At 12:15 p.m. on April 19, 1897, Tom Burke scraped the heel of his boot across the narrow dirt road in front of Metcalf's Mill in Ashland, Massachusetts to create the starting line for the American Marathon, as the inaugural edition of the Boston Marathon was called. As a reporter described it at the time, Burke called for the contestants and fifteen men responded.
Since that first race, when a Civil War veteran was president of the United States and the Wright brothers were still making bicycles, more than 640,000 other runners have answered the same call. The Boston Marathon isn't just the oldest marathon in the world, but the most esteemed. Every year, thousands of runners across the planet try to meet its challenging qualifying times, dreaming of stepping into more than a century of history. Some make it, others fall short and try again. Since the devastating finish-line bombing in 2013, the reverence and demand for the Boston Marathon has only increased.
As the founder and back-page columnist of iRun magazine and the host of its radio show and podcast, Mark Sutcliffe has interviewed hundreds of runners who have chased Boston. And over the course of more than five years and more than a dozen marathons, he too closed in on his qualifying time, failing several times before finally earning a spot in the 2015 race.
Long Road to Boston combines the history of the world's most coveted marathon with the personal journey of one ordinary runner who seeks to fulfill his ultimate amateur athletic quest. Tracing back to the marathon's roots in Greek mythology and sharing the stories of the many colourful and inspiring characters who have crossed Boston's finish line, the book explores why modern runners challenge themselves with such ambitious goals and revels in the reward of a lifelong dream fulfilled.
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Reviewed by Tim Scapillato
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!] Date Added: Monday 03 October, 2016
I just finished reading the e-book version on the weekend. I have read a lot of books about the Boston Marathon, but this one really spoke to me more than any other. Once I started reading it, I wasn't able to put it down. I am amazed at how many details of the course and the experience that Mark was able to retain on his first time running Boston. I have run Boston 16 times since 1991. I was so overwhelmed with the experience my first time running it that much of it was a blur. It wasn't until I went back and ran it again (and again and again) that I began to really appreciate what was going on out there. Long Road to Boston captures it so well. What I really appreciated was that it was from a non-elite runner perspective. This will really resonate with anyone who has run Boston but has not broken the tape or left town with prize money in their pocket. And also with anyone who aspires to run Boston. Mark Sutcliffe has shown that anything is possible if you want it badly enough. This book could have been called "Long Road to Hopkinton", as the author chronicles the drive, ambition and desire involved in getting to the start line of this iconic marathon. Getting to the finish line was icing on the cake.
|Size: ||2.8 MB|
|Publisher: ||Great River Media|
|Date published: || 2016|
|ISBN: ||9780986824296 (DRM-EPUB)|
|Read Aloud: ||not allowed|