This week I am giving away a free copy of Coast to Coast; just leave a comment describing a story about running for a chance to win.

Coast to Coast is about the November 2004 relay run by the cross country team of the Rochester Institute of Technology. They began the relay by dipping their batons in the Pacific ocean, and finished the relay by jumping into the Atlantic ocean. The relay took 12 days 3 hours and 48 minutes, and the baton moved continuously forward (mostly) on it’s 2,730 mile trip across the country the entire time. Each runner ran for 2 miles at a time and then resting for three and a half hours until it was their turn to run again. The book documents everything from the planning stages to the execution of the relay, and touches on a few ways that the run effected the athletes afterward.

The book includes a lot of information about the trip, such as:

  • a map of the route
  • the author’s sketchbook
  • the specs and layout of the RVs
  • Short bios of all the runners and drivers

What I liked about the book is that it is a fast read that makes you feel as though you are there with them. The good things to happen on the trip are mentioned and receive the majority of the focus, but they did not shrink from allowing us to see the turmoil and the problems that they had as they went along. There are a lot of great pictures in the book (95 total) that really help to show what is happening. It was a lot of fun to read through the sketchbook at the end and compare the descriptions of events and people to what was drawn in the sketchbook.

I really like how the chapters are broken up by the accounts of other runners, the advisors, and other folk involved in the run (such as the President of RIT and the father of one of the runners). The book has a great flow and is well organized.

There were a few things that I did not like about the book. The map works really well for the 2004 route that was taken, but the 1979 route does not show up very well at all. There is no picture index, so if you are trying to find a picture you need to remember what state it was taken in or else just flip through until you find it.

The book is very reasonably priced, costing just $14.95 for the paperback version and $25.42 for the hardcover version. Because the book is produced on demand, it can take a couple weeks to receive it.