Running, for Katie Arnold, has long been a means of solace: a way to escape anxiety and heartbreak, or at least to muffle the chorus of fear. Since moving to Santa Fe, N.Mex., in her 20s, Arnold (a long-time editor and writer for Outside magazine) has run and hiked through the nearby mountains. When her father was diagnosed with cancer, Arnold navigated her wrenching grief the only way she knew how: by running miles and miles and miles.
Arnold's memoir, Running Home, chronicles both her journey as a runner and the narrative of her close but complicated relationship with her dad, David. A National Geographic photographer with a restless soul, he left when Arnold was three, but remained a loving presence in her life, mostly through phone calls and summer visits. Arnold ran her first 10K at age seven, not on her own whim but his, and jumped into a frigid creek when he bet her she wouldn't. She explores her boundless craving for adventure, her need to push herself, as both something she inherited from him and as a way to make him proud. She becomes a marathoner, then an ultramarathoner, facing down her fears along with the blisters, injuries, sunburn and, ultimately, experiencing the pure joy of hours on the trail.
Blazingly candid and vulnerable, shot through with vivid imagery and interspersed with David Arnold's photographs, Running Home is a daughter's tribute to her father, a love letter to running and a powerful meditation on the stories we tell ourselves. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams