Skip to main content

Review: A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York

I finished Liz Robbin's A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York on Saturday -- the day before the 40th running of the New York City Marathon. Her book details the 2007 running of the marathon, focusing on the front of the pack and a lot of people in between.

The book is organized per mile, and laces the race's history through the runner stories. It's no small race, either -- it's run by over 40,000 people a year.

The book is good, but not perfect. At times, the narrative wobbles, and Robbins repeats herself. But it's fascinating for a runner. I never gave much though to a race game plan before reading this book. Who knew I could create a run strategy, just like a basketball play? The book's also pricked up my interested in this year's race. I ran a 10k on Sunday, and kept checking Twitter for marathon updates at the post-race breakfast.

I've been toying with the idea of running a marathon for some time now, and I might finally be ready. Could I go out and run one? Probably, albeit it slowly with walking. But if I'm going to run one, I want to RUN it and at least try to be competitive.

I'm already race ready for a half marathon (I'm running the Philadelphia Half Marathon on November 22) and could continue on that base to reach marathon level. We'll see how I feel after the Philly Half. If I manage to run that race in under 1:37, I automatically qualify for the New York City marathon, and I'll take it as a sign to run it. But I doubt that's going to happen unless Jesus himself pushes me. More likely, I'll put my name in the lottery and pick a spring marathon.

So we'll see. That Sunday 10k took a lot out of me, as you can see below. A full 26.2? It's a little scary.


Anonymous said…
Congrats on the 10K!

Have you read 50/50 by Dean Karnazes? He runs 50 marathons in 50 days, many with first time marathoners. The book is full of great tips. I'm reading it now and it's deceptive how running 50 marathons dwarfs the challenge for most people of running just one, plus it details many of the marathon paths for most states.

I live in NYC so I'm not sure if I could handle the self-imposed pressure of running in my home city. I'm considering Chicago, Portland or Maui myself.
Jen A. Miller said…
I haven't read it, but I will check it out

Funny you say that about hometown marathon. I'm consdering out of town marathons, too, but I think that's more because I want to run in spring, and the Philly Marathon is in the fall. I'm thinking of the New Jersey Marathon (which, while in my home state, is a haul to get to) or the Gasparilla Marathon, which is in Tampa. Why that one? Well, I went to college in Tampa, and it's the last year for that marathon. So we'll see!

Popular posts from this blog

Book 23 of 52: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

More romance? Of course! The world is on fire, and I can't ingest all the fires all the time. Sometimes I want to turn to genre fiction as an escape, even if an escape is into a patriarchal society where it's SCANDAL that a woman sometimes, when riding a horse, wears pants. Because of Miss Bridgerton is the first book in Julia Quinn's Rokesbys Series , which are prequels to her enormously popular  Bridgerton Series  (and now a  Netflix show ). These books are similar, of course, but instead being set in the Recency era of the 1810s, these books take place at the same time as the American Revolution (though still in England).  Here we meet Sybilla "Bille" Bridergton, who is stuck on the roof of a building because she chased a cat up there. She climbed up herself (scandalous woman!) but also twisted her ankle in the process, which is why she needs help to get down.  That help comes from George Rokesby. Their families are neighbors, and they've known each other

Book 26 of 52: The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown

I'm not going to write a long review of Tina Brown's The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor — the Truth and the Turmoil  for two reasons. First, it's been hashed to death already, as anything about the royals is, by people who are far more invested in this whole thing than I am. And second, I'm in the frantic "do I really need a jean jacket AND a windbreaker" level of packing before a long trip. I can say that I didn't mind listening to this nearly 18 hour audiobook while the rest of the world is on fire, although of course they are not insulated. We can pretend that the Royal Family lives in a bubble, but they are enormously influential; touched by the same issues of race, class and gender; and Queen Elizabeth II is one of most influential politicians of modern times — and she is a politician, no matter what anyone says. Her death will be a global, cultural moment. Same thing with the Pope, on both fronts. I listened to Brown's  The Diana Chro

Book 12 of 52: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

Marjane Satrapi is an author and graphic novelist who grew up in Iran and, as a tween and teen, lived in the country through  the Iranian Revolution before her parents sent her to Europe for school, and for her safety.  As an adult, she wrote Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood ,  a nonfiction graphic novel, originally in French. I read the English translation, which was published in 2003, three years after the original. It was a critical success, won a slew of awards, and became a movie . I haven't read the sequel, Persepolis 2 , but I hope to (you can also  buy them in a set . I found Persepolis  in a Little Free Library, or I'd have bought them combined).  In the tradition of Art Spiegelman's  Maus , which is about the author's father talking to him about the Holocaust,  Persepolis  is a memoir of trauma told through a mix of images and words that when combined, combust into powerful, beautiful and soul cracking art.  For example, Satrapi portrays the 1978 Cinema R