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Running with Joy: My Daily Journey to the Marathon Paperback – February 1, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Editorial Reviews


"I truly enjoyed reading Ryan Hall's account of his quest to reach the top level of international sports most competitive event—the Marathon! Ryan's goal of competitive athletic excellence at the 114th Boston marathon was reached...but the getting there is the story so few understand. That, and Ryan's unique ability to aim high while exemplifying the best of American athletics, what it means to be a giving person, and a spiritual person, is truly special and his story worth reading by anyone who values these qualities.
"A unique book by a true American Champion!"
Bill Rodgers, Multiple World Marathon Champion

"Running with Joy is a great read. Part devotional and part training log, Ryan records with such transparency the path to finding real joy as he has lived out his unique and challenging life. I was encouraged by the way he matched his intense work ethic with the desire to release it all in order to meet God in every situation. I think he has something to say to all of us and those thoughts transcend even his amazing athleticism."
--Richard Watson, M.D., Director, Clinical Science, Revalesio

"I greatly enjoyed reading Running with Joy.  Ryan's transparency and honesty were what I would expect from an athlete so dedicated to his Lord.  I have long been a fan of Ryan Hall and Running with Joy reminded me why I am.  As a coach, I enjoyed getting a close-up look at his training and as a Christian brother, I enjoyed getting a close-up look at his heart.  Go Ryan!"
--Brant Tolsma, Head Track/CC Coach at Liberty University and author of The Surrendered Christian Athlete

"It was refreshing to read that our personal value comes from our Maker, our Father who made us in His image and has given us Life through His Son!
"Ryan lets you ‘run with him' and experience the race as he plows through the finish line. Listening to Ryan's ‘self-talk' encouraged us to not give up and to go for excellence, even when we are in the midst of hardship. Thank you for letting us into your world Ryan."
Pastor Dave & Stevie Nelson, The Lighthouse

About the Author

Ryan Hall holds the American records for the half marathon and 20k, and his 2:04:58 marathon time is the fastest ever by an American. Ryan's wife, Sara, is also a professional runner. Their Hall Steps Foundation urges the running community to help end global poverty.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736944125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736944120
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
On April 18, 2011, Ryan Hall will make his third consecutive trip to Beantown to toe the line at the 115th Boston Marathon. In an interview this week at the Endurance Live Awards Gala, Ryan said "Something about Boston grabs my heart. Runners are rock stars that weekend. I love when I'm standing on the starting line in Hopkinton. I feel like I'm living in a history book and I'm writing history." Many of us who treat the Boston Marathon like our personal Olympics feel the same way! "Running with Joy" really embraces Ryan's love of the world's oldest annual marathon and details his training from January 2010 up until the start of the race, where he concludes his first book with a recap of his race to Boston, where he finished 3rd overall in an American Record time (for Boston) of 2:08:41.

"Running with Joy" is a book for runners. Those that feel elite runners are too cryptic in their training methods and never let the public in enough to what they are doing will love "Running with Joy" as Ryan details every training run from January to April 2010 (most days are doubles) and doesn't hold back when something is bothering him. One more fired up moment of his account is when he is discussing the challenging winters in Mammoth Lakes, CA:

"Why do we live here? We could train anywhere in the world-Mexico, Columbia, Kenya-and yet we train here! Why?" I yelled as I slipped for the fifth time in that many minutes running through a blizzard with the team on Mammoth Scenic Loop. I knew I had a bad attitude, but I couldn't hold it in anymore. It was dumping snow, and with every slip I saw my journey to Boston crashing to a halt because of muscle spasms. I was sure I'd tear something before long.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm not a religious person at all, but as others have mentioned Hall does talk about his faith quite a bit in his book. That didn't bother me. It was just an honest look at Hall and who he is. I didn't think he was being preachy, he just speaks of Christianity as it pertains to him. If that's a big part of who he is, I would expect him to write about it, pure and simple.

Most of the book is a day-by-day running journal as he trains through the winter for the Boston Marathon. If you're a runner, there is so much great information in his entries. For example, I was amazed at how easy he takes his easy days, and also how often. It underscored that it's okay for me to do the same, and not worry about what my buddies are doing with their own training.

I'd consider this a must read for any runner, especially if you're doing the Boston Marathon or have an interest in doing so. Plus, proceeds from the book go to charity, so on top of a great read it's also money going to a good cause.
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Format: Paperback
I met Ryan last fall so I knew this book was on the horizon. I had it pre-ordered by a family member who gifted it to me for Christmas. I couldn't wait to read it. Then, when I got it, I devoured it in just a couple of days. It's an easy read and there's a lot to learn from a spiritual runner. The cool thing is, I've re-read parts of it several times over because it helps me put into perspective my own training, walk with God, and daily journey en route to the Boston Marathon. I can't relate to 100+ miles week of training but I can relate to the mentality of a dedicated athlete. I'm floored that Ryan is so open about his life, his training program and diet, and freely shares it with all. I recommend this book to everyone. Other God-followers have told me they love it! I'm still awaiting feedback from other marathon friends. Ryan is the real deal, a model to everyone who walks this planet.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ryan Hall's Run with Joy is a diary/training log detailing his training for the Boston Marathon. He gives you the specifics of his training, with speeds for distance that most of us could only do on a bicycle. The book, however, is far more than just miles logged. Ryan gives us his view of running as a Christian in the deeper sense of the word. Not only is Jesus Christ the driving force in his life, he seeks to emulate what he believes Jesus would want of Ryan Hall and speculates what Jesus would think (e.g., would Jesus be in the race to beat other people?) and uses it as a guide. I don't share Ryan's faith, although I do confess I am envious of the peace that he describes it bringing. What was truly refreshing was the honest assessment of the need to win versus the need to enjoy what you are doing. To paraphrase, only one person wins the marathon, did all the others lose? In a letter in a recent running magazine, Ryan Hall was criticized for a lack of killer instinct. His reply would certainly be a smile and a "you nailed it in one." Of course he loves to win, as we all do, but he describes encouragement for all and a deeper sense of purpose and gratitude for being allowed to live the life he does. Ryan is introspective (should he have stopped a training run to sign an autograph and the guilt he felt for not doing so) and does not paint himself as perfect. I personally did not feel that Ryan was hitting me over the head with his religion, although the more sensitive among us on the issue of religion might; witness a question asked in an interview if Deena Kastor, another amazing marathoner who is Jewish and is a training partner, has any difficulty with his outspokenness about his religion.Read more ›
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