Fast Girl: Running from Madness (book review)


Reading Wendy’s book review of “Fast Girl” by Suzy Favor Hamilton reminded me that it was a book I was interested in, too. My library had it, it was available quickly, and I read it in three days. It’s been a while since I read a book so quickly — her ghost writer did a great job!

This is the story of Suzy Favor Hamilton, a gifted runner, a 3 time Olympian who never medaled, and, yes, the number two escort in Las Vegas at one time.

I actually have a connection to the book, which I did not realize until I read it. Basically, Suzy pretty much was an escort in the year between her appearances at RnR Las Vegas 2011 and 2012.

Guess which one was my first half marathon? And guess who walked the 2012 one with an injured friend?

Somehow Suzy Favor Hamilton was never on my radar, despite the fact that I enjoy the talks and attended a lot of them. And the fact that when she was meeting with her “boss” at the escort service, at the Venetian, I’m pretty sure I might even have been in the vicinity at the same time. I certainly could picture many of the scenes she describes in her book, although there are a lot of other scenes I definitely can’t picture or fathom.

I disagree with Wendy about not enough detail about Suzy’s collegiate running — almost a third of the book does detail her running career. I think, at the heart, Suzy wants to educate people about bipolar disease, which she was eventually diagnosed with and to which she lost her brother to suicide.

It makes me ponder the connection between running and addiction, because clearly Suzy had an addiction to winning, to shopping, to running, to sexual conquests. But that’s a blog post for another day.

Like Wendy, I can only shake my head at Suzy’s husband’s complicity in his wife’s escort career, because yes, while she makes it clear he did not approve of it and it in fact did drive a huge wedge into their marriage, he knew what she was doing. At least most of the time.

I found myself wondering if Suzy’s hypersexuality was merely a symptom of her as yet undiagnosed disease, why was none of it directed towards her husband, who she made clear was more a roommate than a husband during this portion of her life, despite the fact that he was/is the love of her life and the father of her child.

Was it because he was already a conquest and only new ones could fuel her need to be the “best”? And until her first threesome — an anniversary gift, no less — her husband was the only man she had ever slept with. Keep in mind, though, that we only get Suzy’s side of the story (although obviously she had her husband’s blessing to write the book, or so it would seem).

And they are still married. Best or worst husband ever? I guess you’ll have to read the book to decide!

I wonder, too, what her daughter will think of the book and her mother when inevitably she reads it at some date.

I don’t think Suzy really quite knew what she wanted to do with the book. Educate people about bipolar? Talk about her running career? Stroke her ego by putting her back into the limelight?

In the end it’s an easy, entertaining read about a life I cannot imagine and I do recommend it. See what other bloggers thought of “Fast Girl” at Wendy’s bookclub:

Switching gears completely, today’s Tuesdays on the Run is about gear you’d buy all over again:

  1. Old Faithful (aka my treadmill)
  2. Balega, Feetures, or Smartwool running socks (oh wait, I do buy them all the time!)
  3. Running skirts from Skirtsports or Sparkleskirts
  4. The North Face Thermoball (another recommendation from Wendy)
  5. C9 Tights from Target
  6. The Stick
  7. Cambelbak Handheld water bottle
  8. The Original Worm (I received this for free in return for a review, and then bought a second one on sale for myself).
None of the above are affiliate links, just products I enjoy.


I’m also linking up with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.

What running gear to you buy every chance you get?

23 thoughts on “Fast Girl: Running from Madness (book review)

  1. Thanks for this thoughtful review! You are right, it is only her side of the story, but it is her book. Her husband? Probably the best husband in the world. Too bad she didn’t appreciate it. When my sister and I went to LV, we stayed at the Venetian. We had fun, but nothing like what she described.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Feetures & smartwool socks but only when they are cheap. Anything C9 from Target. I like a bargain. SkirtSports skirts & capris (being an Ambassador captain helps with that.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I need new socks and love the Feetures and Balega. I’ve a few pairs for quite a while and it’s time to replace them. I wouldn’t normally be excited for socks and they’re running socks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I guess I should have been looking for her when I was there 😉 I will read the book sometime soon. It sounds interesting.
    Thank you for walking that race with me, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I’ve heard of this book somewhere, or read a detailed review, or maybe even an article in a magazine, I can’t remember, but this story is very familiar to me for some reason! Very nice thoughts on the book! As for gear, I just ordered myself a new pair of Glycerin’s (a full size up, yay!), the only thing I’ve decided I can’t do without, especially after my feet melted in Maui. 😀 My new shoes are going to be my PR shoes, I can just feel it, haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ok now I have to read that book! I have read a few reviews of this book but it didn’t sound like it was much of a running book. But after your review, it sounds like there is just the right amount. Like you, the one thing I would purchase again is a treadmill. I use it almost every day. Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I haven’t worn out a pair yet and I’ve been wearing them for several years. Then again, I’m not super hard on my socks — I’ve never poked a hole in any sock with my toes (or through my shoes, either).

        And of course I’m not running marathons, either. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like a very interesting book! But a lifestyle I simply can’t fathom. Swiftwick are my current favorite sock. They did me right during the marathon. I got horrible blisters once while racing in Feetures. I’m a little gun shy now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So far, knock on wood, I’ve never had a blister from running.

      I hear good things about Swifwicks; I just haven’t tried them yet.

      So many socks, so little time.

      If I’d had blister from a sock, I’m sure I wouldn’t go back to them, either.


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