Acknowledgments

It’s a rare and wonderful thing when things you love collide in a single project and I’m deeply grateful to the many, many people who helped me along the way.

None of this would be possible without the support of Bloomberg, my journalistic home since 2002. Working there has provided me opportunities, challenges, and adventures I never imagined and I owe more than I can express to Bloomberg’s leadership, starting with Mike Bloomberg and Peter Grauer. I’ve been able to work for two amazing editors-in-chief, including Bloomberg News founder Matt Winkler, who hired me and has supported me for more than a dozen years. More recently, I’ve learned much from and been inspired by John Micklethwait.

John McCorry hired me almost 14 years ago and it’s an honor and pleasure to work closely with him these many years later. Reto Gregori has encouraged and challenged me, as has Chris Collins. Jennifer Sondag is my Bloomberg conscience and de facto life coach.

Evan Burton and Tula Batanchiev at Wiley understood the idea from the beginning, stuck with me, and helped me find the book in this big topic, adding their personal fitness experiences into the mix. James Belcher, a fellow endurance athlete, provided a burst of enthusiastic support that got me over this particular finish line.

Bob Bierman gave early encouragement and space to get this book going, and advice based on his triathlete adventures. Laura Chapman, work neighbor, friend, and yogi, endured the tortured final months of the manuscript. Kristi Huller, Tatiana Mishin, and Jay Hass all provided key introductions to characters in this book.

I’m grateful to friends and colleagues inside Bloomberg and beyond, especially those who, sometimes unwittingly, spurred me forward with a simple, “How’s that book coming along?” as well as insights from their own fitness lives. I’m indebted to Liz Hester, Duncan King, Allison Bennett, Laura Marcinek, Shelby Siegel, Katherine Sayers, Laura Zelenko, Karen Toulon, Tom Contiliano, Stephanie Ruhle, Erik Schatzker, David Westin, Kevin Sheekey, Meridith Webster, Lee Cochran, Ty Trippet, Jill Watanabe, Ashley Bahnken, Craig Gordon, Cory Johnson, Ken Karpay, Betty Liu, Kristen Hensley, Lisa Kassenaar, Barbara Morgan, Clyde Eltzroth, Holly Doran, Dennis O’Brien, Ashley Merryman, Stephanie Mehta, Stacy Kennedy, Adam Levy, Noam Neusner, Randy Whitestone, Chris Ullman, David Marchick, Deirdre Bolton, Mike Buteau, Rob Urban, Tallin Braun, Christine Ong, Robin Wood Sailer, Sally Armbruster, Suzanne Fleming, Jonathan Keehner, Derick Schaudies, Herbie and Ellen Calves, Jennifer Meyers, Beth and Steve Loffredo, Jim and Allie Baller, Denise and Bill Scaglione, Margaret and Dave Yawman, Burns and Ruth Patterson, and many others in Sleepy Hollow. I’m grateful for my association with the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, whose work I deeply believe in.

Wendy Naugle is a brilliant editor and writer, and a dedicated, crazy-fast runner to boot, making her invaluable to me over the course of this project, on the trails, and on the road to races that appear throughout this book. She’s also among a group of diehard fun runners that show up to run through Rockefeller State Park every weekend. The day that my neighbor Todd Ruppel, the unofficial mayor of the group, invited me to join that merry band changed me as a runner and person. Ben Cheever taught me a lot about writing and life on those trails.

My modern life as a runner began in 1999, when I watched my friend Billy Robins run a marathon at Disney World. Within months, he’d hooked me into his gang of runners. Through hundreds of phone calls, e-mails, and texts, he encouraged and cajoled me through a dozen marathons. He’s a coach and role model beyond compare. His wife, Kendra, by virtue of her unyielding support, knows more about marathons than most people who run them.

As the years go by, I’m increasingly grateful to early influences that set me on a rewarding path, including my teachers at Christ the King School in Atlanta, as well as St. Michael’s Elementary School and St. Thomas High School in Houston. It was at the latter, as a member of the cross country team and editor of The Eagle newspaper, that I first fell in love with both running and writing. My time at Georgetown University not only introduced me to my future wife, but taught me that I might actually make a living as a journalist. I learned both in the classroom, from professor/practitioners like Ted Gup, and in the hothouse of a college newspaper—the Georgetown Voice—where I found through writing and editing (and, most important, being edited) that there is no greater place than a newsroom.

My parents, Dennis and Debby Kelly, have made me the son, father, and writer I am, along with my brothers Wynne and Sam, architects of a perpetual, sometimes multi-continental “brother chat.” I’m grateful to my in-laws, Alice and Jack Kane, for their constant, unwavering support (and for being devoted viewers of Bloomberg TV).

My sons, Henry, William, and Owen, are nothing short of my soul. My wife, Jen, has made countless sacrifices and concessions to my craziness as both exercise fanatic and neurotic writer. I remain in awe of her grace and intelligence.


—JK

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