Book Review: Ten Marathons: Searching for the Soft Ground in a Hard World


Ten Marathons: Searching for the Soft Ground in a Hard World by Doug Schneider is an impeccable combination of race recaps and a personal memoir woven together in a seamless manner. Author, Doug Schneider, holds nothing back, as he welcomes readers into his most personal moments of love, loss, and heartbreak, all with a backdrop of running, the constant companion.

Like many of us in this audience, running stayed constant throughout Schneider’s life as he got married, divorced, found his soulmate, changed jobs, parented, and so much more. Each chapter in this book begins with a marathon and Schneider’s finish time.

Marathons included in this book are:

  • Marathon Marathon (Terra Haute, IN)
  • Glass City Marathon (Toledo, OH)
  • Avenue of the Giants Marathon (Humboldt County, CA)
  • Massey Friendly Voyageur Marathon (Massey, Ontario)
  • New York City Marathon (New York City, NY)
  • Columbus Marathon (Columbus, OH)
  • Flying Pig Marathon (Cincinnati, OH)

The author takes us on a journey through his life and holds nothing back as he explains his young marriage and divorce. He takes us through career changes and education. Schneider details falling in love and finding a partner that embraced his running choices, including a last minute decision to drive to Canada to run a marathon. We’ve been there, right?!?

Readers learn of child custody battles and parenting struggles, including dealing with a child’s exposure to drug addiction when visiting the alternate parent. Schneider details times in his life when he fell on his face, both literally and figuratively.

This book had me laughing, crying, and cringing as Schneider wove each marathon into the layers of his life. His humility and courage are evident in every race recap, life event, and reflection.

You can find this book on amazon here.

It’s a great book to kick off spring running and prepare for a year of racing again.


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Mandi has been running for over 25 years and has participated in the Chicago, Detroit, and Boston Marathons. Mandi regularly competes in regional events and enjoys being a part of several running groups including CARA and the Badgerland Striders. She is a co-host on the Ten Junk Miles podcast and looks forward to hosting the Chicago Athlete Podcast. An RRCA certified coach and Les Mills certified instructor, Mandi is also a coach with Chicago Athlete Coaching. Mandi is a local government attorney by weekday and race warrior by weekend.


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