world's oldest annual marathon and details his training from January 2010 up until the start of the race, where he concludes his first book with a recap of his race to Boston, where he finished 3rd overall in an American Record time (for Boston) of 2:08:41.

"Running with Joy" is a book for runners. Those that feel elite runners are too cryptic in their training methods and never let the public in enough to what they are doing will love "Running with Joy" as Ryan details every training run from January to April 2010 (most days are doubles) and doesn't hold back when something is bothering him. One more fired up moment of his account is when he is discussing the challenging winters in Mammoth Lakes, CA:

"Why do we live here? We could train anywhere in the world-Mexico, Columbia, Kenya-and yet we train here! Why?" I yelled as I slipped for the fifth time in that many minutes running through a blizzard with the team on Mammoth Scenic Loop. I knew I had a bad attitude, but I couldn't hold it in anymore. It was dumping snow, and with every slip I saw my journey to Boston crashing to a halt because of muscle spasms. I was sure I'd tear something before long.

Powerful emotional outbursts like this help show the reader and more than likely, the runner, that even Ryan Hall has some bad days. He goes on to say that his then teammate, American 50k record holder, Josh Cox, helped him get to a better place mentally during that run and by the end of it, his attitude was positive again. This kind of run also possibly led to his departure from the Mammoth Track Club in October 2010 to train in various (and milder) locations like Flagstaff, San Francisco and most recently, Seattle. There is no doubt that Ryan is a free spirit of sorts, which makes him extremely relatable to me and likely to many that will pick up this book.

Another very important thing in Ryan's life is his faith. Many people have found Ryan to be a polarizing figure because of this, but I believe "Running With Joy" will show the reader where he is coming from. That is a good place. Ryan is using the bible to inspire himself and to do unto others. He and his wife Sara have established the Hall Steps Foundation to raise money towards Clean Water (through World Vision), fighting Human Trafficking (through International Justice Mission), and funding a home in a Rescue Center in Kenya through Global Children's Movement. Hall never comes off as preachy and only quotes scripture to inspire and help him understand his own personal growth, not to condemn others for their particular beliefs. There is an entertaining piece about Sammy Wanjiru in here, as well as former teammate, Deena Kastor, who is Jewish, that will show the reader a deeper side of his faith and values.

No matter what you believe, if you believe in the run, you will take something away from "Running With Joy." This is a book that I will not be passing on to a friend, because there are too many good workouts and ideas for training weeks/months, that will provide an excellent reference as I continue to train for this years Boston Marathon myself. I enjoy reading running books to learn some new tricks. Here's a few I picked up from Ryan:
He drinks 20 ounces of water when he wakes up in the morning.
He coats his feet in vaseline before runs (and puts band-aids on his nipples).
He does easy runs in the Asics Gel-Cumulus, faster runs in the Asics Gel-DS Trainer, and tempos/races in the Asics Gel-Hyperspeed.
He takes his easy runs easy (after hammering in college and losing steam at the end of seasons). Many runs are around 7:00-7:30 pace.
He focuses on a healthy diet and eating every few hours to maintain racing weight.
He wears the Garmin Forerunner 110 and brings gum to the starting line (in case he "gets parched").

What's next for Ryan? Before heading back to Boston, he'll be tackling the best in the nation this weekend in Houston at the USATF Half Marathon Championship, the place where he set the set the American Record in 2007 (on a slightly different course). Houston is also the place where this 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon will take place a year from now, so that should provide for some extra excitement.


Haile Gebrselassie - The Greatest Runner of Them All
Haile Gebrselassie - The Greatest Runner of Them All
by Klaus Weidt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.71

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Haile Gebrselassie: The Greatest Runner of All Time" by Klaus Weidt, 26 Dec 2011
There's really no hiding it... "Haile Gebrselassie: The Greatest Runner of All Time" is German sportswriter Klaus Weidt's love letter to Ethiopia, Ethiopian distance running and his favorite runner and arguably the greatest distance runner of all time, Mr. Haile Gebrselassie. The book begins with Weidt and his German running travel group's searching for Mr. Gebrselassie in Ethiopia and then goes on to talk about Haile's upbringing and rise through the ranks of competitive distance running in Ethiopia (similar to the tale of his first marathon in the Disney film "Endurance"). Weidt then goes on to tell of Haile's big win in the 10,000 meters at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics; his repeat in Sydney in 2000 and his 2008 World Record setting marathon over the streets of Berlin in a stunning 2:03:59.

Weidt also speaks about Haile's business acumen and his desire to make Ethiopia a travel destination. As you read on, you realize how much of a treasure he is to the German (and Ethiopian) population. Weidt's earliest trek to Ethiopia began the German's first hand fascination with Ethiopian distance running and this particular group helped fund and build a school in Haile's village (aptly called "Marathon"). There's no telling how much more the Germans have helped fund Haile's empire over the years, including his hotel, Haile Resort, from his winnings, appearance fees and world record bonuses collected in the Fatherland.

While this book isn't necessarily written for an American audience, it does bring a great American running book to mind. "Haile Gebrselassie: The Greatest Runner of All Time" is loaded with great color pictures of Haile and of Ethiopia, very reminiscent of Tom Jordan's "Pre." The photos alone are worth the purchase of this 174 page quick read. There are plenty of great footnotes included as well that go beyond Haile's excellent IAAF profile of accomplishments.

With all this in mind, it's tough not to forget Haile's tearful retirement after his allergy-plagued exit from the New York City Marathon this fall and his recent re-emergence in April at the Vienna City Half Marathon in Austria, where he won in a speedy 60:18. One has to think that Haile is targeting the 2012 London Marathon as his biggest goal and I for one hope he competes for the gold as he has been such a role model for distance runners across the world over the past 20 years.


Running America [DVD] [2010] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Running America [DVD] [2010] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Artist Not Provided

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ulrich shines in "Running America", 26 Dec 2011
In one year from today, Greensboro, NC's Charlie Engle will be released from prison. Right before he was indicted, his film, "Running America," had just been released. Much of the promotion tour for "Running America" was cancelled, due to Engle's arrest, but Charlie isn't really the star of "Running America." That title goes to grand master (over 50) Marshall Ulrich.

Ulrich is a long time endurance runner from Colorado that faces obvious internal conflict as he attempts the 50+ cross country speed record. His story truly picks up in "Running America" when Charlie's ends. Charlie gets injured early into the film and can't continue the 3000+ mile jaunt across the country. Where Charlie's charisma is demanding of the audience's attention, Ulrich's struggle is equally, if not more, enthralling. Ulrich's wife succumbed to cancer at 28, and as his daughter Elaine states, he's been running from that ever since. Seeing Ulrich carry on day after day, averaging ~58 miles per day for 52 days is enough to make most of us feel pretty soft! Ulrich has also written a book about his nationwide trek, entitled "Running on Empty."

The scenery in "Running America" isn't quite that in "Running the Sahara." The film's B-story is the restlessness with the government and the economy surrounding the 2008 election. While many "locals" along the nationwide journey are interviewed about their disillusionment with the state of the nation, the running story still leads the way. Those interviewed seem most bothered towards the beginning of the journey/film and seem more hopeful by the time Ulrich is finishing up and Barack Obama is winning the 2008 election. It's filmmaking. It just seems a little odd as there are really two stories going on that don't really weave together.

That being said, "Running in America" is indeed entertaining, especially for those that have not seen "Running the Sahara," as there are many familiar scenes of blister popping and just watching grown men deal with the agonizing pain that comes with running an average of 2+ marathons per day! When Engle is on screen, he commands it. His passionate attitude and dealing with those with special needs is excellent. Hopefully he'll continue more of that when he's released a year from today. If you aren't already, follow Charlie's always entertaining twitter feed about life inside Beckley Prison and his introspective and also comedic blog, the aptly titled "Running in Place."


Running the Edge:  Discover the Secrets to Better Running and a Better Life
Running the Edge: Discover the Secrets to Better Running and a Better Life
Price: £3.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bookworm: "Running the Edge" by Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher, 26 Dec 2011
This book came along at a great time. Coming off injury and anxious to get back to it after a month off, due to two nearly stress fractured shins, "Running the Edge" was exactly what the doctor ordered.

"Being a runner is truly a gift. Runners have access to a world and a set of life lessons that can transform every aspect of their lives."

The above statement couldn't be more true. College teammates at the University of Colorado, Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher recount excellent tales from their past to teach lessons in running and life, with the goal of helping the reader become a true "distance maven;" a term you'll become very familiar with while reading "Running the Edge."

Goucher touches on everything from his big wins in high school, to his duels with Bob Kennedy as a young pro, to his early exit in the rounds of the 5000 in the 2004 Olympic Trials. Catalano soars in telling tales about the high school team he's coached that had doughnut eating contests, water chugging exhibitions and a near fatal climb to the top of Bear Peak in Boulder, CO. Both writers complement each other excellently and provide great information on how to become an excellent runner and an even better person.

Both touch on something that's been talked about in other running books, their relationship with ledgendary Colorado coach, Mark Wetmore. Chris Lear's "Running with the Buffaloes" gave us a little insight into Coach Wetmore's wizardry, Matt McCue's "An Honorable Run" gave a little more, and "Running the Edge" digs a little deeper. Catalano discusses his chat with Wetmore in 1996 where he was battered and fighting to make the Olympic A-Standard (in the Steeplechase) and Wetmore told him to "go be great at something else." Sage words from a man that has coached many world class runners. That kind of candor has made Wetmore the renowned coach that he is. Goucher talks about when he and Kara cut ties with Wetmore, after some terse words about his slowing career, only to resurrect it with a trip northwest to Portland, to join Alberto Salazar's Oregon Project (they have recently left).

The book has plenty of great reference information that goes far beyond the first read. Catalano and Goucher have spent a lot of time here making an outline on how to run well, live well and be accountable for your actions. Both admit to making many mistakes along the way and this book is their way to help others avoid those! Goucher also talks about "an amazing dry-rub seasoning for grilling steaks" that I'd like to have the recipe for!

The book is sprinkled with nice one liners from Chris Solinsky, Kara Goucher, Galen Rupp, Dathan Ritzenhein, Paula Radcliffe, Amy Yoder-Begley and Alan Webb. The book also goes beyond the page with a thorough companion website and oft-updated blog that's worth checking out.


Robber [Blu-ray] [2011] [US Import]
Robber [Blu-ray] [2011] [US Import]
Dvd ~ Andreas Lust

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Film Major: "The Robber", 26 Dec 2011
There's a new "running" film available on DVD/Blu-ray. It's "The Robber" (aka Der Räuber), which is the Benjamin Heisenberg-directed film based on the true story of Austrian bank robber/marathoner, Johann Kastenberger. The screenplay was adapted from Martin Prinz's 2006 book, "On the Run." The film made the film festival rounds in the spring, but the DVD/Blu-ray release will be most's first exposure to the film. It's also available on Netflix Instant. The film is in German, but is sub-titled in English and is very easy to follow, as the dialogue is very deliberate.

So who was Johann Kastenberger? According to the film, and to Wikipedia, Kastenberger was a convicted bank robber, who was first arrested in 1977 for robbing an Austrian bank. He served a 7-year prison term and trained extensively while in person. Upon release, he made an instant splash in the marathon, setting an Austrian national record (the film shows 2:20, but I can't corroborate that anywhere online and haven't read Prinz's book yet). The film does show him winning the ultra difficult Kainach Mountain Marathon in a still standing record of 3:16. Not long after being released from prison the first time around, Kastenberger reverts to his bank-robbing ways and becomes known as "Shotgun Ronnie," due to his penchant for wearing a Ronald Reagan mask during his robberies. This is something that is left out of the film.

Andreas Lust does a very passable job in portraying a competitive runner. He's fit, has good form and most importantly, looks the part. There are some excellent action scenes in "The Robber," particularly one after a robbery nearly goes awry and he runs through multiple buildings being followed by a single camera, and ends up hopping on a trail to evade the police. It's a very entertaining film and is well worth 90 minutes of your time.


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