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The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life [Kindle Edition]

Amby Burfoot
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Book Description

C ited by Runner’s World magazine as one of the best books ever written on running, The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life reveals as much about reaching your full potential as it does about sport. Boston Marathon winner Amby Burfoot, one of running’s wisest voices, presents 15 life lessons about passion, courage, materialism, failure, and regeneration, all learned during his more than 35 years of experience in running. He discusses a runner’s essential traits—qualities necessary for everyone striving to reach a long-term goal—as well as the writing, music, and quotes that have continually inspired him. Most important, Burfoot explains that winners are not those who cross the finish line first, but those who discover more about themselves with every step.


Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life
What 35 Years of Running Has Taught Me about Winning, Losing, Happiness, Humility, and the Human Heart

On Finding Your Path
"I have learned that there is no failure in running, or in life, as long as you keep moving. It's not about speed and gold medals. It's about refusing to be stopped. You might find that one particular direction proves difficult, but there are many directions on a compass. Infinite, in fact. As long as you keep searching, you'll find your way."

On Creativity
"Sometimes my main reason for running is simply to see where my brain will go while my body is meandering though the local trails or roadways. It can never be predicted, and it's always a surprise."

On The Need For Traditions
"In a world that perpetually moves faster, never slower, we need all the anchoring points we can find. Chaos erupts spontaneously in our spinning lives. It's the center of the wheel that we need to focus on more often."

On Bouncing Back
"Losing isn't contagious. It's not a fatal condition, and it's not forever. It's more like a cold that makes you miserable for a week but then goes away, and you're fine."

On Goals
"When in the mountains enjoy the mountain scenery. Nobody achieves his goal without having some fun along the way. Without fun, we'd give up long before the finish line. If there's any way to make the road easier and enjoyable, I'm all for it."

On Starting Fresh
"Life goes on, day after day, but it also has the ability to reinvent itself, to start over. This is what the seasons show us. We all have marveled at the apple tree's ability to rest through a dark, cold winter, then to grow new leaves in the spring, to blossom again, to bear fruit. We don't often think of our own lives this way, but I think we should."

About the Author
A lifelong runner and running advocate, Amby Burfoot has been executive editor of Runner's World magazine since 1985. In 1968, he won the Boston Marathon, the first American to do so in 11 years. He is the author of The Principles of Running and Runner's World Complete Book of Running.

About the Author

A lifelong runner and running advocate, Amby Burfoot has been executive editor of Runner's World magazine since 1985. In 1968, he won the Boston Marathon, the first American to do so in 11 years. He is the author of The Principles of Running and Runner's World Complete Book of Running. He lives in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

Product Details

  • File Size: 916 KB
  • Print Length: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (April 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001IKKE8Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,412 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring book with a simple message July 24, 2014
By Daphine
Format:Turtleback
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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37 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Mental Run for the Heart and Spirit! June 30, 2000
By Judy
Format:Hardcover
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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41 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and basic; Philosophy for beginners November 11, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but not great July 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed June 21, 2013
Format:Turtleback
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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23 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple but deep May 4, 2000
Format:Hardcover
This book was easy to read, straightforward and inspirational. Though not as deep as Sheehan, this book contains simple truths of the joys of running and makes you appreciate not only the mileage put in, but why you do it. I put the book down feeling good about the hours of sweat, a renewed bond with runners in general, and a desire to carry forward in good times and bad. Amby Burfoot, thanks for sharing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine athlete, fine writer February 27, 2014
By WDX2BB
Format:Turtleback|Verified Purchase
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Joe
Format:Turtleback
A very quick read, but a lackluster one at that. Burfoot's philosophies, while true, are very simple and to an extent common sense. If you have been running for a few years then you should already have a pretty good grasp on the material that is included in this book and you will not get much out of it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I love running in a similar way the author does
too simplistic. but maybe I was expecting something the book is not designed to deliver.
I love running in a similar way the author does, so I cannot give less stars.
Published 1 month ago by rmp
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BOOK.
I could not get this book in south Africa.It is a philosophical book which make you think deep. I willrecommend it to friends>
Published 7 months ago by philip nieuwoudt
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny!
I'm only about halfway into the book and I can't put it down! Burfoot provides such a different perspective on running, that it should be required reading for every runner.
Published 7 months ago by KMK
5.0 out of 5 stars My Guru! Great writter.
Amby is one heck of a writer! His style is simple, yet profound! Anyone who is trying to understand the puzzle of Life, needs to read Amby's book. Read it in 2 hours! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Roberto Rosales
5.0 out of 5 stars A+
Best running book I've ever read very inspirational and motivational! Amby is a great author I would definitely recommend this book
Published 9 months ago by CLN
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick and Impactful Read
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. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
A good ol' inspiring book about running. A real classic that helps you to get out there and find real meaning.
Published 14 months ago by Ricky Pak
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid and quick
Great insight to how running affects one's life in a positive way. From friends, to work, to family, etc. This book covers it all and shares Amby's personal experiences. Read more
Published 18 months ago by TSD
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy read
Burfoot offers a nice succinct message about what can be gained gained in life from running, at any level. His guide is simple, yet strikes a chord of truth.
Published 20 months ago by CGray2
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More About the Author

Amby Burfoot is the 1968 Boston Marathon winner, and a long-time editor (since 1978) at Runner's World magazine. Burfoot has run approximately 103,000 miles in his life, and has finished the Manchester (CT) Thanksgiving Day road race every year since 1963 (48 straight years through 2010). He also continues to run Boston on every fifth-year anniversary of his win, with his next scheduled Boston race in 2013, and has twice completed the 54-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa. These days, at age 64 and counting, Burfoot continues running about 25 miles a week for health and fitness, and races just a handful of times each year. He's married to Cristina, a fellow writer/editor, and has two grown children, Daniel, a Ph.D. in robotics, and Laura, a community organizer in New London, CT. He feels extremely lucky to be one of those fortunate few who have been able to combine their passion with their profession.

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