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Run to Overcome: The Inspiring Story of an American Champion's Long-Distance Quest to Achieve a Big Dream Hardcover – October 25, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Olympic Silver Medalist and three-time cross-country national champion Meb Keflezighi has written an autobiography aimed at runners. However, the core beliefs he shares—reliance on family, the Christian faith, and the American dream—apply to everyone. Narrator Jon Gauger’s cadence matches the emotional content of Keflezighi’s story, which begins with his escape from war-torn Africa, where food was scarce and owning a skinny cow was a luxury. Gauger’s narration captures Keflezighi’s drive to succeed upon his arrival in America, penniless and unable to speak English. Likewise, Gauger portrays the runner’s joy when his athletic prowess earns him a full scholarship to UCLA. Chapters end with specific tips for runners and general tips applicable to everyone. Besides great training advice, Keflezighi shares the real meaning and cost of victory." 
G.D.W. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Inside Flap

Running is like life.You start at the same place with your fellow runners. You all finish at the same place. How you do is largely up to you. If you win, you congratulate your team and yourself. If you lose, you evaluate how to improve. You can’t make excuses like “He didn’t pass me the ball” or “The coach didn’t put me in.” It’s on you. That’s the beauty of the sport.
Faced with adversity and heartbreak at every stage of his career as a record-breaking long-distance runner, Meb Keflezighi learned from a young age to dream big and never give up—no matter how hard or far away the finish line seemed.
In Run to Overcome, Meb reveals the source of his inspirational grit and determination and urges readers from every walk of life to rely on their God-given talents to see them through life’s obstacles.
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!” 1 Corinthians 9:24

Mebrahtom “Meb” Keflezighi and his family came to the United States after fleeing their native country of Eritrea to escape a violent war with Ethiopia. His unexpected athletic and academic successes earned him a full scholarship to UCLA, where he won four NCAA titles in one year and earned his BA in communication studies with a specialization in business. Meb is an Olympic silver medalist (Athens 2004) and a three-time national champion in cross country running (2001, 2002, and 2009). He came back from an injury to win the 2009 New York City Marathon, setting a personal best time of 2:09:15. Meb became a U.S. citizen in 1998. He lives in Mammoth Lakes, California, with his wife, Yordanos, and their three daughters, Sara, Fiyori, and Yohana.
Dick Patrick has worked as a sports reporter and editor at newspapers for 34 years (including more than 24 at USA Today). He has covered Olympic Games, Final Fours, track and field world championships, world cross country championships, and more than 60 major marathons. He has won several Associated Press awards as well as awards from the National Distance Running Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. He recently was named the first winner of the George Hirsch Media Award, presented by the New York Road Runners for contributions to distance running. He lives in Vienna, Virginia, with his wife, Jody, and two children, Eamonn and Shea. This is his first book.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (October 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414339577
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414339573
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #825,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Taylor on November 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
From very humble beginnings, Meb relies heavily upon his Christian faith and belief in the American Dream. Coming from a war-torn country where food is scarce and luxury includes owning your own skinny cow, Meb recognized the positives in life early on. His father, willing to sacrifice his own safety and well-being, traversed the continent to reach Sudan then emigrated to Italy. At this point the very large family joined him. Meb recalls the joyful reunion in detail.

Two years later, the family immigrated to the United States. Through hard work and positive relationships, Meb learned to love running. The book details his journey from a small country on the African continent to his Olympic showing and winning the New York Marathon. Following each chapter, the reader is provided with "Runner's Tip" and "Overcomer's Tip." Overcomer's tips are not only applicable to running but succeeding in other endeavors.

Inspiring and enjoyable read. I was personally so inspired that I took my youngest son to the park and walked around it for 15 minutes. Wahoo!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Meb has an amazing story that all people, not just runners, can appreciate. I most enjoyed reading about his family's story coming to America from Eritrea. I cried with joy several times throughout this book...so moving and inspiring. He and his family are just amazing people who have never given up and have worked incredibly hard for their successes.

Another part I enjoyed was reading about his injuries and struggles....not because I'm happy he got injured but because being a runner myself, it is nice to know that I'm not alone! Runners of ALL levels need to train and recover properly in order to avoid injury. And even amazing runners like Meb have bad race days...you just have to think long term, accept it, rest, and try again.

What keeps me from 5 stars is I felt that the book covered way too much in nitty gritty race details and times...they became a little tedious to read through and I found myself skimming over those parts to get back to the overarching story. I'm sure the more serious running audience appreciates, but I'm a little more casual and run as a hobby.

Overall very enjoyable read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Maybe not the best written book, but it definitely contains a little something for everyone - history, running community, training strategies, geography, "big races", worth ethic and goal setting, and motivational. I highly suggest this book for recreational runners who have participated in a couple of small races, parents of high school cross country runners, college runners, and avid runners. I think this book has a little something for everyone. It's a quick read and I came away from the book having gained running and personal insight. Meb's story is truly amazing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I picked this book up in May, I believe. It's sat on my Kindle until recently. And I have to say that was a mistake.

Meb's story was one of inspiration. From the troubles in his homeland, the struggles of making it to the US, to physical injuries. Meb has faced quite a few trials.

And yet he's faced them with grace and honor. He allowed them to shape who he is which allowed him to tell a great story.

Being a novice runner, I enjoyed reading about his quest to be a champion marathon runner. He told it in details that I was able to visualize.

His pain and frustrations also were told in great detail. I enjoyed learning of the struggles and trials he faced. From his body giving out, having to give up training for awhile, and the death of a friend. I felt his pain as I read his words.

All in all, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It's a great inspiration with lots of great tidbits to pick up on.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book right after watching the Meb win the Boston Marathon, ain't Kindle wonderful? A perfect way to end the day, that day, when American long distance running came back from the wilderness.
In the glaring lights of his triumph, it seemed like Meb's win had sort of suddenly come about just on Patriot's Day, but of course it's a marathon, so we know instinctively that can't be true, even if we haven't run one of the darn things...
For some folks, they might not be so keen on the detailed times and other things of the trade, but stay with it even if you don't know what 62 second pace yields for a 5K, that's just the surrounding of the story, not the substance. What is substantial is the fascinating story of really a whole family (mom, dad and ten kids) who came from Africa and succeeded in America, against impossible odds, to become a Great American Story.
I came away ready to run again, to get back in there and overcome my reluctance, and isn't that what your really want-- a profound boost to your life, not the tired "Reviewed" smugness of an English major, spinning smoke about trivial mistakes and ideal form? It's not perfect, but it's the perfect story of achievement, of overcoming.
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Format: Hardcover
Some time ago, I came upon the opportunity to read and review a book about one of the United States' greatest marathon runners. I'd heard of Meb Keflezighi - I'd sort of filed him away as a runner with great potential who kept coming short of his dream to finish first in a marathon. Being a distance runner myself (albeit a slow runner who will never even win her age category), I became intrigued with the chance to read more about Meb. I received his autobiography from his publisher, and was excited to read about marathon running from the elite athlete's perspective. This was a world that I had never before entered in such depth.

Run to Overcome is written by Meb Keflezighi, along with Dick Patrick. It's labeled as "The inspiring story of an American champion's long-distance quest to achieve a big dream." This is to be taken literally. Meb's family fled poverty and war, leaving behind everything that they knew to travel from their homeland of Eritrea (near Ethiopia), finally arriving in the United States by way of Greece and Italy. It was a struggle for young Meb and his family to fit in, having to learn English while holding down jobs and going to school. All during this time, it was the strict love and discipline of Meb's parents, along with a deep faith in God, that enabled him and his siblings to excel in school, graduate from college, and move on to productive careers. This discipline, faith, and love of family would prove to be the building blocks of Meb's character that would drive him to be one of America's foremost distance runners.

Originally, as a child, Meb started out with a love for soccer. He didn't realize at this time that there was such a thing as running for enjoyment.
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