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The Long Walk is a really sick, but fascinating,  novel by a guy named Richard Bachman written in 1978, (later aka Stephan King), and a must read for the serious day hiker.  The bizarre plot is simple enough: one hundred young boys compete in a marathon, The Long Walk. They are monitored by a military truck and an enigmatic father-figure known only as The Major. The goal is to walk, and walk, and walk. The rules: you cannot walk slower than three miles an hour, you cannot interfere with the other Walkers, and you cannot stop. If any of these rules are broken, you get a warning. A Walker can get three Warnings. Then, they are shot. The winner is the one left alive.

I read The Long Walk a month before I did the 100km hike  (2001) along the Potomac River.  My ex-wife had sent it to me - was she trying to tell me something?   Actually, it was a great mental preparation for a marathon plus hike.  Reading the book made the real event seem like a walk in the park.  

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