The Frontrunner

Russ Clayton is a young man who keeps losing the important people in his life. Each time someone disappears, he finds himself left adrift. The Universe stacked against him. He only finds peace running alone on the roads of his small town in Kansas. 

Russ finally believes that everyone in his life is gone. Feeling abandoned, reckless, and liberated, he gives himself up wholly to the running by setting an impossible goal. But, he needs help.  

Long ago, Brad Coy was the fastest marathoner on the planet, but a man who also lost everything he valued to a cheating Russian runner named Yuri Grimlov.  Finding a kinship, Coy and Russ team together, retreat to the desert, and undertake a quest to shatter the brain’s protective hold on the body that prevents us from reaching our physical limits of speed and endurance. 

On the other side of the world, Grimlov has been charged with restoring Russia’s tarnished reputation for doping its distance runners. He takes two young twin boys from their family and subjects them to his special mixture of psychological manipulation, doping, and scientific training. The boys, however, come to him already strongly shaped by their fraternal rivalries leavened with a heavy dose of their mother’s demanding ethics and branded by their father’s superstitions.

Inevitably, through their proteges, Coy and Grimlov face off again. From that competition, Russ discovers whether he really ever was alone in the world and the Twins confront the limits of their love for each other. 

What People Are Saying About The Frontrunner

“Brad Fawley’s first novel aims high. A well-crafted, realistic story of overcoming loss through running morphs into the ultimate Olympic golden fantasy…this is Once a Runner on steroids.” 

—Roger Robinson, award-winning author, Boston & New York masters record-breaker

“A book that rivals the cult classic, John Parker‘s Once a Runner. Fawley captures everything runners face—from the challenges of training and racing at all levels to life and love. . . . Brad‘s writing cannot be beaten.”

—Larry Coy, Six-Time All American Distance Runner

“Even if you’ve never laced up a pair of running shoes, you’ll fall in love with The Frontrunner—a modern-day ‘Breaking Away.’  Fawley’s startling first novel immediately gets you behind his underdog hero, Russ Clayton. Alone, with everything stacked against him, he chases an impossible dream, only to find the elixir he seeks has been right before his eyes all along. Like the best stories, it is a celebration of human resilience, honor, sacrifice, and triumph over loss.”

Hawk Ostby, writer of the Oscar-nominated screenplay for Children of Men,
the Marvel movie Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens, and the hit television series, The Expanse

About the Author
Brad Fawley started running in 7th grade. He was a small college All-American in Cross-Country and 5000 meters. After earning a Master’s Degree in Oceanography and his law degree from the University of Virginia, Brad practices law as an intellectual property and environmental litigator and has learned the value of storytelling. He has been awarded three U.S. patents for automotive tools. Brad and his wife split their time between Vermont and California and, blessed with good genetics and knees, most every morning you can find him either outside running or working on his next book.

The Frontrunner
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 420
Price: $26.95 (CA $35.95)
ISBN: 9798987663165
Publication Date: APRIL 2024
Distributor: IPG/Chicago, Ingram.
Rights sold: All rights available.
Rights & PR: Dede Cummings,

Distributor: IPG; also available through Follett/Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and other wholesalers.
Individuals can pre-order directly from, or contact your local, independent bookstore.
Booksellers, libraries, colleges/universities, gift shops, etc., can order through IPG:
Independent Publishers Group
814 N. Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Order Placement: (800) 888-4741

To request an advance reader copy—digital or print—email