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The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete Hardcover – October 12, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (October 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160529246X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605292465
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (143 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Long, a New York City firefighter with East Harlem's Ladder Company 43, was crushed by a bus while riding his bike to work one winter's day, he was transformed from a man who ran marathons to a man who might never walk again. Having recently completed the 2005 New York City Marathon, in just over three hours, Long was training for Boston. "Each day I was up and out, sometimes early, sometimes late, but always looking for something new to do. And one more finish line to cross." After the accident, and a prognosis he didn't want to hear (a slim margin for survival; likely paralysis), Long endured 40 operations and spent five months in the hospital, never taking his mind off the finish line at the end of the 2008 NYC Marathon. Completing the marathon after his recovery at 42 years of age was a major accomplishment, and it motivated him to begin speaking publicly, and to create the "I Will" foundation to help people recover from traumatic life-altering illnesses or injuries. Like Long himself, his memoir is full of the heartfelt can-do attitude sure to appeal to the Iron Man in everyone.
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From Booklist

Three days before Christmas in 2005 New York City was embroiled in a bitter transit strike. So firefighter Long decided to ride his bicycle to work. A charter bus, making an illegal turn, collided with him, pulling him under the bus and inflicting injuries that nearly killed him on the spot. He survived, and made a slow and extremely painful recovery (although he’ll never have the same range of motion and physical abilities as he once did). This memoir, cowritten with an editor at Runner’s World, focuses on two key elements: Long’s physical recovery (dozens of surgeries to repair massive internal injuries) and his psychological recovery (as the firefighter, marathon runner, and Ironman competitor came to terms with the knowledge that he’d likely never work or compete again). The book ends on a high note: Long has brought himself back farther than anyone thought he could. But it’s the journey that’s important. The book is open and honest—at times, almost painfully so—and readers will be horrified by Long’s ordeal and inspired by his determination to get back as much of himself as he could. --David Pitt

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This inspirational story is very well told.
Ziggy D
Matt's story is emotional and inspirational and I'm so happy he has shared it with others in the book The Long Run.
T. DeBrock
I could not put this book down, kept wanting to read and go through this with him.
Hurt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By John P. Thiel TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have been cycling thousands of miles per year for over twenty years and was never hit; then on October 2, 2010 I was hit sideways by a car in a crosswalk. I waited for the light, and managed to pass two stopped cars, while in the crosswalk, assuming I couldn't be safer, and the car came through their red light faster than they could possibly stopped in time, destroying my racing bike and both knees. On top of that, I had just finished my first full week of work at a new job, and then all of the sudden I was disabled--disabled from work, cycling, and all other normal activities.

My muscles atrophied, I gained a hell of a lot of weight, and most importantly for me I couldn't (still can't) enjoy the many benefits of being a lifelong endurance athlete. Quite literally, when I have a bit of trouble getting to sleep at night, I think my way through a day of bicycle riding, from preparation to the post ride beer.

So of course I needed a bit of help. I knew (know) I would be OK in a year, but in the meantime I'm pretty sure I will have lost my job or maybe even my career. And this book responded to those conflicting thoughts of motivation and doom rather well.

Matt Long was injured far worse that I was (am). He was run over by a bus. So while modern medicine and surgical procedures are miraculously good, it really takes the difference in the individual to change someone like me from being disabled for life, and driven to do the work necessary to a full recovery. This book will help anyone in a similar situation because Matt Long is one such individual and reading his story will help you with your own comeback.

And that's the way I think of it. I'm going to do a major comeback, a Lance Armstrong, and a Matt Long in getting back to doing the things I love to do most.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By brian d foy VINE VOICE on September 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The next time you think you're having a bad run, think about Matt Long.

Matt Long was a New York Firefighter, a 9/11 responder, and a Boston Marathon qualifier when he was hit on his bike by a corporate shuttle bus making an illegal turn during an illegal transit workers strike. He went from being in the best shape of his life to a 5% chance of living, having been literally torn open as the bus ran him over and dragged him and his bike, ramming his seat post up through his body and crushing his pelvis.

Through the heroic efforts of surgeons, doctors, and nurses, he lived, but that was only the beginning of his struggle. He had to learn to walk again, a goal that many physical therapists told him was noble but unattainable. He didn't give up, finding therapists who believed that his competitive nature and his peak physical fitness at the time of the accident gave him an excellent chance of not only walking again, but running another marathon. Most remarkable, I think, is the amazing family of New York's Bravest who stand beside any of their comrades no matter if they were hurt on or off the job. I wonder if Matt would have been able to survive and recover without their support. He talks only briefly about his experience on 9/11, and only to give the context for some of the firefighters helping him recover and for the motivation he had to do right by the 343 firefighters and paramedics who gave their lives that day (a number he wrote on his arm as he competed).

Most of the book is about his recovery, which was slow and ponderous at times. Matt doesn't skimp on the medical details of his injuries or recovery.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lori L. Desruisseaux on October 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book is not only for athletes - it is for anyone. Matt takes us to a place inside each of us - that place where we reach deep and keep on keeping on!!!! Matt never gave up after being hit by a bus on his bicyle and being near death - he is truly an inspiration to anyone. You should share this book with your friends and family - it makes you forget about those little aches and pains you have when you realize all Matt when through and endured. If you know anyone going through depression or a major illness - please let them read this as it will help them through the tough times. I had the privilege of meeting Matt a month ago by accident(well I shouldn't use that word) and I just knew I wouldn't be disappointed with this book - he is just that special and it shows in his book.
Matt was kept alive for a reason and this book and his foundation I WILL are only the beginning!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tom Mugno on October 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I met Matt in the schoolyard down (nov 09) the block from where he and I lived on the ues of Manhattan. We were both walking our Australian Shepherds and I noticed his unique walk and Ironman hat. We started chatting and I remembered reading his story in the newspapers. I expressed interest in doing Ironman Florida, but was concerned with getting in. Matt assured me i would be doing IM FL in 2010. His encouragement propelled me a year ago and reading his story in this book 2 weeks before I take on the beast of the Ironman was a HUGE inspiration.

I recommend this book to any athlete and happy to have met Matt in person. His story is truly amazing.
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