From Publishers Weekly
In 1982, Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley ran the entire 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon neck and neck, finishing within two seconds of each other. For both, it was the pinnacle of a running career cut short, for Salazar because of a mysterious malaise, and for Beardsley because of a drug addiction that developed after a farm accident. Brant, a Runner's World
writer, weaves the tension of the race into the story of the decline of both runners. He's clearly a running enthusiast; few others would write of the race as "one of the signature moments in the history of distance running—perhaps, in the history of any sport." The story is sad yet triumphant; despite the end of serious running careers, both men made successes of their lives. Brant tells their tales reverently; his style creates distance instead of allowing readers into the runners' heads. While Brant's writing tends to be unfocused and melodramatic (when describing the women watching the marathon, he writes that they sounded "like Zulu women ululating on the hot road to Durban, raging gleeful keening"), runners especially will enjoy the suspense of the race. B&w photo insert. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Within the running community, the 1982 Boston Marathon is arguably the most memorable race in the modern era. It was a neck-and-neck battle between the favorite, Alberto Salazar, and an upstart at what would be the zenith of a sudden, meteoric rise, Dick Beardsley. Brant, a contributor to Runner's World
since 1985, re-creates the principals' careers leading up to the race, describes the race itself, and, most significantly, analyzes its aftermath. Neither runner was ever the same again. Beardsley suffered a mind-boggling series of physical setbacks that led to a serious addiction to pain killers. Salazar gradually slid into a paralyzing depression. Many inspirational sports stories, both fiction and nonfiction, center on individuals who found themselves trapped by some form of destructive self-indulgence before battling their way to the top. Neither the ebullient Beardsley nor the regal Salazar chose their personal burdens, but each approached life as a marathon, and both have overcome adversity and are now cruising comfortably down the stretch. Two inspiring tales, well told. Wes LukowskyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved