About Charles

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Charles Kastner has written two highly praised books about the 1928 and 1929 "bunion derbies", the nickname for the two epic footraces across America.

Through books, magazines, podcasts, and public speaking engagements, Kastner has opened these forgotten races to legions of running enthusiasts, who have been inspired by the "bunioneers" as examples of courage and perseverance in the face of impossible odds.

Kastner is currently working on his third and final book about the bunion derbies: the story of Toby Joseph Cotton Junior's race across America in the 1928 Bunion Derby. After his father was paralyzed in a car accident, this fifteen year old, high school freshman entered the race in hopes of helping his struggling family.

Charles is uniquely prepared to write about the derbies. He holds a M.A. in History from Washington State University and is an avid long distance runner. He started his running career in 1970 at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Washington, where he earned three varsity letters as a cross-country runner. He went on to run more than one hundred five-kilometer, ten-kilometer and half marathon races as well as completing over twenty marathons and one ultra.

He is married and the father of three children, and the grandfather of two granddaughters. His wife, Mary, and all of their children have run marathons. Two of their three children have run ultra-marathons.