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Sam's Book

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I have hit the finish line!

My marathon journey to research and write a book about marathon running (and other races) has been completed.  In my own mind, I have earned a PR.  I don’t need a finisher’s medal.  I have the actual book in hand.  It’s a great feeling.

Now, I want to give you some of that great feeling.

The book is available in multiple formats.

Limited edition copy signed by the author – Order form here

Order form content:  Please send us your name, mailing address, and how many books you want.  The cost of one book is $15 for the book (with free shipping).  The book(s) will be mailed to you from Ennis, Montana. There are two methods to pay. 

  1. Send a check for the total amount due to:  Sam Korsmoe  PO Box 1110  Ennis, MT 59729

  2. Pay by credit/debit card below. 

A World Gone Mad for Marathons is about the incredible growth of organized marathons around the world as well as the growth of many other sporting events (i.e. ultras, trail races, triathlons, IRONMANs, duathlons, cycling races, 10Ks, and 5Ks).  This growth is occurring irrespective of gender, age, body shape or size, ethnicity, culture, or country.  For numerous reasons, millions of people around the world are signing up for sporting events and saying ‘Go.’

In the past 10 years, the number of marathons worldwide has tripled (from around 2,000 in 2009 to an anticipated 6,000 by the end of 2019).  The world’s most famous marathons (e.g. New York, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Chicago, etc…) have long ago resorted to lotteries to allow runners in.  One of the newest countries on the high speed marathon train is China.   In just the past few years, cities with absolutely no history or experience in hosting marathons are doing so and tens of thousands of runners sign up within the first few hours.  The ‘why is this happening’ question is one of the themes of this book. 

Through its 10 chapters, the book looks at the primary drivers of this trend such as community, overcoming adversity, responding to stress and depression, and other causes.  Each chapter profiles an athlete who shares his or her story on why they are so driven to just keep running and competing.   I also shares my own humorous efforts to complete a marathon. In fact, it was one of our own – the Madison Marathon – at an average elevation of 9,000 feet above the oceans.

I’ve been a Montana race director for more than 12 years and have built an eight-race series in the Yellowstone region of Montana. The keystone race of the series is the Madison Marathon which is a road marathon with an average elevation of over 9,000 feet.  The starting line is higher than the highest mountain peaks in all but 13 states of the USA.  I’m planning to export part of the Yellowstone series abroad. 

In what I hope is a witty and personal voice, I shed light on ‘the why’ of this trend and offer readers a race director’s insight and point of view of the athletes who do these events.  This is not a book on ‘how to run’ a marathon, but more of a ‘why I should also do one.’  My goal is to inspire couch potatoes and aging athletes that they too can be part of this global phenomenon.  All you gotta do is say Go.

I hope you will consider buying this book.  At least some people think it’s a good read (see reviews below)

Stay Happy, Healthy, and Always Keep Running Forward.


Order Book
You can also purchase it on Amazon
and Barnes & Noble

Early Reviews

“’A World Gone Mad for Marathons’ is a must read for everyone even vaguely interested in running.  To the seasoned runner or athlete, this book is a treasure trove of anecdotes, stories, and allusions to everything the runner has obsessed about his or her whole life.  For the non-runner, this is probably the best way to understand that very obsession.”

David Summerfield – Race Director

Bridger Ridge Run (1994-2019)

Stopped counting marathons completed at 80. 

                                                                                                P.R. at Boston in 1985 (2:42:48)


“Through bios of runners with extreme achievements, Sam paints a picture of a dramatic, world that all (with the right drive and much stamina) can enter and participate in.  I was pleased by the variety of the marathoners described, which adds to the feeling that “anyone can do it.”  An energetic, enthusiastic tone helps drive the book along.”  

Lois Berkowitz – President, Newsletter Editor

50 States Marathon Club

Newsletter Editor, Toledo Roadrunners Club Footprints

Completed 441 marathons and Ultras

Completed all 50 states four times (5 states left for 5th time)


“The book is written in a style that keeps the reader “hanging on for more” as he jumps from one subject to the next and back again.  By the end, all the strands of thoughts and observations, facts, compelling profiles of runners, and inspirational stories have been woven into a read that you won’t put down….. If you are searching for a way to “turn the corner” in your life, the inspirational stories and runners profiles recounted in this book may be the reasons you challenge yourself to consider marathoning."

Robert Bishton (a.k.a. Cowboy Jeff) – Founding Member

 International Marathon Globetrotters Club

Seven-continent finisher and marathons in 50 countries

Completed over 420 marathons and ultras

Completed all 50 states six times

“It was interesting to read the personal experiences of marathoners. The connections between the author’s marathon experience and the other marathoners’ experiences kept the pace moving. It was fun to read the adventures of “chronic marathoners” that I am friends with.  It makes me feel more “normal.”

Paula Boone – Co-Founder of the 50 States Marathon Club

Completed 350 marathons

Completed all 50 states four times


“The stories of the ten profiled runners demonstrate that not all heroes wear capes. In fact, they come in all shapes, sizes, gender and age. They are survivors and fighters and fearless. I admired them greatly. Community, a prime focus of the book, is apparent.” 

Winnie Lok – Atlanta Track Club

Manager of Events


“To be honest, I prefer running, rather than reading about it. But if you set yourself to reading a book about it, you could do a lot worse than Sam Korsmoe’s ‘A World Gone Mad for Marathons’  I had not expected that you could write so much about running, but he managed to keep me spellbound throughout the book with very recognizable running stories and personalities.”

Sytze Jarigsma - Founder

Danang Hash House Harriers


“An easy, short read that makes you think about why you personally run/race, rather than more advice on how to improve your running performance.”

Kate Hill - Partner

Run China Tours

                                    Highly Ranked Ultra Trail Runner


“Sam Korsmoe brings global marathon madness to life. You'll hear the crack of the starting gun and feel your pulse quicken as you go behind-the-scenes and onto the marathon courses fueling the boom. Lace up because this is a fast and fun course!”


Greg Nance - "GregRunsFar"

Fastest Known Time record-holder for runs across Shanghai, LA, and Chicago.

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