Tales from the Trails
by Melissa K. Melton

"Sometimes in life
One will find
A treasure
So precious, it’s hard to measure
A gift that lasts eternity
Always a wonderful memory"

This collection of poetry covers running from rugged trails to technical road races, giving consideration to both the physical and mental demands that long-distance running creates. Combining the author’s two most helpful outlets, each poem in this book tells a story of a specific race, with all the memorable details included. From half-marathons in the woods to 100-mile, all-day runs that demand peak performance from the runner, these poems reflect on the beauty of nature, the persevering power of the mind, and the value of good friends that support and challenge you. Split up into four sections, readers can enjoy selections about trail running, road races, running in America’s heartland, and personal musings of the author’s about the things that interest and matter most to her.

Crafted in a simple, honest style that follows a traditional rhyming structure, these poems are easily sprinted through or enjoyed with a paced, long-term reading schedule. Though some of the jargon or terminology can be confusing to non-runners, there is a glossary of terms in the back to help make sense of things. That touch is part of what makes this collection special. Even though it focuses on a very specific hobby, the style and approachability of these poems make them enjoyable whether the reader is an enthusiast of running or not. The sentiments of friendship, support, perseverance, coping, and struggle are universally human. Having them framed in the recollection of races ran provides not only a fresh perspective but could also serve to create a new interest in running long distances for the reader.

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