“Running with Raven: The Amazing Story of One Man, His Passion and the Community He Inspired” by Laura Lee Huttenbach
Running, biography, inspiration, streak
April 25, 2017
5 of 5 stars (outstanding)
It can be difficult to make a resolution to do anything every day as unforeseen circumstances may force one to miss a day. Now imagine trying to do an eight-mile run on the beach every day – for 40 years! Believe it or not, that has been accomplished by Robert “Raven” Kraft, a resident of Miami Beach. That accomplishment and his story is captured in this outstanding book by Laura Lee Huttenbach.
The streak, while a wonderful accomplishment, is only part of the story. Raven’s personality and perseverance has grown into a running community that is like no other. Thousands of people have made the run alongside Raven over the decades and they share a common bond of not only running, but also being honored with a nickname given by Raven. Raven not only remembers nicknames, but also personal details of nearly every single running in this community. It has grown to have its own set of awards and an annual dinner since 1996. Raven’s steak also has been the subject of numerous news segments and an ESPN segment on the weekly show “Outside the Lines.
Huttenbach, who has many runs with Raven and the nickname “White Lightning” writes the book from an intimate view that most would not be able to see. Because of her membership in the community, she is able to share details about Raven’s life that many other authors could not obtain about their subjects. Such as the self-described hoarding that Raven does, the pain he felt for many years over the estrangement of his father and his belief that a country music song he wrote was plagiarized. By deciding to channel these emotions into an eight-mile run along the sandy beach, he not only changed his own life, but the lives of many others as well.
The reader will enjoy the many stories about Raven’s runs and some of the other members of this running family. Whether it was running through Hurricane Gilbert with “Springman”, running when Hurricane Andrew was arriving, or going on runs with others who have been there many times like “Taxman”, “Copy Man” and “Sailor” or even some who have only done it once, there isn’t a word wasted as the reader will be enthralled and want to know even more about the legendary runner. It may even inspire one to start his or her own running streak or just try to make a difference. It is a book that should be read by anyone who wants an uplifting and inspiring story.
I wish to thank Kensington Publishing Corporation for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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