The Art of Running – Steve Prefontaine, Pre, Stop Pre

Some stories are best told and heard a number of different ways.

During his brief 24-year lifespan, Steve Prefontaine grew from hometown hero, to record-setting college phenomenon, to internationally acclaimed Olympic track star. In a similar span of years since his death in 1975, Pre has become the stuff of enduring legend.

Run long enough, and you’ll eventually learn about the legend that was Steve Prefontaine. I’ve read a number of articles about the runner from the little town of Coos Bay, Oregon. I’ve watched two different movies (Prefontaine and Life Without Limits) about his life and visited a few web sites documenting his track exploits. I had thought the story of the rock star runner from the United States had grown cold. Then I was asked to review the graphic novel “The Art of Running” by Matthew Crehan, which details Pre’s extraordinary life.

Art of running cover

From Matthew Website: As Prefontaine always saw running as a work of art, his love of the sport is beautifully told through the graphic novel medium where the movement of running can be explored and detailed perfectly. Covering Pre early days in Coos Bay and attending the University of Oregon, to his visit to Munich for the 1972 Olympic Games, and his unfortunate and tragic death at the young age of 24.

When asked about The Art of Running project, the author Matthew said: “I wanted to show the sport of track and field as a real art form, as Prefontaine always thought of it, and give athletes a book that was something different but also inspiring.”

I found “The Art of Running” an outstanding read and a great media format to tell Pre’s life story to a new generation of runners. The brief and concise text provided the perfect story line to follow Prefontaines’s rise to track star glory. I found that Pre’s personality jumped off the pages and captured my attention. The powerful and dramatic illustrations drew me into the story, set the mood, and breathed new life into the legend. The graphic novel format provided an excellent canvass to re-tell this story This format is excellent for young readers and season runners who may have grown up during Pre’s rise to fame. I enjoyed the story, the rich illustrations and the format the material was presented in very much.

Art of running page 59

The novel will be launched to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Prefontaine’s death. I recommend it to all wanting to re-visit Pre’s life or for those who want to discover this running phenomenon for the first time.

You can order your very own copy of “The Art of Running” here and available May 30th on Kindle at and the Kindle store.

You can follow the artist Matthew Crehan on Twitter:

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