Friday, January 11, 2008

3rd book of the year: 26.2 Marathon Stories

11 days. 3 books. Go Dane. I just set a PR for reading. Ok, not really but I have a small circle of friends who likes how I sue PR for everything (That was my PR for a shower!) And finishing this third book was like setting a personal best in a mile that is all downhill. Why? Because it was easy.

My third book for the year was 26.2: Marathon Stories by Kathrine Switzer and Roger Robinson. You almost do not read this book as much as you “view” it. Jammed with large glossy pictures showing the history of the marathon through some of the most indelible images of the race, it is a book you can finish in record time.

Having read more and more about the marathon and its inception and build up as of late I was pleased to see that the authors did not stay too long on any particular subject too long. I think the intent of the book was to whet the appetite of the average reader into learning more. For example, one of the more famous marathon runners in history is Dorando Pietri. Now, the book does not tell you that often Dorando’s names were mixed up and skewed somewhat so that Dorando became his last name and his last name was misspelled as Petri. But you do not need to know that for this book. However, knowing that, you appreciate how hard it must have been for the authors to leave out the correct amount of information in order to still get the story across. I personally have always marveled at those more succinct and less-wordy than me. I am not blessed with the ability to be so short in word, or when I do it seems curt. However, here it works.

That said, even though the prose is hardly heady there were still new facts for me to learn and stunning visages about the marathon itself. It is the perfect book not only for a runner but more so, for the runners friends who might not get marathoning. If you have friends or family who seem to take all your training in stride but might not necessarily understand why you so love this sport which takes so much from you, this book will help them “get it” without boring them at all. They can see the glory of winning as well as the honor of placing 13,854th in a marathon, just as long as it was a new PR for that particular person.

Man, I should be getting paid for these reviews.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I have this book! I got it as a gift about two years ago. I also saw the author speak at the New Jersey marathon in 2007. Roger Robinson was actually a very boring public speaker, but Katherine was amazing, and I listened very attentively. She told her story about "crashing" the Boston marathon.

I agree with you about this book- I keep it on my coffee table and I just love flipping through the pictures. It inspired me to display all of my bibs on a shelf.