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The fly on the wall insider account is a hallmark of sports literature, and when the subjects are open and engaging and on field happenings dramatic and captivating think A Season on the Brink andrecently Collision Low Crossers these books can be some of the best of genre Long distance running,spectator unfriendly than most other non Curling sporting activities and beset by slim literary pickings once fictional the John L Parker novels are decent but always dragged for me when Quentin wasn t running and instructional Lore of Running and Daniels Running Formula are essential training guides but not exactly beach reads fare are excluded, has never been subject to the insect atop plaster treatment This changes on October 27th, a little less than a week before this year s New York City Marathon, with Ed Caesar s Two Hours, a much needed Just Published To Extraordinary Acclaim In Britain As Hoop Dreams For Runners The Spectator And A Celebration Of The Human Spirit The Observer , Two Hours Is The First Book From A Blazing New Talent Who Has Established Himself As Perhaps The Best New Long Form Magazine Writer Since The Arrival Of John Jeremiah Sullivan The Guardian And Whose Reportage Has The Wonderfully Old Fashioned Feel Of The Very Best Of American Journalism The Sunday Times Two Hours To Cover Twenty Six Miles AndYards It Is Running S Everest, A Feat Once Seen As Impossible For The Human Body But Now We Can Glimpse The Mountaintop The Sub Two Hour Marathon Will Require An Exceptional Combination Of Speed, Mental Strength, And Endurance The Pioneer Will Have To Endure , Live Braver, Plan Better, And Be Luckier Than Anyone Who Has Run Before So Who Will It Be In This Spellbinding Book, Journalist Ed Caesar Takes Us Into The World Of Elite Marathoners Some Of The Greatest Runners On Earth Through The Stories Of These Rich Characters, Like Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai, Around Whom The Narrative Is Built, Caesar Traces The History Of The Marathon As Well As The Science, Physiology, And Psychology Involved In Running So Fast For So Long And He Shows Us Why This Most Democratic Of Races Retains Its Brutal, Enthralling Appeal And Why We Are Drawn To Test Ourselves To The Limit Two Hours Is A Book About A Beautiful Sport Few People Understand It Takes Us From Big Money Races In The United States And Europe To Remote Villages In Kenya It S About Talent, Heroism, And Refusing To Accept Defeat It Is A Book About Running That Is About Much Than Running It Is A Human Drama Like No Other While not exactly what I d expected, Ed Caesar has done a remarkable job of cohesively stringing together information that he s gathered over much time spent with elite Kenyan primarily, there is also some exposure to Ethiopian elites, as well runners he has given generously of his time, resources, skills and goodwill to make these interviews and fact finding missions possible In return, he has been provided unprecedented access to international races, athletes, their coaches and their culture to share an update with readers, in layman s terms, on the quest to get closer to a mythical marathon finish time Although he interviews and writes about several other elite level distance runners, and gives a succinct history and breakdown of the marathon as a distance race, the primary foc A history of the marathon that lobs in a few insights about running Aside from that, I suspect the book was hashed out as PR for a shoe manufacturer Caesar seems keen to cast doubt on Chris McDougall s barefoot running theory and it neatly precedes Nikes two hour marathon project.
This came out a year prior to the announcement of Nike s Breaking2 project, which I found funny as Adidas is mentioned consistently throughout the book Some interesting stuff about training but ultimately just jumps around too much and could have been cut down.
This was a heck of a book The history of distance races was new to me, as was much of the day to day life of people in the high altitude towns of Kenya from which so many fast distance runners originate Geoffrey Mutai is a great centerpiece for this book analyzing marathons from several angles It was such a shame to read the chapter about performance enhancing drugs and their effects upon distance running Baseball and weightlifting are not alone w this scourge, apparently I was hoping for a different ending, but life is like that A thrilling ride now I want to get outside and go running I did receive an ARC in exchange for this review It was a heck of a book I recommend it.
Arriscaria diria que um livro apenas para aficionados da corrida, mas para estes e estas uma leitura empolgante, e pelo menos para mim despertou ainda maior curiosidade pelo fen meno da corrida de longa dist ncia em velocidade e dos seus her is aqui apenas no masculino A escrita combina muito bem o relato em registo dram tico de grandes disputas na hist ria apesar de tudo breve da maratona com breves epis dios biogr ficos de grandes lendas da modalidade, como os lend rios Abebe Bikila, Haile Gebrslassie ou o malogrado Samuel Wanjiru com estes dois ltimos partilhei o percurso de duas meias maratonas h uns anos atr s ou o fen meno Geoffrey Mutai Retratos de vidas humildes e turbulentas, de sacrif cio e auto supera o admir veis, com as quais temos muito a aprender.
It s good journalism and storytelling Being perfectly honest I don t know how much interest this book will hold for non runners, but I found it fascinating There are four main themes there the history of marathon running, the assault on the titular Two Hours record, the analysis of Kenyan running phenomenon and the story of one of the top Kenyan marathon runners Geoffrey Mutai The themes are interlinked and well balanced I personally enjoyed the history of the marathon racing the most.
I have two minor criticisms with this book, which prevent me from giving it five stars One is perhaps rather childish it is about the following phrase In the first Olympic marathon, in 1896, only the Greek winner, Spyridon Louis, broke three hour