Cover image for No finish line : my life as I see it
No finish line : my life as I see it
Runyan, Marla, 1969-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2001]

Physical Description:
303 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV1061.15.R85 A29 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The first legally blind athlete to compete in the Olympic Games tells her compelling story, revealing what it was like to grow up disabled in a society where expectations are often based on perceived abilities, and what it means to compete at the world-class level despite the fact that--quite literally, for her--there is no finish line.

Author Notes

Sally Jenkins was born on October 22, 1960. She is a sports columnist and feature writer for The Washington Post. She has also worked for Sports Illustrated and acted as a correspondent on CNBC as well as on NPR's All Things Considered. She is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in English Literature. Jenkins is also known for some of her famous interviews such as Joe Paterno, Head football coach of Pennsylvania State University and Lance Armstrong. In 1986, Jenkins was part of the team nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for stories about the cocaine-related death of University of Maryland All-American Len Bias. It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award in 2000. It was also number one on the New York Times Best Seller list. This book was also awarded the Christopher Award for Adult Books in 2001. It also appeared in the Texas Tayshas Reading List from 2001 to 2002. In 2002 she won the Associated Press¿s Columnist of the Year Award. Her title Sum It Up: 1,098 Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective made The New York Times best seller list for 2013. Her titles include: No Finish Line, Funny Cide: How a Horse, a Trainer, a Jockey, and a Bunch of High School Buddies Took on the Sheiks and Blue Bloods¿and Won, The Real All Americans: The Team That Changed a Game, a People, a Nation and The State of Jones.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

"My whole life was `special.' I rode a `special' bus, went to a school with a `special' program.... But I wasn't special, I was angry," observes Olympic runner Runyan. Rendered partially blind by Stargardt's disease, Runyan tells the story of her trials en route to the Olympics. Growing up embarrassed by her condition and all the more headstrong for it, Runyan set and achieved high goals to compensate for a lonely and painful childhood, tackling horseback riding and first violin before she turned to track and field. (She obtained her driver's license a bit later.) In 2000, she was the first American to finish the women's 1,500 meter race, coming in eighth the highest U.S. women's placement in the history of the event. But at the heart of her story is an allegory of change: she outgrows coaches, learns patience over perseverance and comes to understand that her greatest stumbling block is her own willful approach. Thankfully, the book never waxes maudlin like the many oft-aired inserts during the 2000 Olympic Games where every athlete competed not only in their event but also for the most-outrageous-life-challenge award. Rather, she presents her story with acuity and grace, rising above expectations and prejudice ("Do you ever fall down?" is a question journalists frequently ask). Written with Sally Jenkins who collaborated on Lance Armstrong's autobiography, It's Not About the Bike, Runyan's story is well-paced and finishes strong; readers will hope she keeps going and going. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

When Olympian Runyan was nine years old she was diagnosed with an incurable disease that left her legally blind. Despite her condition, she learned to play the piano, ride horses, drive an automobile, and lead a full life. In the 2000 Olympics, she finished the 1500 meter race higher than any American in the event's history. Considering the barriers she has had to overcome, Runyan's story is astonishing and exemplary. Emily Schirner, as narrator, provides a superb performance; she skillfully evokes the determination and frustration evident in Runyan's words (and she has a convincing Irish accent as well). Clever sound effects further enhance the listening experience. A truly remarkable story; strongly recommended for every library.DRay Vignovich, West Des Moines P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Runyan may be legally blind she began suffering macular degeneration at an early age but she still managed to compete in the Olympics. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

1. A Matter of Perceptionp. 1
2. The Big Ep. 16
3. Surrounded by Musicp. 44
4. My Secretp. 75
5. Learning to Ask for Helpp. 105
6. The Only One In the Racep. 123
7. Eugenep. 157
8. One One-Hundredth of a Secondp. 189
9. Trialsp. 227
10. Sydneyp. 263
11. The Future Has Not Been Writtenp. 294