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26 Miles to Boston: The Boston Marathon Experience from Hopkinton to Copley Square Paperback – Bargain Price, March 1, 2003
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--Boston Athletic Association
--Jean Driscoll, Seven-Time Women's Wheelchair Champion
From the Back Cover
From the suburban town of Hopkinton to the center of metropolitan Boston, here are the mile-by-mile sights and sounds that confront the runners, and firsthand accounts - including the author's - of the pain and exhaustion they endure as they battle both the elements and the course's demanding terrain.
Here also is a rich and inspiring history of the marathon and of the men and women of varying skills and abilities whose own struggles, small victories, and personal triumphs have colored this magnificent event.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Now, I recognize that the BAA has more or less allowed bandits to run the course over the years. As such, it might not have been that bad if the author had simply stated something along the following lines: he respects the talent and effort it takes to qualify and he recognizes that, since he has not done so, his participation is not the same as a legitimate qualifier, but he is nevertheless giving his experiences as a first time marathoner, not as someone who has properly trained and qualified for Boston. But, the author makes no such statement.
In fact, the author berates Marty Liquori for suggesting that bandits should not be allowed to run. Here's an excerpt from the book (p. 43):
"Listen Marty, you're our guest. So mind your manners, pick up your check, and watch the race. When I cross that finish line some twenty-six miles down the road, not with a number but with the storied history of the Boston Marathon in my blood, then I will consider myself qualified!Read more ›
The author takes you through the course mile by mile - talking through the landmarks, history and even technical discussions of the course itself. I have to say that after reading the book, I felt even more honored to participate in the race (and a little nervous). The author does a wonderful job of capturing how this just isn't a race, it's an event that stretches through over a century of history - not only of the course, but of distance running itself.
Reading it before hand, made the course more alive and familiar to me while I ran it. Recognizing the landmarks and knowing the history behind each one gave me something to look forward to each mile (and in the later miles keep my mind off the suffering). And finally, it gave me a sense for the spirit of the event itself and the personal stories that are inextricably linked each year to it.
I did read a few reviews that admonished the author for running as a bandit, I respect that perspective and don't condone bandit'ing the race.
However, the author's real value in this book isn't his running prowess (as he readily admits time and time again). Rather, it's the hard work and research he obviously invested to bring all of this history to the reader. I can't think of a better way to personalize the 'data' than to relate it to an actual running of the course. True, it would be ideal if the author was also an elite runner who had qualified - but barring that intersection, I think it would have been a shame to not have this author share his research in the way that he did. That's what I believe the review should be rated on.
Hope you found this helpful. I strongly recommend this book and think it should almost be a required reading for anyone signing up to run Boston.
You'll be happy you read it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After finishing my first Boston Marathon in 2013 (I qualified on my 6th marathon),I found this book and thought it would be an enjoyable read and help me re-live the race... Read morePublished on May 26, 2013 by Jeff Wood
The mile by mile breakdown was nice and organized. The historical perspective and reverence that the author showed was great as well.Published on April 28, 2013 by John E Shafer
I loved Michael Connelly"s "26 Miles to Boston." I have read a number of running books lately, but Connelly's book was incredible. Read morePublished on September 29, 2012 by Suzanne R. Meier
A fast and motivating read. For anyone who aspires to run Boston, this book truly depicts what the Boston marathon is: a race like no other.Published on February 5, 2012 by Korzenik
I read this book wondering how the author managed to get into the marathon, since he'd only started his running career 6 months before the marathon and it wasn't until the night... Read morePublished on February 5, 2010 by John Lafayette
26 miles to Boston is verplichte kost voor de gene die de marathon van Boston willen gaan lopen.
Per mijl is aan gegeven wat je te wachten staat. Read more
Not sure this book would appeal as much to those who have not experienced the race personally. A nice light read for any runner though.Published on December 13, 2009 by Dave 1965
When I qualified to run my first Boston Marathon I was given a copy of this book. I had never been to Boston prior to the race. Read morePublished on April 4, 2008 by Alan
This book humanized one of the most famous road races in the world. It was a delight to read and thoroughly entertaining.Published on February 8, 2008 by John W. Potter