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Duel in the Sun: The Story of Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America's Greatest Marathon Paperback – Bargain Price, March 6, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594866287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594866289
  • ASIN: B001OW5MYM
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,411,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A beautiful, heartbreaking book . . . Like that marathon 25 years ago, Duel in the Sun is absolutely riveting."—Michael Paterniti, author of Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain

"It’s an uplifting tale, all the more inspirational because it seems no uncomfortable detail has been spared in its telling. . . astonishing."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Two inspiring tales, well told."—Booklist

About the Author

JOHN BRANT has written regularly for Runner’s World since 1985 and has been a contributing editor for Outside magazine since 1992. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and National Geographic Adventure, among other publications. The Runner’s World feature, on which this book is based, was included in Best American Sports Writing 2005. Brant lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 45 customer reviews
Well written, pretty quick read.
L. Campbell
Alberto Salazar was the "golden boy" and the favorite.
Michael DENNISUK
I highly recommend this book to any runner.
Peter Jackson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Reader on April 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I remember the '82 Boston marathon well, and was thrilled to discover this book. The story of the race between Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley is fascinating, and for the most part it is well told here. However, the book could have used a little more refinement before publication. It is repetitious at points and lacks detail at many others. For example, the author includes a chapter on Salazar's comeback victory in the '94 Comrades ultramarathon, which is an amazing story in its own right. However, that chapter is a mere five pages long, including the large font first page, with several italicized sections surrounded by white space. That's pretty skimpy.

As much as I enjoyed reading about the race, I was often frustrated at wanting to know more detail than the author provided. If the story itself wasn't so compelling, I'd give this book three stars -- not because what was published isn't good reading, but because there's so much more that could have been done to tell the story more fully.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on September 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like running a marathon, there are great highs and some steep lows in Duel in the Sun, but it is well worth the read.

Author John Brant chronicles the lives of Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley before and after their epic stride-for-stride thriller in the 1982 Boston Marathon. It was a struggle between two athletes seemingly racing toward peak years of performing on the international stage. But the race took more out of each runner than anyone imagined.

Salazar - perhaps the last great American distance runner - was a superstar on the track, grass and the roads and had the cockiness of Jimmy Connors while delivering a KO punch on his opponents like the young George Foreman. Beardsley was the "everyman's" runner, whose times at a variety of shorter distances paled to his competition, but was coming of age physically and financially in the long distances on the roads.

The book is as much biography and history as much as a review of the race. At times it seems as if Brant is rushed in his writing, which is surprising since the text is a light 203 pages, with the photograph section in that count.

But it is penned at a time when the running boom has long-since cooled, but raced when events like the Boston Marathon commanded front-page stories on sports pages and magazines, and oftentimes covered for hours on live regional or national TV.

And perhaps the best lesson learned is not what happened during the cheers of the fans as Salazar and Beardsley matched strides to the tape, but how that two hour and nine minute journey impacted their lives after the finish line.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Will Dillard on July 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I had previously read Beardsley's book "Staying The Course: A Runner's Toughest Race" so I knew most of the details about the 1984 Boston Marathon but "Duel in the Sun" is an excellent book due to the behind the scenes details of not only the race but the lives of Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley. You don't have to be a marathon runner to truely appreciate what these two men went through in their lives as well as in their running.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cory K. Schmidt on March 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book tells two stories. The first is a recap of the 1982 "Duel in the Sun" Boston Marathon in which Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley run within inches of one another for the entire race - arguably the most exciting distance race ever.

The second story tells about the lives of the two very different men - both of which face their own failures and triumphs.

Both stories are interesting but in my opinion could have been more in depth. I read the book in a little over one day. The book was rather thin to begin with and the font was quite large and often there would be a blank page between chapters. Also there were some things, especially in the stories of the men's lives, that were repeated multiple times. I felt that it read more like a very long magazine article rather than a book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cliff Gerber on October 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book but at times it seemed very reptitive. It does not take long to see the roles of Beardsley and Salazar and understand their personalities. Beardsley (Farm Boy, addicted to Pain killers) & Salazaar (Golden Boy Favorite, religous, depressed, and relentless in his running) However this is continually harped upon throughout the book and eventually becomes tedious. As a veteran marathoner I sometimes find running books are too often written for the masses and are not technical enough. However, this book would appeal to veteran runners and non-runners alike. It was technical enough for my taste and all in all I did enjoy this book. Very interesting take on arguably the most important marathon ever. I would recommend it although it didn't really compare to some of my other running favorites (Once a Runner, Running with the Buffaloes, etc...)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James A. Neviackas on May 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
That April day in 82 was incredible, very few were heat acclimated. I trained in the midwest and was not. The race was run at noon adn I had heard the high was 75. The road seemed to be on fire. Beardsley had the advantage of heat training Salazar not. I was only a few minutes behind them but blew up at the base of hill #2 (Auberndale station).

The book gives a good accounting of the race and the battle of these fellows. The painfull part is their physical and emotional catastrophies after such a great performance.

Whether it be the marathon, Ironman or other endurance event one is never the same afterward. You gain experience but you also leave some of yourself behind.
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