Customer Reviews: The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life
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on July 24, 2014
Runners Magazine has been one of the most trusted publications available to runners for decades. Its dedicated editor, Amby Burfoot has an impressive and inspiring running career as a marathoner. His book is laid out in short essays and he writes this book so fluidly and clearly that you breeze through the pages easily. This book provides runners with mental inspiration and anecdotes as well as appreciation for the hard work it takes to commit to each mile. Amby wants us all to remember that running is natural, and running is fun. With a basic pair of shoes you are able to push yourself mentally and physically, while giving your mind the break it needs to open up to creativity and thought. Amby reminds us that runners are thinkers, and we can all appreciate the simplicity of his message. I think another great book for the thoughtful runner is The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei.
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on June 30, 2000
What a wonderful book by Amby Burfoot to fuel the spirit and heart of the runner in each one of us. The book is inspirational, caring and sharing of running and life that we run. It has quotes, stories, heros, thoughts about goals, courage, finishing, victory and yes stopping to smell the roses along the way or maybe even a majestic view on the race course. Amby shared thoughts and philosophies that made me laugh, put the book down to do my own reflection and even brought me to tears. The story of Amby's 30th annversary Boston Marathon race was so touching when his brother joined him on the run. I plan on giving this book to all of my running friends. This book is just what you need to fuel or maybe even refuel your own running spirit. Whether you are a beginner or elite runner there is something in this book that will touch your mind and heart. It is a book for the runner in each of us. Amby teaches us the winning attitude so well in the book. Thanks for sharing your experience with us. Thanks for all you do for the running world.
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on November 11, 2009
He may be a great runner, but this book is ankle-deep philosophy and so basic in its lessons that it seems really designed for a 12-year-old. I would not suggest this book for any adult interested in life lessons or inspiration. It simply doesn't compare to the thoughtful books of people like Wayne Dyer and it's not a good book on running either. For a much better book on running and life, try Haruki Murakami's "What I talk about when I talk about running."
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on January 4, 2015
Amby Burfoot was the winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon. He started his athletic life as a bench warmer on his school basketball team. One day the team was punished for poor play by running the cross country course. He was able to easily outrun everyone on the team. He discovered his talent and a life long love of running.

Burfoot is a long time editor of Runner’s World magazine. His experience as an editor shows in a crisply written work.

If you are expected Burfoot to share training secrets you’ll be disappointed. What you get is something better. You get insight into the mind of an elite runner and you are witness to his transformation into a citizen runner who runs for the pure joy and the benefits it brings to his life.

If you are looking for motivational quotes you will find plenty from Burfoot and those who inspire him. He t

I recognize my own experience when he talks about the transcending moments we have as runners, when everything just seems right.

Burfoot views all of life’s experience through the prism of his running. My favorite quote from the book is “In the race to be your best, there is no losing”. In this pages of this book you will see how Burfoot dealt with divorce, disappointment, goal setting, winning, setting traditions, courage, children among other topics.

Chris Wodke
Running for My Life-Winning for CMT
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on February 27, 2014
One of the best parts about running is that it attracts people like Amby Burfoot. He's a free spirit who is best known for winning the 1968 Boston Marathon. However, his lasting contribution might be through his words, as he's been an editor for Runners' World magazine for many years and has written several interesting books.

"The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life" is another good one.

This book was first published in hardcover in 2000. It's tough to know how much updating was done, but no matter what editing took place, it stands up pretty well on its own.

Burfoot isn't afraid to think about some of the philosophical issues that often come up for runners. For example, why run? That's the first chapter. Burfoot argues that we've always run, we're indeed built to run, as it was a way of gathering food in long-past days. So it's no wonder that so many receive a basic sense of enjoyment.

Burfoot likes a great deal about running. He likes the way that every race has a new starting line, a new chance to prove himself. He likes the chance to take part in traditions. He likes the chance to connect with other people. He likes the way so many show courage merely by taking that first step, let alone the last. He likes the sounds of a run, whether it has the slapping of shoes on to pavement by thousands or the complete quiet of the countryside. He likes that running only requires sneakers, and even that is optional in some cases, as opposed to the long list of equipment needed in other activities.

Runners usually can be split into two categories, the competitors and the rest of us. Luckily for the rest of us, the competitors slow down and join us in the pack eventually. Burfoot realizes that, and even though he's better than most of us even now he likes to look around as he goes.

There are a few quotes along the way, and some special sections on such areas as good books and inspirational figures for runners. At 150 small pages, this goes by pretty quickly. Still, it's only $9.95 new, and there is good material along the way.

I once interviewed Burfoot, so let me give this a first-person testimonial -- this is a smart, interesting man. Those who need a little inspiration getting out the door in the morning ought to find "The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life" more than enough to give you that needed push.
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on July 13, 2012
This slim book is a collection of essays that I would guess have already been published in Runners World magazine where the author works. Heart warming and inspirational to read, but somewhat overpriced considering the paucity of material
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on April 21, 2015
I am an avid runner who travels regularly and purchased this looking for a good read on a long plane flight. What I got instead was a book written at a very low level with a large font to take up more pages. While there were parts that were enjoyable, this felt more like a book Id give to a middle school track team to read. It was not satisfying for me and I read it cover to cover in a little over an hour. I can't recommend this for the average runner.
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on June 21, 2013
I have read some of amby burfoot's blogs which are wonderful.. And i had high expectations from the book, i must admit it was somewhat disappointing in parts, very basic and general , lacking that deep insight which makes us go " aha! "
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on September 27, 2015
I enjoyed Amby's insights on the values of running and its impact on our lives. As a former runner and current cross country coach for a team, there were many passages in his book that I shared in one form or another with my athletes. In particular I shared his thoughts on "starting lines" in life and races with an athlete who is so nervous she usually vomits before competing. In her next 5k she had such a different disposition...even doing a double arm muscle flex for me as she ran by at the mile split. This was totally uncharacteristic for her. She ended up running a PR and when I asked her about what was different she just indicated that she chose to have fun. It's a fun little book indeed and I loved that I could end each day by reading the next short passage and reflect on how I might use it with my runners the next day before drifting to sleep with dreams of my younger runner self.
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on February 24, 2014
I find running to be an excellent metaphor for many parts of life, and apparently so does Amby Burfoot. This was a nice, quick read that makes me say "yeah, that's right." Nothing new and earth shattering, but well articulated philosophies.
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