The Long Road | Sports & Recreation, March 2019

Readers interested in inspirational reading, running, and personal experiences will find this valuable and informative; in a crowded genre, Keflezighi’s book stands out to offer a personal take on marathons from one of the world’s greatest athletes

Fitzgerald, Matt. Life Is a Marathon: A Memoir of Love and Endurance. Da Capo: Perseus. Mar. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9780738284774. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780738284781. SPORTS
Endurance sports writer and nutritionist Fitzgerald ( How Bad Do You Want It? Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle )shares a personal story of how training and running marathons saved his life. Through several decades of doing marathons, the author has atoned for what he regards as his “cowardice” in intentionally missing the start of a decades-ago important high school race. In seeking to complete eight marathons in eight weeks, Fitzgerald tells how preparing for these events equipped him with the stamina, courage, tolerance, and resilience necessary to run the race as well as live a complete life. Intertwined in his story is that of his wife, who lives with bipolar disorder. Fitzgerald is honest about the difficulties of mental illness, how it has impacted both their lives, and how running has helped him process painful moments. This journey of self-discovery also leads him to meet other runners across the United States and share their accounts.
VERDICT Readers interested in inspirational reading, running, and personal experiences with loved ones’ mental illness will find this valuable and informative.—Mark Jones, Mercantile Lib., ­Cincinnati

Keflezighi, Meb with Scott Douglas. 26 Marathons: What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from My Marathon Career. Ten Speed: Crown. Mar. 2019. 256p. ISBN 9781635652888. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781635652895. SPORTS
Keflezighi is one of the most distinguished distance runners in history, becoming the first to win both the Boston and New York City marathons, as well as an Olympic medal. He ran his final marathon in November 2017 in New York, finishing his career with 26 marathons; coincidentally, the total number of miles in a marathon is 26.2. In this work, Keflezighi recounts strategies, challenges, injuries, and successes. Throughout, he weaves stories about his family, coaches, and teammates who helped him during his career. He further shares insight into how he overcame injuries and mental hurdles and fascinating details on the different courses he ran, and training for specific challenges along the way.
VERDICT This quick read will keep readers interested. In a crowded genre of books by and about distance runners, Keflezighi’s stands out to offer a personal take on marathons from one of the world’s greatest athletes. [See Prepub Alert, 10/1/18.]—Pamela Calfo, Baldwin Borough P.L., PA

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