About the novel
Based on a real-life legend that a woman “wearing red” slipped into the 1951 Boston Marathon before women were allowed to compete, RUNNER IN RED is a period piece set against the backdrop of the 2000 Boston Marathon, the Millennial marathon. Written by Tom Murphy, who co-authored Just Call Me Jock – a history of the Boston Marathon – this fictional mystery is also a love story, family drama and uplifting tale of the human spirit that explores the history of women’s running in page turning fashion.
The goal of the ESSAY COMPETITION is to give today’s women runners a chance to share positive ways running contributes to their lives against the backdrop of a “mystery runner” from an era when women were not allowed to run.
Proceeds from the novel support expansion of this essay competition as well as a campaign to help cure lung cancer in memory of Murphy’s late wife, Barb (a marathon runner.)
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Reviews and Testimonials
Runner in Red moves faster than a speeding bullet through the streets of Boston, capturing the essence of an old myth and excitement of a new empowering story of women, passion, courage, and heart.
Kathrine Switzer, first registered woman runner of the Boston Marathon in 1967 and ran it 50 years later, in 2017. Founder, 261 Fearless, which empowers women through running
…an entertaining, fast-paced, mystery thriller weaving real-life characters and historically accurate events into a scintillating tale… This novel is a must read for all fans of running.
Jack Fultz, winner of the 1976 Boston Marathon and trainer for the Dana Faber charity running programs
Tom Murphy’s Runner in Red is an incredible story with so much local color and facts one could almost believe his book may be more fact than fiction.
Gloria G. Ratti, Vice President Boston Athletic Association
This is a magical story!
Uta Pippig, Three time Boston Marathon women’s champion
Whatever it takes to run a marathon, women have ‘It’ in abundance. The mystery of course is why it took so long to give them an opportunity. Runner in Red is about running, but it’s about so much more—life, relationships, resiliency.
Bob Hodge, third place finisher Boston, 1979, and winner of Beppu Marathon, Japan, 1982
People are going to love this story
Bill Rodgers, four time winner of the Boston and New York City Marathon.
Read more about the story behind Runner in Red
About the Author
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Tom Murphy—a life-long runner—taught in Boston schools where he quickly fell in with the road running crowd. With John J. Kelley, the 1957 Boston Marathon winner, Tom wrote Just Call Me Jock in 1982, a history of the Boston Marathon as seen through the eyes of Jock Semple, the colorful race co-director. Tom’s novel, Runner in Red, is a fictional search for the ‘runner wearing red” in 1951 but it is also a love story, moving family drama and life-affirming celebration of the human spirit. In 2006, Tom wrote a book about the aviation heroes on 9/11, called Reclaiming the Sky, which led the president of Fordham University to invite Tom to create an institute, the Human Resiliency Institute, to put healing lessons from the book into programs. The institute’s lead program, (Resiliency) Edge4Vets, teaches vets how to tap their strengths to get jobs. See more at edge4vets.org. Tom also created a beer, called Barb’s Beer, which works in collaboration with the Bonnie Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and enlists partner restaurants to serve the beer and support GRACE (cancerGRACE.org,) a charity founded by Barb Murphy’s oncologist, Dr. Howard West, one of America’s leading experts working to cure lung cancer. See barbsbeer.org for details.