Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Randy L. Sharer  

Pen Name: Randy Sharer


Audience: Adult;

Born: in

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Illinois Connection

Sharer has been a sports journalist for the Bloomington Pantagraph newspaper since 1981. He lives in Normal.

Biographical and Professional Information

Randy Sharer has served as the track and cross country beat writer at the Bloomington Pantagraph. He has won awards from the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association and the Illinois Press Association. A runner himself, Randy set school records in junior high, high school, and college. He graduated with a degree in English from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Virgin Territory: The Story of Craig Virgin, America's Renaissance Runner
ISBN: 0996506519

Randy L. Sharer. 2017

Nearly 40 years ago, Craig Virgin had enough confidence to think he could dominate American distance running in all its forms. For three years, he did just that while displaying the spirit of a renegade and the soul of a champion.

He remains the only U.S. male to win the world cross country title, a feat he accomplished twice. At every stage of his journey to the top in cross country, track, and road racing, he hurdled roadblocks which cut short the careers of many contemporaries.

Virgin Territory: The Story of America's Renaissance Runner provides a thrilling look at the rough-and-tumble running boom of the 1970s and 80s when Craig competed against legends such as Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, Nick Rose, Rod Dixon, Greg Meyer, and Herb Lindsay many times and once raced the late great Steve Prefontaine. Craig would be better known if not for the Olympic boycott of 1980, the year he ran the world's fastest 10K.

The son of an Illinois farmer, he survived a life-threatening health scare as a youngster. Those now making road race participation boom again will be inspired by this overlooked legend, who helped transform his sport from amateur to professional.

Speaking Engagements

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