Read Running Away: A Memoir by Robert Andrew Powell Online


When journalist Robert Andrew Powell finished his first marathon, he cried, cradled in his father’s arms. Long distance runners understand where those tears come from, even if there are others who will never understand what drives someone to run 26.2 consecutive miles in a grueling mental and physical test. Powell’s emotional reaction to completing the race wasn’t just aboWhen journalist Robert Andrew Powell finished his first marathon, he cried, cradled in his father’s arms. Long distance runners understand where those tears come from, even if there are others who will never understand what drives someone to run 26.2 consecutive miles in a grueling mental and physical test. Powell’s emotional reaction to completing the race wasn’t just about the run, though. It was also about the joy and relief of coming back up after hitting rock bottom.Running Away is the story of how one decision can alter the course of a life. Knocked down by a painful divorce and inspired by his father, Powell decided to change his mindset and circumstances. He moved to Boulder and began running in earnest for the first time in his life. Over the 26.2 chapters that follow, Powell grapples with his past relationships, gaining insight and hard-won discipline that give him hope for the future....

Title : Running Away: A Memoir
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781480585157
Format Type : Audio CD
Number of Pages : 465 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Running Away: A Memoir Reviews

  • Terzah
    2019-03-15 12:27

    If you had asked me yesterday, I would have told you this was a 2- or a 3-star book. It had so much not going for it: I hate memoirs--the bestselling ones are usually navel-gazing pity parties, often written by privileged people who can afford to take the pity party to Bali or through-hike gorgeous trails while the rest of us work for a living (yes, I'm bitter); I hate divorce and adultery stories--call this a hang-up from my youth if you want; and I hate reading the musings of people who refuse to grow up--the male variety, it turns out, is just as annoying as the female. In this book, well....all of that features prominently.But it's also about running and qualifying for the Boston Marathon, and it's set in Boulder, where I work. There's a lot of funny commentary on the place, several spot-on descriptions of tough training runs and almost every chapter mentions somewhere or someone I know. So I was going to grit my teeth and finish it, even if the author's descriptions of his Daddy issues and his married ex-lover Mrs. Wisconsin and his ill treatment at her hands were wearing *very* thin. Talking to a friend on the phone about it (this friend is mentioned in the book), I asked, "Did you *like* this guy?"That was before I read the last couple of chapters (spoilers here--don't continue if you think you'll read this book). Powell's description of his Boston qualifier attempt at Myrtle Beach is something I've been looking for for a long time in the many books and blogs I've read about running: someone, an ordinary someone, not someone who discovers long-hidden talent or is returning to the glory days of their cross-country youth, but someone like you and me who writes about the experience of NOT achieving a big goal in a way devoid of New Age crap. So much running literature (to say nothing of what's on the Internet) is "inspirational" in such a way that all it does is make those who have failed feel like, well, failures. Sure, I like reading about guys like Meb Keflezighi and Alberto Salazar, and I can learn from them. But the truth is, most of us ordinary folks are going to fail if we're setting the bar high enough. Powell gets this--and it redeems his story in the end. "Running," he writes, "is practice for not quitting." He adds, "It really is, I can now confirm. Whatever my shortcomings out here in Boulder, I never quit."I don't understand anyone who would choose Miami over Colorado (because you don't have to live in the lala land of Boulder to get the benefits of living in this state), and I doubt Powell is someone I'd ever be friends with (too much whiny resentment of women). But he's got writing chops, and he's got running chops, so in the end he's got my respect. I don't know if he tried for Boston again. I hope he has, and I hope he made it. I'll raise a glass of good Avery beer to not quitting any day.

  • Happyreader
    2019-03-09 11:20

    His massage therapist was right. His gratitude muscle really needed stretching. So much good was achieved and received in one year and yet he rarely enjoyed or appreciated the process of working towards his goal. A cautionary tale on the downside of being so fixated on a narrowly defined end result to the detriment of missing out on all the benefits of the process and on the opportunities of achieving beyond your expectations.I enjoyed the tales of Boulder, its racing community, and expanding his racing capacity. The personal drama was tiresome and all of his own creation and perpetuation to avoid growing up. Well-written but ultimately unsatisfying. The transformation is limited and temporary. One bump in the road and he’s out. At the end, I felt the worst for Rich and Carl. They were more invested than Robert.

  • adrienna
    2019-03-05 12:47

    Some people found this book really depressing, but I didn't. I think you need to be a runner to "get" this book. Otherwise, how do you know how significant it is to qualify for Boston? A non-runner would have so much trouble identifying with the author. Aside from running, I have nothing in common with him. His actions are largely selfish, his motivations kind of embarrassed me (I can't imagine being driven to do something because my dad did - especially at almost 40 years old). But I found his journey impressive. He worked hard to improve. What did he say? Running is practicing not to quit? Something like that. And it's true.

  • JaneDance
    2019-03-09 12:43

    What a disappointment. A book about discovering running should be uplifting, and for me this was not.

  • Wendy
    2019-03-18 05:37

    Four stars because this book was so well written. Clearly Powell is a talented writer. But I would only give it 3 stars based on the story. Because Powell is so self absorbed. Cheats on his wife after making her move to Miami. Moves to Boulder to pursue a dream of qualifying for Boston and to prove to his father that he is worthy. Doesn't work, just hires a coach and sinks himself deeply into debt. Seriously? Still, his journey makes for an interesting read. But I just wanted to reach into the book and strangle him. Anyways he wrote this book, so hopefully he's getting himself out of debt. I hope he's working, and better yet, I hope he's still running.

  • Ramon
    2019-03-05 11:41

    It's a nice change of pace to read a running book written by an ordinary dude with ordinary dude problems. Unlike other running books where the writer glorifies his or her running ability to the point where you think they had cured cancer, Andrew Powell remains humble throughout his journey while he constantly improves during his attempt to qualify for Boston. Anyone who has raced a marathon will be able to appreciate and relate to Powell's determination throughout all 26.2 chapters.

  • Kevin Moderow
    2019-03-10 04:25

    A Pavement PounderIt's a bit of a pity party at times but it slogs on and with some humor here and there. Any book you finish by choice isn't a bad book and I hung around until the very end.

  • Brandon Orr
    2019-03-20 06:34

    I loved everything about this book. It's not a love story or feel good story but an honest story with a great ending. Loved it.

  • Ying
    2019-03-01 09:20

    fascinating read. As a start-up runner, I enjoyed every bit of struggle described in the book, be it during training/running, or doubts about life and love.

  • Holly Mowery
    2019-03-01 10:34

    For me this book can be divided into 2 parts. First, the story of his running. I'm an avid runner; fell absolutely in love with it about 6 years ago. I took a break and though I'm back now, I regret that decision. Powell is a great writer and his back stories on his marathon quest had me aching for more. However, the second part of this book centered on his life, his decisions, daddy issues and all around negativity and it grew very old, very fast. I too, laughed as many did, when he claimed he was going to qualify for Boston in 1 year after deciding to start running from a point of no running, being overweight and beating his father who qualified in a year decades earlier. Talk about EGO and needing some humility. Reading his story, he was not a likable person but his marathon quest taught him valuable lessons in the end and I think he knew that. Running has the capacity to do that. It will teach you how not quit, to persevere and expand yourself if you shut up and show up long enough to truly embrace it and respect it. This book fell short of my expectations but still a somewhat enjoyable read.

  • Shannon
    2019-03-16 07:30

    An inspiring read for anyone who has set a lofty goal and the hiccups that happen along the way. It was interesting to read a running story that wasn't some elite athlete, but actually an average Joe, if you will.

  • Terry
    2019-03-20 08:17

    Accurate and honest. I identified with many of the author's feelings, experiences and struggles in a running career. I so wanted Robert to achieve his goal, but in the end he achieved much more. I'm sure many runners who read this book will identify with many of Robert 's life lessons woven through a running and training experience.

  • Lucifersliege
    2019-03-01 11:17

    We've all been there...I'll be honest, this book probably connected with me more than most, as I've just turned 40, and am trying to rewire my brain and body for betterment of self. Well written. Good insight. Plenty of emotion.

  • Lindsay Russo
    2019-02-25 11:36

    I'm a sucker for memoirs about fuck-ups. There's a distance here that mostly works for me. It's vulnerable and raw - but not too visceral. It's the written version of a caress or a slap - not dirty talk or a brutal attack.

  • Tara Scott
    2019-03-14 05:41

    I've met very few running books that I didn't like but this God it was awful and hard to get through. Without giving away too much for any of you out there who may want to read it, I will just say that this guy comes off as a whiny little bitch with daddy issues. The majority of the book is just him perseverating on his father's accomplishment of qualifying for Boston on his first try, and while this is a very stunning accomplishment, the way he talks about it makes it seem like no man has ever qualified for Boston before or after his dad. Also the author recounts numerous magazine and newspaper articles about his dad's qualifying run, but the whole time I'm just sitting there thinking, what the heck? Has no one in their New Hampshire town ever run before? Why is everyone so in awe of this guy? He also makes his dad out to be a huge jerk and it is the same for his portrayal of Frank Shorter. The only thing I like about this book was that the author tried, but came up short to actually qualify for Boston. Almost every other running book I read starts out as someone whom has never run before or has not run in a long time but busts out this amazing qualifying time on some ridiculously hard race and is then transformed into a running God. This was not that book. You'd think this would make me like the book or at least the guy who wrote it, but honestly he just came off as a huge tool and a giant loser that can't keep his life together and just cries about it.

  • Rebecca Jo
    2019-03-04 11:26

    I love stories on people's journey into running & hearing about their experiences in races. So I was excited to give this book a go. I just didn't get into this one. This was the story of Robert & his life after his divorce, finding his living arrangements in Hotels & without a job. He decides to try something his own father did at his late years in his life. Take up running. Except his father qualified for Boston on his first marathon out & then finished Boston in an amazing time. A true natural. Robert decides to try the same, moving from Miami & going to Boulder, Colorado.The book documents the whole thing, the people he meets, the people that train him, all the way through is qualifying Boston race - his first marathon. But the book just kept traveling back & going through the past & this book seemed more like a therapy book about the relationship he had with his father more then anything else. Everything was a comparison, an attitude of being better then his father, how his father seemed to think of his son as worthless & this was just a point to prove to his dad.I actually got so bored with it at one point, I skipped like 10 chapters & STILL didn't feel like I missed anything - the next chapter started with the same feel.I will say, I did enjoy the chapter on his marathon he ran...but even that, his father being at the race & at the finish line, & the voice of his dad he heard in his head... yeah, more of a therapy book then a running book.

  • Terje Fokstuen
    2019-03-02 07:45

    Running, divorce, Fathers and Sons, and starting over in midlife after the failures of his earlier years are the ground covered by Powell in his remarkable and brutally honest memoir of a year spent in Boulder, Co trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon. At the age of 39 Powell's father, a successful businessman and father of four, began running, within a year he qualified for, and finished, the Boston Marathon. Stuck in idle at that same age, living in a down rent hotel in Miami, Powell decides to cash in his 401K, give up his nonexistent career in magazine journalism, and move to Boulder, where he begins to run. The book follows his training, it is divided into 26.2 chapters, one for each me in a marathon, and how he acclimated to the world of serious running. Some of the highlights are his insights into the world of serious running, and the camaraderie that exists there. As the book progresses we learn about Powell's failures as a husband, and of a life lived in the shadow of his father. It's an almost great book that derives its strengths from Powell's commitment to honesty. I heartily recommend it.

  • Shelly♥
    2019-02-28 08:36

    Robert Powell's life is all but practically in the dumbster. Divorced and mostly unemployed, he decides to emulate his father in his 39th year. His father, in one year, turned around from an inactive person. Trained, qualified and ran the Boston Marathon. He's been a runner ever since. Now, since Robert is 39, he's going to move to Boulder,CO, focus on training and accomplish this same feat. And maybe in the middle of all this, he will put his life back together.The book will be enjoyed by runners, but also by people who have felt like they have never met their goals, or achieved their potential. Powell has a slew of poor choices to back up his state of unhappiness. Yet, he still seeks to grab for that brass ring. What does running do? It teaches us not to quit.I found it motivational, even if it's not a true warm-fuzzy, feel good, I did this kind of story. It's a "didn't make it to the mountaintop, but I'm not jumping off, I'm trying another mountain" kind of story.

  • Aaron Mcquiston
    2019-03-19 09:28

    I really enjoy books on running, and even though "Running Away" is another of those memoirs that could be stuck in the muck of being an ungrateful navel gazer, but Powell does not get completely caught up in a "woe is me" attitude. He is trying to go from being inactive to qualifying for the Boston Marathon. This is an interesting concept for someone who does run and who knows that the Boston Marathon is very difficult. But he is doing this because he wants to follow in his father's footsteps, who was able to qualify for Boston in the first year he was running. He wants so much to get the respect of his father, and he is to the point in his life that he feels as if it is time to prove himself. Mix this in with moving to Boulder Colorado, a city that is important and friendly to the world's running community. In the end, the memoir is well written and the creativity makes for a memoir that could be less interesting in another person's hands. This is a nice edition to the group of nonfiction books I have about running, even one of the better books.

  • Lorri
    2019-03-23 05:27

    Goals are not necessarily meant to be reached, but rather a format to utilize in our search for Self within our environment. We are all a piece of the whole, within humanity's fold. There are lessons to be learned through trying to reach a goal.I liked the structure of the chapter for each mile run. I liked how Powell was able to glean from his journey, no matter how overwhelming it felt at the time.Running Away: A Memoir is a book that defines the struggles and hardships we encounter through life, often through our own choices. Powell emphasizes those issues within his memoir, but emphasizes them through the act of running a marathon, his metaphor for his life journeys. I was awarded a Goodreads Giveaway for this book, but did not receive it. So, I borrowed Running Away from my library, because I felt it would be a book I would like to read, having run, and finished, a marathon, myself.

  • Bearcatgary
    2019-03-14 05:17

    My 4 star rating is based upon the fact that I am a runner. For non-runners, I don't think this book would be a that interesting. The author is the son of a man who quit smoking at age 39 and started up running. Within 1 year, the father was fit enough to run a Boston Marathon qualifying time. The story is about the son's attempt to repeat his father's feat. As a runner, I will say that to do what the father accomplished is quite incredible.I liked the parts of the book that pertained to running, however the author's obsession with his failed romances sometimes bordered on pathetic. For me, the intrigue was whether the author would make the Boston qualifying time. I also liked that the author moved to Boulder, CO to submerge himself in a running environment. Since I have never been there, I enjoyed his description of this quintessential running town.

  • Connie Bickford
    2019-03-19 12:20

    I enjoyed this book. The author's running journey is neither simple nor is it all hearts and flowers. There is plenty of self-doubt in many areas of his life. It was something I could relate to. That being said, a few things stood out to me. The passages "Every time you start to sabotage yourself with a negative thought, you need to tell yourself five things you've accomplished, or that you've got going for you." & "Everyone has some setbacks; it's all how you roll with it. Another mind trick? Run away from your fears." Finally, "All that negative talk is ego. It's all sabotaging." "The great coach Bobby McGee says, 'When a bad idea floats into your head you have to say, Thank you for coming, thank you for visiting, now get out of here.'" "Running is practice for not quitting." ~ Robert Andrew Powell

  • Sean Halpin
    2019-03-17 12:19

    An easy read with some decent introspection--but ultimately a depressing tale of a sad sad man. I can empathize with the unrelenting drive to throw every ounce of energy toward accomplishing a goal time in an endurance race. It takes a level of persistence that is very challenging to maintain; and that is something that the author does a good job of portraying. Yet the story he tells is just not very compelling. Powell lives a privileged life--yet he has a history of dropping out, giving up, and moving onto the next best thing. At times I found myself just wanting to reach through my Kindle app and slap Powell. It would be useless though. This book presents like a Ben Stiller movie with the funny parts stripped away. In the end the reader is left with a man who just can't get his life together.

  • Karli
    2019-02-26 08:40

    Maybe it was the nostalgia I felt for my times in Boulder or my times as a runner. Maybe it was the feeling of an impending mid-life crisis. Maybe it was my own self-loathing and escapist mindset. Whatever it was, I was really drawn to this book. I appreciate Powell's self-deprecation alongside his aspiration and acceptance of failure. I found the book to be very inspiring, so much so that I took a trip to Boulder and was appalled to see how much the city had changed in the 12 years since I'd been there (strip smalls and tech startups, anyone?). But I ran Mt. Sanitas and channeled Powell all the way up. If have fantasies of flight or starting all over, you know who you are, and this book will speak to you.

  • Becca
    2019-03-01 06:43

    My love for this book is definitely the product of timing. But I'd like to think I'd have enjoyed even if I'd come upon it at a different time. It's a little weird to see so much of myself in someone who outwardly doesn't resemble me at all...that I'd never think I'd have a thing in common with beyond the need to breathe air. Time and again, he'd say something that I could totally identify with, that I'd thought or felt (though how productive those thoughts were...well...). It's one of very few books to make me (almost) cry. (but this may be because most of the books are supposed to make me cry I find out about after the world has sobbed over them so it becomes my challenge to resist. I'm cold like that.).

  • Esther
    2019-03-07 05:34

    Looking through the Running section at the library for inspiration for my forthcoming half marathon, I spotted this. Its different from the usual running memoir books, which are dire testosterone fuelled braggathons mostly and to be avoided. Powell is a complete beginner when he decides to run a marathon and his life is a complete mess. For most of the book I thought he was a complete idiot. But he would concur with this analysis and its his honesty, brutally so at times, that makes this a compelling read. He moves to Boulder following the break-down of his life in Miami, specifically to train and his outsiders eye view of the community is fascinating. Seven minute miles make you a low performing jogger, the highest density of life coaches in the US etc etc.

  • Marjorie Elwood
    2019-03-16 08:35

    I found the author fairly unlikable, both for his treatment of others and his lack of personal responsibility. Having said that, the story was interesting and his occasional skewering of Boulder brings to mind that those of us who live in Colorado and tend to think of it as the best place possible to live need a reminder, every so often, that all is not perfect in wonderland. The story is essentially about his relationship with his father (including the relationship with his coach who is a handy stand-in for his father) which made it all the more intriguing that Powell didn't mention his father in either the dedication or the acknowledgments.

  • James
    2019-03-13 12:43

    This is a story of Robert Andrew Powell's midlife, post divorce attempt to qualify for Boston having never seriously run his whole life. There is precedent. His dad had qualified for Boston his first year of running when he was Robert's age. So Robert moves to Boulder, gets a fancy running coach and stays in a chicken coop. He trains and depletes his financial resources in hopes of winning a space in the coveted race. This was a slow burn for me, hard to get into in the early pages but I enjoyed it in the end. Running changes Robert and helps him move through some of his personal pain. That being said, this book is not really about running.

  • Heather Stock
    2019-03-21 10:35

    This is a story about a struggling writer looking for a reason to get his life back on track. So he sets out not only to run his first marathon, but to qualify for Boston (just like his Dad did when we turned 40 years old).I liked this book for a couple of reasons, this story is truthful and isn't an over glorified book about running. Being a runner myself, running sucks and it is hard to do. Running a marathon is a goal within itself - much less qualifying for Boston. Favorite quotes: "Running is practice for not quitting""Bullshit" mutters a man laboring next to me. "Four miles to go ain't exactly almost there"

  • Scott Stewart
    2019-02-25 06:24

    Thanks to the publisher for allowing me to read an Advanced Copy to review.If you are looking for a book about running that introduces you to superhero runners and shows how running can be easy, then stay away from this book. This story is brutally honest, and the main character's life is kind of like training for a marathon, painful with lots of obstacles along the way. We all face doubts, and Robert is no exception. But he is a reflection of what we all go through, and his struggles will be uplifting to you in life and running.