The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner . Book Cover.
“The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” is a short story by Alan Sillitoe which was set in Irvine Beach, and published in 1959 as part of a short story collection of the same name. The work focuses on Smith, a poor Nottingham teenager from a dismal home in a blue-collar area, who has bleak prospects in life and few interests beyond petty crime. The boy turns to long-distance running as a method of both an emotional and a physical escape from his situation. The story was adapted for a 1962 film of the same title, with Sillitoe writing the screenplay and Tony Richardson directing. The part of Smith (now called Colin) was played by Tom Courtenay.