a novel

by Autumn Konopka

For Libby, running was the one thing that made everything better. But when her depression hits so hard even running doesn’t help, she finds herself hopeless and alone on the edge of the Ben Franklin Bridge. Then there’s Mac. Handsome, intelligent, and surprisingly awkward, he has less than twelve weeks to prepare for a marathon he never intended to run. When Libby agrees to help Mac train, neither anticipates just how much one race could change their lives—if they’re willing to step off their predetermined paths and chart a new course together.



“Dark-night-of-the-soul turned meet-cute turned steamy romance? Check. Disarmingly accurate mental health and trauma rep that avoids sensationalizing mental illness? Double check.” Libby and Mac will set your heart racing in Autumn Konopka's wise and swoonful new novel. If you've ever questioned your endurance—as an athlete, a partner, or otherwise—Pheidippides Didn't Die will meet you in that place of doubt and offer an unforgettable light. This is a well-paced page-turner — get ready!” 

—Darla Himeles, Author of Cleave

“Autumn Konopka’s novel, Pheidippides Didn’t Die, is a moving portrayal of the complicated paradox that exists when a person wants to feel alive, but also wants to die. With relatable characters and visceral descriptions, Konopka’s work illuminates the brutal experience of living with complex trauma, PTSD, and depression, while also showing the strength, vulnerability, and hope that enable healing and growth. This beautifully written story about love and running and life is told with honesty and nuance. Pheidippides Didn’t Die will not just engage and entertain readers. It will inspire them to keep going, no matter what.”

—Nita Sweeney, Bestselling Author of
Depression Hates a Moving Target

“With a voice at once lyrical and unflinching, Konopka has written a novel that takes on some of the more difficult subjects of life: alcoholism, depression, suicide and the struggle to succeed in a world that often seems bent on making success impossible. Pheidippides Didn’t Die is a love story to Philadelphia, to literature, to the art of running, and—ultimately—a love story between two people who come together to pull themselves out of darkness and trauma  through the goal of finishing a marathon. Fiercely and sexily funny, Pheidippides takes us through the depths of despair (think mile 20 in a marathon) and ultimately out the other side into hope and the affirmation of life.” 

—Naomi Benaron, Author of Running the Rift,
winner of the Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction