Book Review

Title: Reborn on the Run
Author : Catra Corbett
Genre: Memoir

There are times in life when you stumble upon things by accident and that turns out to be a much needed dose of inspiration.

I stumbled upon this book at a trail running event last month. It’s a memoir by Catra Corbett- an ultra-runner and the first American woman to run 100 miles or more on more than several occasions. She is also the first to run 212 miles in the Ozone wilderness and holds the fastest known double time for the 425-mile-long John Muir trail, completing it in 12 days, 4 hours and 57 minutes.

‘Reborn on the Run’ traces her journey from being a meth addictive who was busted for selling drugs to being reborn as a runner. Spending one night in prison was enough for her to set her life straight. Giving up her lifestyle that was dependent on drugs and abandoning her wild friends, she moves back to her mother’s place for a fresh start. She is introduced to running by her one ‘clean’ friend who pushes her to run a 10-km race. Hooked to the feel of the newly discovered runner’s high, Catra signs up for the San Francisco marathon. After which she goes on to conquer the most grueling ultra runs and trails including the daunting Western States Ultra.

The book takes the readers through Catra’s roller coaster journey in her life and also through some of the grueling races in California. We feel her pain as she runs on those forbidding terrains, encounters wild animals and harsh weather conditions. We feel her jubilance pulsating through her veins when she crosses that finish line. We feel her anguish when she loses her father and also her mother who was her sole cheer leader during her runs. We feel her agony when she enters into a bad marriage, during her loneliness and when her drug addict sister is enticed into the jaws of death.

Amidst these ups and downs, running becomes an ally and a getaway from her trauma. The running community becomes her family and Catra is more than addicted to this sport. Catra also mentions about her child abuse, unstable relationships and her discovery of her alter ego during her run which gives justice to the title.

Written in a compelling manner, Catra is candid and unabashedly honest. Her determination and grit comes through clearly while she embarks on those deadly and lonely wild terrains. Themes of pain, loss and love are touched upon here.

Every runner will resonate with each word in this book. It makes you realize that everything in life happens in order to shape you up into a person that you are today. In Catra’s case, being a drug addict eventually paved her way into becoming an ultra-runner.

A must read if you want that dose of an inspiration pill. An overdose of this one will still be rendered healthy. After all its the runner’s high!