26.2 Marathon Stories Hardcover – Apr 18 2006
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About the Author
KATHRINE SWITZER is best known for pioneering the official entrance of women into the marathon in the late 1960s. Winner of the 1974 New York City Marathon, she has finished 35 marathons. An Emmy Award-winning commentator who has covered important running events from the Boston and New York City marathons to the Olympics and Goodwill Games, she is the author of Running and Walking for Women Over 40. She and her husband, Roger Robinson, split their time between Wellington, New Zealand, and New York.
ROGER ROBINSON, has represented both England and New Zealand in World Championships and has set marathon records for his age group in Boston, New York, Canberra, and Vancouver. He is a professor at Victoria University in New Zealand.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some friends gave me this book as a gift after my 2nd marathon and it has inspired me to continue running and to train hard for another marathon coming up in a month.
This really is a book for people who have completed at least one marathon and likely won't be as interesting to non-runners.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This handsome coffee table book is beautifully designed and offers not only inspiring passages we've come to expect in the world of the long distance runner, but breathtaking photography and insight into the minds, passions and heartaches associated with the sport. It fairly examines the good and the bad throughout the long history of "Marathon;" from ancient Greece to contemporary pop culture.
Divided into 26.2 chapters, it is a wonderful book for both the devoted runner and interested spectator as well. Would make a great gift.
I actually had an emotional reaction by the time I got to "the Finish Line." Just like in real-life! So this book willl definitely be a treasured addition to my library.
Those familiar with running know the significance of the title. Twenty-six-point-two are the number of miles in a marathon; it's 26 miles and 385 yards to be a bit more precise. So this well-done tribute to the race has 26.2 chapters.
The format really is the selling point of the point, as it's quite inventive. Every chapter covers a different aspect of the race. My favorite chapter may have come early, as number two is called "The Starting Line." It covers the story about the history of the race, and clears up some misconceptions about the origin of the marathon. The legend is that a Greek runner ran from Marathon to Athens, announced "Hail! We are victorious" concerning a battle, and then collapsed and died.
It's a charming tale, but probably not overly true. But the legend continues, and the word Marathon has become a synonym for most long-lasting events.
The chapters give a good indication of the wide variety of subjects here: Olympic distance, mapping the course, motivation, heroes, training, gear, charity, agony, time, souvenirs, etc. Finally, at 26.2 there is "The Ecstasy," a very appropriate choice. The subject covers a lot of ground, so to speak, and so does this book.
In spite of the thought that went into the text, the pictures really are the star of the show here. Switzer and Robinson have done a fine job collecting photos of marathon-related items. There are shots of marathons that will make you stop and stare -- one in front of a glacier in Switzerland is particularly fascinating. Brrr. Even a two-page shot of empty chairs along the route is fascinating in its own way.
This book basically has one drawback: it's a coffee-table book in a small sense. It didn't take much time at all to zip through this. For $29.95, I'd like a little bit more to read. But that's just my bias, and it may not be yours.
Switzer and Robinson are a husband-and-wife team with a long running background. Switzer helped knock down barriers to long-distance running by women, and has gone on to a career connected to running and women's sports. Robinson has done his own work on the roads and in the media, and he's also a teacher and author.
They have accomplished what they set out to do in "26.2." If there's someone in your life who is about to run a marathon, this would be a great gift. After all, it's nice to have something good waiting at the finish line.