John Brant began his writing career in California in the 1980s, producing reporting and non-fiction narrative covering sports, science, health and business. A writer-at-large for Runner's World magazine for more than 20 years, Brant was also a longtime contributing editor and columnist at Outside. He has contributed features to The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, National Geographic Adventure, Inc., New York Times Play Magazine, Men's Health, Travel & Leisure, Best Life, Worth, and other publications. Brant's work has been nationally recognized and widely anthologized; four of his magazine stories have been selected for the annual Best American Sports Writing collection. His 2006 book Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America's Greatest Marathon stands among the enduring works in the sport of distance running. A native of the Philadelphia area, Brant lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Patricia. The couple has two children in their 20s.
Alberto Salazar is coach of Nike's Oregon Project, which combines his expert knowledge of running and training methods and cutting-edge technology to create radically better marathoners. He burst onto the American and world marathon scene with a victory in the 1980 New York City Marathon. During his running career, he set one world and six U.S. records in various distances. After a hiatus lasting more than a decade, he made a comeback in 1995, when he won the Comrades Ultramarathon in South Africa.