There's probably no more democratic image in sports than the sight of thousands of athletes and dreamers lined up in places like New York or Boston or Los Angeles or wherever they're about to test themselves against, in the end, themselves over 26 miles of running hell. The only thing the marathon discriminates against is the unprepared: age, sex, nationality, race, even physical disability all peel away when the mix of athletes, from the elite Olympian to the neighbor next door, responds to the report of the starter's pistol. This smart, agreeable compilation of oral histories recalls the first encounters of 37 marathoners, and the stories they tell are marvelous, inspiring, despairing, filled with hope, and wracked with aches and pain. The great Bill Rogers remembers not finishing his first attack of the Boston, and the equally great Greta Weitz recounts what it was like to smash the record in New York her first time out. But it is the voice of the common runner--some nationally famous, like writer Erich Segal, others only known to their loved ones--that consistently gives First Marathons its second wind as it details the drives and dreams that link all dedicated runners. Kislevitz, a marathoner herself, displays endurance by completing the book with a final section offering useful advice from top coaches, a comprehensive glossary of terms, and, to help maintain a steady rhythm, the favorite songs marathoners sing to themselves. Some of the more fitting: "Born to Run," "Groovin'" and, particularly appropriate for getting through the wall, "Running on Empty." --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Contrary to the subtitle, the marathon experiences shared in these pages represent anything but a monster. Rather, this life-changing journey becomes a path toward self-discovery for 37 men and women of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds. Famous runners, such as Bill Rogers and Kenyan elite racer Paul Mbugua, share their experiences, but it's the coverage of such everyday, average, and back-of-the-pack runners as the painter, the Episcopal minister, and the teacher (who was fired because she wanted the day off to run the 100th Boston Marathon!) that makes this book so memorable. Thomas King, who at one time weighed more than 300 pounds, run-walked the second half of his first marathon with tears streaming down his face. Funny stories include a runner so hungry that at mile 20 he cut to the front of a Dairy Queen line to beg a lady to buy him a cone. The book concludes with sage advise from noted coaches, such as Jeff Galloway and Don Kardong. Brenda Barrera --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I'm about to run my first marathon and wanted to read as much as I could about other people's experiences. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Bearfoot
So much enjoyed reading all the stories of the marathoners.......so much inspiration for me, I plan on giving this book as a gift to several of my running friends!!Published 10 months ago by kelly havlin
After reading the stories in this book, it inspired me to go out for a run! Great read!Published 11 months ago by Pamela D. Stephenson
Eh, worth a read if you're training for a marathon, but many of the stories don't relate to average runners.Published 11 months ago by Nuggetofun
I enjoyed reading all the personal accounts of first marathons. I would read them at night and be inspired to set my alarm to get up for an early morning run. Read morePublished 15 months ago by M. Barker
Wish it was more up to date. Very inspiring. People from all walks of life can do a marathon iffff they want.Published 18 months ago by Karen A. Kowalski
I enjoyed reading everyone's experience of their first marathon, however, this book is very dated by now. It could use a re-work and bring us up to the current millennia.Published on August 15, 2013 by joleen fuson