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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 98 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.

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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 (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #583,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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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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: 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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Meb Keflezighi is known to many for the silver medal in 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and for his magnificent wins in New York and Boston Marathons. Yet few of us were aware of his exciting personal story of migration from Eritrea, a less known country of Africa located between Sudan and Ethiopia, to Italy and then USA. Born in a family of ten siblings, Meb learned early in his life that nothing is given and you have to fight hard to fulfill your dreams. Eventually, he (as well as his brothers and sisters) overcame the odds, educated himself, exploited his enormous talent in running and prosper. Meb's secret to success is the strict adherence to his belief system which was ingrained by his parents and consists of a mix of christian values, hard work ethos and perseverance.
Besides offering an inspirational story, the book has some other interesting points, too. It provides a glance into the life of an elite runner; his training regime, economic remuneration and contracts offered, nutrition, reconciliation of professional requirements and family life, psychological downturns and other issues which can be interesting for fans or athletes of distance running.
Overall, i enjoyed the book and i recommend it. The language is good, the structure proper and the narrative easy going. If i were to be critical, i would highlight author's tendency to be overly idealistic. The notion, which transcends the whole book and suggests that if you try hard enough and be a good guy, the universe will conspire to help you achieve your dreams is somewhat naive - according to my opinion. That said, the book is indeed inspiring even for a - somewhat- cynic guy like me!
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