In the tradition of Wild and H Is for Hawk, a former Outside magazine writer tells her story—of fathers and daughters, grief and renewal, adventure and obsession, and the power of running to change your life.
I'm running to forget, and to remember.
Katie Arnold learned early how her legs had the ability to carry her away to where no one could catch her. Scrappy and adventurous as a child, Katie moved between suburban New Jersey, where she lived with her mother, and rural Virginia, which her elusive father, a National Geographic photographer, called home.
Later, Katie chased her dreams to Santa Fe, where she became a writer for Outside Magazine. By her mid-thirties she had the world on a string. Katie relished the life she and her husband had built for their growing family among the rivers and mountains of New Mexico. But after welcoming her second daughter, Katie received shocking news: Her father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Three months later, he was gone.
In the aftermath, Katie slid into a dark hole of anxiety and panic, while a stream of if-onlys looped through her mind: If only I hadn't waited to get married and have babies, if only I lived closer, if only I'd spent more time with him. She tried every means to stanch her fear, but the only remedy that seemed to work was running long distances alone through the wilderness. Then on New Year's Eve a year after her father's death, Katie found herself making a startling resolution: to train for and run a 50k trail race.
Running Home traces Katie's journey to outrun her grief over thirty-two miles of rugged terrain, mourning the father she lost and grieving for the man she never knew, while learning to let go. Clocking miles across mesas and mountains, from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other, Katie redefined her relationship to fear, motherhood, and running itself. This memoir is inspiring reading for anyone knocked over by life, who has struggled to put one foot in front of the other to find the right path forward.
Advance praise for Running Home
"A contemplative, soul-searching account of the death of [Katie Arnold's] beloved father and how she used long-distance running as a way to heal from the grief."—Kirkus Reviews
"A beautiful work of searching remembrance and searing honesty... will soon join such classics as Born to Run and Ultramarathon Man as quintessential reading of the genre."—Hampton Sides, author of On Desperate Ground and Ghost Soldiers