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® Benjamín Juárez

Going back through my own literature review I notice that there is excessive American presence. So I go back to an old article on Greatest Runners of All Time [GROAT] and notice Steve Prefontaine's (based on online comments, perhaps undeserved) prevalence.

A Steve Prefontaine Graphic Novel

Matthew Crehan is hoping to self-publish with Kickstarter campaign.


Aug 14, 2013

Steve Prefontaine used to talk about racing in artistic terms, so perhaps it's fitting that a runner with deep elite-running family roots is writing a graphic novel about Prefontaine.

Matthew Crehan, whose mother placed 32nd in the 1988 Olympic Marathon as a member of the British team, has completed the script for the book, to be called The Art of Running, and is running a Kickstarter campaign to pay the visual artist to complete the book's panels as well as to self-publish the book. The book's first nine pages are completed, and visible on Crehan's Kickstarter page.

Why does a British runner, with legends like Sebastian Coe, Roger Bannister, and Paula Radcliffe as part of his national heritage, care about an American record holder from 40 years ago?

"Steve Prefontaine is my running hero," Crehan says. "He was a front runner and looked at racing as a work of art. I look at running and racing in the exact same way. For me it is about doing everything you can, putting all of your mind, your energy, your heart on the line every time you step on the track to race. If you can do that, then at the end of your race, both literal and the race of life, then you can be satisfied and fulfilled."

Crehan hosts a running podcast on which he's interviewed several people associated with Prefontaine, who died in 1975 at age 24. From what he's learned in those interviews, "I have tried to show Prefontaine as the person he was rather than the slightly 'Hollywoodized’ version of the films," Crehan says, referring to "Prefontaine" (released in 1997) and "Without Limits" (released in 1998).

"Although the films delve into his character and what makes him who he is, they can only do it to a certain level if they want to appeal to a full audience," Crehan says, "whereas in a graphic novel there’s more room for you to explore that without alienating your audience, whilst also filling the book with great race action sequences."

Crehan is attempting to raise the equivalent of roughly $7700 by September 11.

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