Our new issue, “Running Alone” by Halimah Marcus, connects the physical and spiritual lives of three family members: Albert, Irene, and Hunter. It’s difficult to pull off three different points of view in one short story, but Halimah Marcus handles it with great skill, the same way her character Hunter outpaces the competition in the middle-distance races that consume his life. Hunter is a talented teenager, with a remarkable ability to focus and lose himself in the physical act of running. Coached by his father Albert—a high school teacher who finds his peace in mathematical formulas—Hunter puts all of his energy toward the upcoming National Championships, until an unexpected illness rears its head, and Hunter must learn to push beyond his physical strength to become mentally tough as well. His mother Irene, meanwhile, has her own rough path to tread, and yet seems to find a way to tether this high-flying father and son back to the earth. By weaving together the inner lives of this family, “Running Alone” captures how we all strive to remain connected to one another, even as our individual obsessions threaten to consume us. Be sure to check out the author Q&A to hear about the research Halimah did for this story, as well as her feelings about calculus, Steve Prefontaine’s hair, and her own experience as a runner.