Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Marathon (book) review and giveaway.

Last fall I received an advance reader's copy of Hal Higdon's new fiction book, Marathon: A Novel.

Higdon is a runner and well-known contributor to Runner's World magazine. He is also a founder of the Road Runners Clubs of America and the author of more than 30 books including Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide, Hal Higdon's Smart Running and Run Fast: How to Beat Your Best Time -- Every Time. He is a competitive masters runner, coach and lecturer. In other words, he know quite a bit about running, racing and marathons.

NOTE: This is not a training book, it is a novel that chronicles the 72 hours leading up to Lake City Marathon, a fictional "megamarathon" like Chicago or New York City. Here is a product description:
Celebrity X (more famous than Oprah) departs Rome on a private jet bound for the Lake City Marathon. Race director Peter McDonald arrives at the Expo for an interview with TV reporter Christine Ferrara, new in town. Peter and Christine find love almost immediately, but when will she learn the dark secret that clouds his life?

Thus begins the fascinating 72-hour countdown to the Lake City Marathon, a race beset by problems: Will Peter lose his sponsor and job? Will hot weather threaten the health of runners? Can he keep the identity of Celebrity X secret? And for Christine: Why is Naní the supermodel clinging to Peter’s side? The race up front pits fast Kenyans against twin brothers from Minnesota. Among the women, the sudden loss of the world record holder opens the door for a flirtry Irishwoman and an unheralded podiatrist, who has not raced since injuries cancelled her college career.

Back in the pack, Naní raises money for charity, a New York Times reporter chases Celebrity X, and once-married color commentators bicker their way through the telecast. Marathon, amazingly, is Hal Higdon’s first novel, told in the grand tradition of fact/fiction books by James Michener (Hawaii, The Source) and Arthur Hailey (Hotel, Airport). If you are a runner, veteran or newcomer, or someone who has a friend who runs, Marathon will provide details about the sport that you never knew.
Let me preface my opinion of the book by saying that I love to read about running. Just love it. Do with that information what you will.

I enjoyed this book. It was fairly long -- 400 pages -- but it was a quick read. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I wanted to read what the elite runners were doing in the hours leading up to the race. I wanted to find out who Celebrity X was. I didn't care all that much about one of the story lines -- the potential romance between the race director (Peter MacDonald) and the reporter (Christine Ferrara) -- but it was fine. I also felt that Christine was written with a heavy hand and wasn't all that authentic. However, I was more interested in the running and race related story lines so her character, while a big part of the book, didn't bother me all that much.

What the book did do was make me want to run another marathon! We'll see if that happens . . .

To buy:

You can order a copy of Marathon from Amazon for $19.95 or go to your local library or bookstore to pick up a copy.

To win:

I am giving away my copy of the book, which I mentioned is an advance reader's copy. If you would like to win a copy of the book, simply leave me a comment and let me know whether or not you've ever run a marathon before.

You can gain an extra chance to win by linking to this post from your blog (please leave another comment to let me know you did). That's all!

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. One winner will be chosen using random.org and posted on Wednesday.

Good luck!

Review/giveaway disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. I was not compensated in any way and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

55 comments:

  1. I've never ran a marathon, but I have ran a half marathon!

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  2. Wow, sounds like a great read and I would love to read some fuction by a great non-fiction running-writer.

    Please count me in and YES, I have run 4 marathons.

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  3. I've never ran a full marathon, just a half. Have been considering a full though! Would love to read the book.

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  4. Never ran a full marathon...yet, have one scheduled for the fall

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  5. Would love to read this....I'm in week six of my marathon training, my first!

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  6. I have never run a full marathon, just four Half Marathons. While training for this last half, I though, maybe, just maybe, someday I could actually do a full one!

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  7. I would love to read it! I have done 2 marathons, working on 3 & 4 later this year.

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  8. Just linked the giveaway on my sidebar
    LauraElaineDesigns.blogspot.com

    Have a great day!

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  9. I would love to read this book - like you, I get a lot of inspiration from reading running stories! I've never run a marathon, but am currently training for my first half. :)

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  10. I love running books!!! I've run two marathons: Huntsville Alabama's Rocket City and The Chicago Marathon. I waited 5 years between the two; and will probably wait another five years or so before I run another one...just kidding!

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  11. I would love to read it. I ran my first this past November and will be running another one (or two) this fall.

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  12. I've never run a marathon, but it is in my 'decade of life' plans.

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  13. I've never run a marathon, but dreamed of it.

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  14. Want to reaaaaaddddd it. Still working on that marathon dream.

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  15. I'm looking at doing my first marathon in almost 20 years; this would be a great thing to read over the summer.

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  16. Giveaway posted on Mom vs. Marathon. :)

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  17. I ran my first Full-marathon on May 1st in Beaumont, Texas. I didn't train well enough and it kicked my butt! Someday I hope to do it again with the right training.

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  18. I have never run a marathon before...

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  19. I will be posting the giveaway in my post today!

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  20. ah i am a book freak, so this is right up my alley since it's also about running!! I have run 3 marathons...number 4 is next week AHHHH

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  21. I'm a newer distance runner having done my first marathon 1 1/2 years ago. I just did my second 2 months ago and got my BQ. I have totally immersed myself in all things running, including every book, etc. Really have been dying to read this one!!

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  22. I've done one and it was brutal...and am now training for the next one. :)

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  23. Ooh, I really want to read this book!
    I have run two, and I'm about to start training for #3 :)

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  24. I've run 1 marathon and training for #2.

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  25. I have NEVER ran a marathon but I've ran three half-marathons and I actually am in the second week of training for my FIRST marathon, which is October 10! Would love to read this book, I'm following Hal Higdon's training plan!

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  26. I ran the 1995 Chicago Marathon and am hoping to run many more (once I get fit!)

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  27. I linked to your giveaway on the sidebar in my blog

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  28. I've run 4 marathons and will be training for my 5th very soon!

    Good luck to me!

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  29. I'm training for my first marathon and I would love to win this book! :)

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  30. I've used Higdon's plans for both of my marathons, so I'd love to read this!

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  31. recently bought some books on running and average over 40K a week and looking to increase this to 60K in three months.
    Cheers.

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  32. I ran my first marathon in March :)

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  33. I ran my first marathon May 1st - the day before my birthday. I'm running my second on Halloween :)

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  34. Haven't done a full one yet, but I have done a half.

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  35. I have heard about this book, and I definitely want to read it! I will be running my first marathon in January at Disney!!!! :)

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  36. I have yet to run a marathon - I'm training for my first half (once I have that under my belt I'll start training for a full marathon). The book sounds like a good read, though!

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  37. I've run 4, with a failed attempt at #5. Hopefully, a real #5 will come in the fall.

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  38. I have not ran a marathon yet. Completed my 1st half in May

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  39. I have a giveaway going now that I think is great for moms. It's UV Skinz which are swimsuits for little ones to help protect them without the hassle of sunscreen

    http://runtothefinishgiveaways.blogspot.com/

    Still trying to figure out the button idea or if we can do other things to cross promote since we all have pretty good traffic

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  40. I ran my first this past November - will run another one in the fall.

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  41. I've never run a marathon...but training for my first half! :)

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  42. I'm training for my first marathon and I have exclusively used Hal's training plans. I would love to read his book. :)

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  43. i've run 2 marathons and both were lots of fun :)

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  44. I haven't run a marathon yet, but it is one of my goals :)

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  45. I've never run a marathon but have started training for one in the Fall!!!

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  46. I've never run a marathon, but I'm training to run one! I ran my first half in March and I'm running my second one this weekend in Boston.

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  47. I've run a half marathon...and I just started running this year!

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