HCPL Welcomes Bill Blewett To Discuss His New Memoir
Harford County Public Library welcomes local author and celebrity Bill Blewett to the Abingdon Library on April 25 at 6:30 p.m. He will discuss and sign his latest book, “Fifty Years a Runner: My Unlikely Pursuit of a Sub-4 Mile and Life as a Runner Thereafter,” along with his first book, “The Science of the Fastball,” published in 2013. Books may be purchased in advance at a local bookstore or from Amazon.
Registration is recommended and visit https://programs.hcplonline.org/event/8347416.
“We are so pleased to have Bill Blewett join us for a book discussion and signing at the Abingdon Library. His life as a runner is fascinating, and his new book is sure to be a great read,” said Mary Hastler, CEO of Harford County Public Library.
Blewett sought to be a “walk-on” for the University of Oklahoma cross country team in 1965. Neither he nor the OU coach knew whether he had any talent as a runner. His one season of high school track did not indicate that he did. The coach told him he could try out but couldn’t be given any running shoes. Two weeks later he got the shoes, and six months later he toed the starting line with American record holder Jim Ryun, only to be lapped in a mile race in front of 10,000 screaming Ryun fans. Despite the overmatching, he persisted and became the Sooners' best distance runner. Three years after his last collegiate race, he was poised to break 4 minutes in the mile.
This memoir, which begins with his unlikely pursuit of a sub-4-minute mile, took 11 years to write. It presents what he did right, what he did wrong, what he learned along the way and what he learned too late to help him achieve his goal.
After 10 years, he focused on road racing and won many races, including the Peachtree 10K in Atlanta. At age 39, he broke his leg on a patch of ice in a pre-dawn workout. Once he healed, he kept running daily for fitness for 35 years, believing, as many long-time runners do, that it would ensure lifelong good health. A rare disease, however, forced him to give up running last year, after 57 years as a runner.
Blewett continues to write a weekly article for The Aegis
on running – track and cross county – which he began 40 years ago. He jokes that he is a stringer emeritus for doing so.
Harford County Public Library operates 11 branches located throughout Harford County offering access to ideas that inform, entertain and inspire. Last year the library interacted with its residents more than 12 million times – borrowing free materials, visiting branches and the website, using free WiFi, and attending classes and events. In 2021 Harford County Public Library was named a Star Library by Library Journal. For more information, visit HCPLonline.org.