Every book about running is a biography or a how-to. It seems inconceivable that someone could write a compelling book of fiction that would absolutely be worth reading. However, Charles Ricciardi, author, and filmmaker has found a gem of a story and brought it to life. His second book, Ricciardi has spent 25 years in the film industry, writing screenplays and producing feature films and documentaries. As an avid runner and hiker, The Great Appalachian Trail Race is his first book of this kind. And he knocked it out of the park.
The Great Appalachian Trail Race is the story of a young man whose collegiate track career went awry and led him to become a through-hiker of the Appalachian Trail. In a crazy turn of events, he finds himself toeing the line against two of his former college track mates, to race the entire trail, south to north. Through this daunting task of traveling more than 2,160 miles, Ricciardi takes his readers through the highs and lows of not just hiking, but racing this immense trail.
Ricciardi paints a wonderful portrait of through hiking and ultra running, allowing us into the lives of his characters and the community of thru-hiking. His descriptions of the Appalachian mountains and the people who value it most are beautiful portrayed throughout the entire novel. In only 232 pages, Ricciardi takes the reader through a wonderful journey of beauty, heartache, and ultimately elation in a myriad of twists and turns that can only be found on the iconic Appalachian Trail.
Ricciardi has found a story in a forest of how-to books and biographies. We highly recommend The Great Appalachian Trail Race to anyone looking for a fun read about running and hiking one of the nation’s most iconic long trails.