Long Run: One Man's Attempt to Regain His Athletic Career-And His Life-by Running the New York City Marathon
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Long Run: One Man's Attempt to Regain His Athletic Career-And His Life-by Running the New York City Marathon

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  1,575 ratings  ·  235 reviews

Matt Long had no chance. He was cycling to the firehouse when a 20-ton bus turned, making an illegal turn, and hit him. Sucked under the chassis, he sustained injuries serious enough to necessitate 40 operations. And then the real recovery began. This veteran marathoner and brave firefighter had faced challenges before, but even he had never experienced such physical and p

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Published October 12th 2010 by Rodale Press, Inc. (first published January 1st 2010)
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Diana
Arrogant and conceited are words that when finished reading The Long Run you may use to describe Matthew Long. But, to be fair if you are going to make a descriptive list then you must also include strong, fighter, hard worker, spirited and family oriented. The list could probably go on and aside from what I or others may choose to describe Matt Long, there is no escaping that his story is remarkable as well as inspiring. And, to be honest it is just not Matt who you are drawn to in this book, b...more
Kate
Jan 05, 2011 Kate rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Runner's World
I realize this is going to make me sound mean and soul-less but I'm going to say it: I didn't really enjoy this book.

Don't get me wrong, the story is inspiring. I read an excerpt in "Runners World" awhile ago, and I was intrigued. The novel tells the story of Matt Long, a New York firefighter, marathoner, Boston qualifier, 9/11 survivor, and triathlete. One day during the transit strike, he is riding his bike to work when he and his bike are literally run over by a chartered bus. His bike impale...more
Allison W.
Oct 07, 2011 Allison W. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA & Up
Recommended to Allison W. by: John Stewart Show
What an incredible inspiration Matt Long is. Reading this, it didn't really feeling like reading - it felt like I was sitting talking with Matt telling his story. I've read other autobiographies and biographies of inspiring folks but there usually is an element of pity to be felt for the subject. For as horrifying, hopeless and heart-wrenching as Matt's story is - I never once felt pity for him. His strength and honesty about his feelings, his appreciation of the help he received and recognition...more
Marla
I listened to this audio book and it was more than what I was expecting. The horrific accident and his recovery ruined my make up on the way to work many days as I cried and cried. It was very easy to understand how his recovery was frustrating for him after being in such great shape and participating in triathlons. I was never anywhere near where he was but my recovery from cancer surgery and treatment didn't go fast enough for me as I was a runner. So I can only imagine the frustration he went...more
Emily
Another book read with perfect timing after having doubts of being able to push myself through training for just a 15K. As I walked back from the coffee shop after finishing, I began to think I DO in fact need to push myself to do more than that and maybe even change my mindset about my life.
At first, I had a hard time getting into the book, thinking it was too graphic and the writing too simple. When I went back to reading it, I discovered that the simplicity was what made it inspiring and eas...more
Susan
This was a very inspiring book. Matt Long was an NYC firefighter who was biking to work due to an NYC transit strike. He was struck by a tour bus, pinned underneath, and impaled by the bike handle. Given a 5% chance to live, this book details his struggle back to be "normal" again. He had run marathons and done an Ironman, and he was determined to do so again. He endured several years of grueling physical therapy, and more than 40 surgeries, and two years later, he ran in the NYC marathon in a l...more
Valley Cottage Library
I don't know exactly what it is about this guy but I just loved his voice and his story. I think I would have liked Matt Long had I known him before his accident. His spirit and eventual successes (the NYC marathon, completing an Ironman) just make him all the more likeable. Matt is painfully honest about his injuries and the impacts they have had on his body. He also admits to periods of deep despair and depression. I felt like cheering though when Matt picked himself up and through grit and de...more
Maria
20140530 ◊ Moving and painfully honest, Matt Long's story is one that will stay with me for a good, long while. Seriously, this guy was a long distance runner, an Ironman, a New York City firefighter who lived through 9/11. He got run over by a bus while biking to an early-morning workout with his triathalon crew. Doctors and surgeons initially gave him the barest chance of survival after his traumatic accident. The story of how he overcame not only his physical injuries but his own inner demons...more
Angela
So here's the only thing I think I really *need* to say about this book: If you think that you are having a bad day, or week, or month, or year, just pick up this book. The next time you think you think you've been through something really "difficult" or get caught up in how "hard" your life has been, give, say, the first quarter of it a read. If you ever start feeling sorry for yourself or feel like you're going through something tough and are feeling frustrated & discouraged about how long...more
Michelle D.
The Mullica Hill Women's Tri Club invited Matt Long to a special club event a few months ago as a guest motivational speaker. Many of us when training for events whether it be just running events or triathlons often face many mental challenges/blocks. After reading his story, it really does show you that if you have the will and desire to accomplish something, anything is possible. A truly inspiring story.
Laura
Amazing and inspirational - I read it in one day! (Though I'll admit to skimming some of the paragraphs with descriptions of his injuries - they were a bit intense for me though). Matt's achievements and his attitude are incredible and I'd encourage everyone to read this.
Lisa Z.
Inspiring--brought me to tears! If Matt Long can return to running after being run over by a bus, maybe I can make a come back from mono. ;)
alicia
This story was, if nothing else, inspirational. There were parts that dragged and made the author seem whiny, but when I read the last page of the book I had tears in my eyes. The connection Matt Long has with his large family and how they banned together after his accident kept me interested. I wanted to read about how his best friend and brother, Jimmy, helped him recover emotionally. Also, how his parents could handle such a traumatic event for their son.
I thought the story spent too much ti...more
Jason Gregg
I’ve read a few reviews stating that Matt Long is arrogant, egotistic, and/ or over confident. The guy is also a tri-athlete, Boston qualifier, and a FDNY fire fighter. I would not want to know a fire fighter that isn’t arrogant. If he wasn’t brimming with confidence I don’t think I would want him rushing into a burning building to save lives.

He knows that he is over confident and doesn’t shy away from it in “The Long Run.” That is a crucial point because he hits the skids with depression after...more
Kaliki
What a story! No, really ..WHAT A STORY! For anyone out there looking to be inspired by pure grit, tenacity, and physical & emotional strength, this is the book to read. While Matt Long may come across to some as an arrogant S.O.B., he is so much more, so much deeper than that. I read this book hoping for inspiration to run, but I came away with inspiration to LIVE LIFE, to not back down from fear or pain, to push myself beyond what I may limit myself to.

A review I read before starting this...more
Keith
I've read a bunch of inspirational books and stories about people challenging themselves to achieve great feats of endurance, but Matt Long's story was different. He not only built himself up once to achieve great things as a marathoner and an Ironman, but then after his catastrophic accident, he had to fight back from scratch and achieve the same goals again, albeit at a slower pace. His story is especially powerful because he didn't just fight through a difficult rehab, but continued to fight...more
Michele
I probably would never have gotten around to reading this book, if it weren't for the fact that the co-author, Charles Butler, was scheduled to be a guest speaker at my running club's montly meeting in 2 weeks. I'm so glad that I did. Matt Long's story is amazing. One of New York's finest, this firefighter, runner and Ironman was run over by a bus while on his bike (due to a NY transit strike), only months after completing his first Ironman and a personal best at the New York Marathon. His injur...more
Nita
This is the memoir of a firefighter and endurance triathlete who was hit by a commuter bus that made an illegal right turn during a New York City transit strike. But for the strike, the bus would not have been on the road and the author would not have been riding his bike that day. On the first day, his doctor gave him less than a 5% change of survival.

Reading about his surgeries and physical challenges was grueling, but it made me feel extremely lucky to have the able body I have, however limit...more
Eileen Souza
I first became aware of Matt Long's story through a Runner's World article. The article was several chapters of his book about his recovery from being hit and run over by a city bus - and his desire to try to run a marathon again (when his doctors told him he may not walk). I immediately put it on my to read list.

This was a very good story. Matt Long was a firefighter in NYC who was at 9/11, who has represented the city for the FDNY. He was an unstoppable athlete - running marathons and completi...more
Tiffany
I read an article that ran in Runner's World about NYC Firefighter Matt Long and how he had recuperated from a near-death accident with severe trauma and numerous surgeries to the point where he was able to start running again several years after his accident. It was deeply moving- so when I saw that he had written a book about his life, his accident, and his will to run again- I knew this was a book not to be missed. I devoured this personal account of Matt's life- his triumphs, setbacks, and e...more
susan
There are people in this world who make excuses and then there are people like Matt Long. With only a 5% chance of survival it's incredible that he not only made it, but that he triumphed. Even with lingering side-effects/pain from the accident he's gone on to accomplish great things and to help inspire and motivate others. He doesn't sugar-coat any of it...an honest account of before/after, as well as a tribute to sheer determination and the importance of family and friends. Great book.
Celeste
I bought this book because I saw an interview of Matt Long on The Jon Stewart Show.

I saw some other reviews where the readers thought Long was arrogant and a bit of a braggart, so I found myself evaluating him for that as I read. Now that I've finished the book, I wonder if it was more about runners vs. non-runners reading the book. Runners think differently. I can't quite explain the intricacies of it, but I know that something special happens once you become a runner. It's not just a physical...more
Jamie
I could not put this book down! What an amazing, heroic story. I was definitely crying my eyes out by the end after reading of Matt’s struggles and recovery. Throughout Matt’s story, as he recalled stories of being a heroic firefighter, savvy business owner, and confident with the ladies, I kept referring back to the cover and looking at the impressively in-shape, handsome man staring back at me. My heart went out to this man when he suggested his search for Mrs. Right would be a little harder n...more
Leo Polovets
The Long Run tells the story of Matt Long, a New York firefighter who was at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, and who built up a pretty amazing portfolio of accomplishments: firefighter, bar owner, marathoner, Ironman competitor. One day, Matt was out for a bike ride when a bus swerved across several lanes, knocking him down and running him over. It was even worse than it sounds. Matt almost died, and then went through a slow and painful recovery. For a while, things looked bleak and the norma...more
Barbara
I read this book while on vacation and I LOVED it! The story is about Matt Long, a NYC firefighter and bar owner who was also into running. He was an Ironman, had just completed the NYC marathon and had qualified for Boston. Then right before Christmas during the NYC transit strike he was riding his bike to meet his friends for a morning swim and was hit by a bus making an illegal turn. This is the story of a man who survived the unthinkable and came back to run not only walk again, but to run a...more
Jackie Dunleavy
Anyone who says Matt Long is "arrogant" and "conceited," clearly doesn't understand
1) the Irish American male machismo
2) firefighter (especially FDNY) gestalt
3) the singleminded focus it takes to be a triathlete
I found his story very compelling and at the same time one of the most difficult to read because of his injuries and subsequent recovery. There were a couple of times where I had to put the book down for a while because I couldn't handle the enormity of his injuries. This man overcame t...more
Mandi Friedman
This book was fascinating through the entire read. Matt's journey is unique and inspiring. He pushed himself in life, and when life took an ill turn, he eventually got back up and decided to not let it stop him. He truly conquered great feats.
Jen
I am giving this book 5 stars - not because it's a great piece of literature, but because I was literally moved to tears throughout the book.

Matt Long grew up in the family setting that I have always found idyllic. One of a family of 9 children, growing up in a small home, siblings as best friends, and parents owning an ice cream parlor. Sounds perfect to me.

The story is a perfect combination of Matt's life pre-accident, and post accident. Describing the injuries he received upon being hit be a...more
Brandy
I didn't expect to laugh aloud or even tear up as I read this book...but I did. This is the amazing story of a FDNY firefighter who is run over by a bus a few days before Christmas 2005. Prior to this accident he was a marathoner and Ironman. Matt Long uses his life experiences to get through the darkest times following his accident. Although the story is quite predictable if not already known by the reader, it is an intense feeling to read about it and learn about it through Matt. Even if you a...more
Chrissie
I feel like a jerk for not giving this a higher rating, but it is what it is. I was familiar with Matt's story after reading a magazine article on him a few years ago, and then an excerpt from this book. The story itself is just an amazing tale of overcoming the odds and digging deep to reach your goal - as well as one of how a community came together around him. However, the writing and editing were severely lacking here. If you want a better telling of the story, look up "Matt Long's Second Li...more
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“What did I discover during my solo—besides learning to unwrap my energy bar ahead of time? That you ask yourself a lot of questions when you're alone on a bike for that long. One question more than others: Why the heck am I doing this? When I was done, I think I had found the answer: For the satisfaction that comes with pushing your body to the breaking point and conquering the unknown.” 0 likes
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