Synopses & Reviews
When 39,195 competitors thunder over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to begin the thirty-eighth running of the famed New York City Marathon, they experience one of the most exhilarating moments in sports. But as they cross five towering bridges and five distinct boroughs, carried 26.2 miles by the cheers of two million fans and by their own indomitable wills, grueling challenges await them.
New York Times sportswriter Liz Robbins brings race day to life in this gripping saga of the 2007 Marathon, weaving the unforgettable stories of runners into a vibrant mile-by-mile portrait of the world's largest marathon.
The professionals pound out the suspense in two thrilling races. Paula Radcliffe, the women's world record holder from Great Britain, returns with new resolve after having given birth nine months earlier; Gete Wami, her longtime rival from Ethiopia, tries to win her second marathon in just five weeks; and Latvia's Jelena Prokopcuka desperately hopes for her third straight New York title.
If the women's race plays out like a mesmerizing chess game, then the men's race quickly turns into a high-speed car chase. South Africa's Hendrick Ramaala, eager to recapture glory at age 35, surges to lead the pack as Kenya's Martin Lel and Morocco's Abderrahim Goumri stay within striking range.
While the professionals offer insight into the intense, often painful experience of being an elite athlete, the amateurs provide timeless stories of courage and obsession that typify today's marathoner: Harrie Bakst, a cancer survivor at 22, who is a first-timer; Pam Rickard, a 45-year-old mother of three from Virginia, who is a recovering alcoholic; and 65-year-old Tucker Andersen, who has run the race every year since 1976.
Enlivening the history of the New York City Marathon with stories of such legends as the late Fred Lebow, the race's charismatic founder, and nine-time champion Grete Waitz, A Race Like No Other provides a curbside seat to the drama of the first Sunday in November. Feel the anxiety at the start in Staten Island. Listen to gospel choirs in Brooklyn and the accordion in Queens. Bask in the delirious sound tunnel of Manhattan's Upper East Side. Hit The Wall in the Bronx. And overcome agony in the last hilly miles before arriving in Central Park—exhausted yet exhilarated—at the finish line.
“One of the great pleasures of running the Marathon for me was being among the masses of people. Thousand of personal stories drive runners to compete in New York each year. With the touch of a gifted storyteller, Liz Robbins brings to life the faces in the crowd, and draws the reader right into this amazing race.” Grete Waitz, nine-time winner of the New York City Marathon
“One of the worlds great races finally has its own biography, and its as wacky, entertaining, and beguiling as the Big Apple itself. If you had no interest in ‘running New York beforehand, this book will definitely change your mind.” John L. Parker, author of Once a Runner and Again to Carthage
“An engrossing, edifying and moving chronicle of a day in the life of the marathon and its participants.…[Robbins] is a master of her craft: she deftly combines historical fact with creative interpretation, statistics and time-splits with detailed description….A Race Like No Other is a satisfying read for many reasons, not least because Robbins writing is fluid and engaging, and she offers an unprecedented inside look at the storied event.” BookPage
“If you cant make the trek from Fort Wadsworth to Central Park, and cant get there to watch it in person, this new account of the worlds biggest marathon is the next best source of inspiration.” The Advocate
“Robbins, who covers sports for the New York Times, offers a vivid, winning portrait of the New York City Marathon, now the largest in the world with nearly 40,000 participants. Taking the 2007 race mile by mile, Robbins profiles each of the principal elite runners, including their training regimens and personal stories; describes each miles particular features; limns a large cast of supporting characters, from an aid-station volunteer to a gospel choir that performs inspirational music for the marathoners on the eighth mile; and gives an good overview of how the event is organized. Along the way, Robbins conveys an intimate sense of the physical demands the race places on the body, all the while building suspense-though we know the winners-thats the equal of a good action movie. A quality piece of journalism from start to finish.”” Booklist (starred review)
“I found this fabulous history of the New York City Marathon fascinating because Robbins brings to life the incredible pressures runners are under, as well as explaining their training methods and introducing us to their intense rivalries and friendships….Whether youre a runner or a couch potato, this will make you at the very least want to watch the marathon, armed with a sense of what each and every mile means to the thousands of competitors who run them.” Penthouse
“Whether you have run the New York City Marathon or not, or even any marathon, you will likely be inspired and encouraged by the stories in A Race Like No Other.” Boulder Daily Camera
“Robbins, a sportswriter for The New York Times, has packed her book with scrumptious details…If the written word still has any force, then this book could take on talismanic power, like the medal or the Mylar cape that every finisher receives.” New York Times Book Review
“This book brings the race alive, detailing the running of the 2007 Marathon through the stories of the runners themselves...You wont stop reading ‘til theyve crossed the finish line.” Best Health Magazine
“Robbinss absorbing book...finds its stride....A Race Like No Other gets closer to this marathon than an avenue railbird, and it leaves impressions not fleeting, but lasting.” Sports Illustrated
“Lace up your sneakers and take a run like no other. Liz Robbins has written a poignant, fast-paced profile of a world-class event that is more than just a sports story. Its a rare view behind the city scenes and an inspirational look into the souls of athletes from the pros to the plodders revealing why they are so driven and yet so human. A heart-pounding read from start to finish.” Sally Jenkins, Washington Post columnist, author of The Real All-Americans and co-author of the New York Times bestselling It's Not About the Bike
andldquo;Beresini uncovers the growing sportand#39;s most compelling characters and provides the most authoritative insidersand#39; guide to date.andrdquo; --Outside Magazine
andquot;Beresini chronicles her personal journey as she prepares for her race, detailing the regimen and questioning, in an engaging, self-deprecating style, what such a sadistic undertaking says about the participantsandrsquo; sanity. A fascinating insiderandrsquo;s view of endurance racingandrsquo;s latest craze.andquot; --Booklist
andquot;Funny, fast-pacedandquot; --American Way Magazine
andquot;Obstacle course racing has taken the endurance world by storm and in OFF COURSE Erin Beresini gives us an insider perspective into the conflict and appeal of these masochistic suffer-fests, culminating in her quest to complete the granddaddy of them all, the Spartan Ultra Beast. A must read for anyone currently competing in, or considering taking on, one of these newfangled racing events.andquot; --Dean Karnazes, bestselling author of Ultramarathon Man and 50/50
andquot;Erin Beresini has gone gonzo. In OFF COURSE, she puts herself to the ultimate test in an obstacle racerandrsquo;s world of alphas and ultras, and Tough Mudders. Her narrative has humor and heart, and a carnival of characters. Her sharp reporting puts the reader there. By the end of her riotous narrative, I had to wipe mud from my glasses at least twenty-six times.andquot; --Gary M. Pomerantz, author of Their Lifeandrsquo;s Work: The Brotherhood of the 1970andrsquo;s Pittsburgh Steelers, Then and Now
“Gets closer to this marathon than an avenue railbird, and it leaves impressions not fleeting, but lasting.”
The New York City Marathon is considered one of the nations—and the world's—premier sporting events. A reporter for the New York Times, Liz Robbins brings the color, the history, the electricity of this remarkable annual competition alive in A Race Like No Other. Centering her narrative around the fabled 2007 running, Robbins captures all the intensity of the grand event, following the runners—both professional and amateur—along 26.2 grueling miles through the streets of New York, from the starting line at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to the finish line in Central Park, and offering fascinating portraits of marathon legends like the race's charismatic founder, the late Fred Lebow, and nine-time champion Grete Waitz. The Wall Street Journal raves: “Robbins nails the race, painting a broad, impressionistic portrait of what I consider New Yorks greatest day.” No other book captures the excitement of the New York City Marathon like A Race Like No Other.
From a young journalist and seasoned athlete, a funny, fist-pumping ride through the wacky world of obstacle course racing (Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, etc)
Aand#12288;fun, funny, fist-pumpingand#12288;romp through the thriving new fitness culture of obstacle course racingand#12288; Obstacle course racing is the fastest-growing sport in U.S. history. Every week, thousands of marathoners, CrossFitters, and casual weekend warriors shell out money to run through mud and fire, crawl under barbed wire, scramble over ten-foot walls, and dodge baton-wielding gladiators. Some even sprint through electrically charged wires only to suffer muscle-seizing shocks and faceplant in the muck. Inand#12288;Off Course, Outsideand#12288;journalist and endurance athlete Erin Beresini dives straight into this strange world to reveal a new subculture of military-inspired amateur competition and the industry thatand#8217;s rapidly growing to support it. Having reached a crossroads in her own athletic pursuits, Beresini embarked on aand#12288;journey to train and compete in several obstacle races herself, culminating in the worldand#8217;s first marathon-length event, the grueling Spartan Ultra Beast. Along the way, she met a wild cast of characters, from frat boys to housewives, fitness buffs to financiers to fanatics, and uncovered the sport's biggest scandals, lawsuits, and rivalries.and#12288; As Beresini inches ever closer to her goal and#8212; and gets pretty buff in the process and#8212; she also illuminates the history, psychology, science, and sociology of this new sport thatand#8217;s taking the endurance world by storm.
About the Author
ERIN BERESINIandrsquo;s sports journalism has appeared in the New York Times, Outside, Triathlete, Inside Triathlon, and espnW.andnbsp;She is the former senior editor of Competitor Magazine. She currently writes Outsideandrsquo;s andldquo;Fitness Coachandrdquo; column. She is a world champion triathlete.andnbsp;
Table of Contents
and#160;and#160;and#160;1.and#160;and#160;and#160;If Itand#8217;s Brokeand#8195;
and#160;and#160;and#160;2.and#160;and#160;and#160;The Mud Kingsand#8195;17
and#160;and#160;and#160;3.and#160;and#160;and#160;Mouse vs Mudderand#8195;35
and#160;and#160;and#160;5.and#160;and#160;and#160;Throwing a CrossFitand#8195;75
and#160;and#160;and#160;6.and#160;and#160;and#160;Hobie Call and the $100,000 Prizeand#8195;105
and#160;and#160;and#160;7.and#160;and#160;and#160;Unleashing the Ultra Beastand#8195;123
and#160;and#160;and#160;8.and#160;and#160;and#160;In the Army Nowand#8195;135
and#160;and#160;and#160;11.and#160;and#160;and#160;This Is the Endand#8195;195