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14 Minutes: A Running Legend's Life and Death and Life

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  940 ratings  ·  109 reviews
14 Minutes is the memoir of Alberto Salazar, the most accomplished, charismatic, and controversial marathoner in history. The narrative is framed in the 14 minutes in which Salazar was clinically dead after his shocking heart attack in 2007. The story describes his tempestuous relationship with his father, Jose Salazar, who was a close ally of Fidel Castro during the Cuban ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Rodale Books
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Francis Cusick
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Picked this up thinking it would be an interesting story of one of the best American marathoners of all time and a top running coach. I thought maybe he'd share some insight into how he trained back in his glory days of the 1980's, how his coaching philosophy was shaped, etc. Instead, all the references to his actual training methods were really vague, and the book basically consisted of Salazar bragging about how great he was at running and how he was able to become so successful because of his ...more
Michel B.
Dec 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012-reads
I'm not 'anti-Salazar' - the author suggests that he has a lot of detractors. Although I'm an avid and addicted runner and had read "Duel In The Sun", I knew very little about Salazar. As such, I had no opinion of the person, per se. All this to say that my very low rating has nothing to do with Alberto Salazar.

In reality I found the style and writing very poor and difficult to get into. The author(s) range wildly in time and build next to no suspense (or interest). Those parts that might have
...more
Reno Stirrat
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting read not the technical part of his running and coaching but more the why and driving force.
Tim Morgan
Oct 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Appalling and full of dirty lies
Jilanna
Apr 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Vacation read. Purchased in Philadelphia.

Read in less than 24 hours. Very compelling story with lots of interesting information, social context.

A little bit awkwardly written in places...but maybe it's reflection of Salazar's voice, speech...which I've never heard.

Highly recommend to anyone who is curious about the "early" days of running in the US (esp 70s, early 80s) and its evolution over the years; who is working on their own running goals; and, most especially, to anyone who has lost someon
...more
John Spiller
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Somewhat interesting reading this book six years after publication. Since this book was published, Salazar's protege, Galen Rupp, has earned two Olympic medals, but Salazar's Nike Oregon Project has been dogged by serious questions of whether Salazar pushed his athletes into what would charitably be called "ethical gray areas". The revelations, which came from athletes and a coach in the Nike Oregon Project, paint a picture of Salazar using his athletes, coaches, and even son, as lab rats to see ...more
Jenna Garcia
Oct 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jack Mulligan
I am an avid runner and I have followed Salazars career since his first marathon but I came into reading this memoir with low expectations; Maybe from having recently read How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart by David Foster Wallace or from several other prior reads where I learned that great athletic talent rarely translates to fine writing. I'm glad to say I was pleasantly surprised. I have read some of the criticisms, that he focused too much on his spiritual faith and is highly egotistical, const ...more
Oliver
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
My image of Salazar prior to reading the book was tainted and after finishing the book that view did not change. A "win-at-all-cost-character" permeates his persona and I dont feel that has changed.

His connections with BALCO (Victor Conte) and Lance Armstrong are seriously disturbing.

With that said (since I am crazy about running), it was interesting to read about the running related stuff, especially during the late 70s n 80s.

But when he started digressing and went into religion-talk, he was
...more
Benjamin Torres
I really liked Brant's Duel in the sun which talks about the Boston Marathon of 1982, but it also describes the lives of the top 2 finishers Beardsley and Salazar, before and after that duel.
This book focuses solely on the life of Alberto Salazar but told in such a different manner, that one can only imagine, that it is Salazar's "voice" that comes through John Brant's pen, that may sound like a compliment, but it is not, I found it very difficult to enjoy the book mainly because of all the bra
...more
Jonathan Whipple
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luke
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running-books
I honestly don't know where to start reviewing this book.. It was a lot, it is the sort of book you would have to read twice to take it all in, although I wouldn't want to read it twice. 6 hours (or however long it took me to read it) of Salazar was quite enough.

Talking points include:
- Fidel Castro (really!)
- his father
- his ego
- his obsessive-ness
- the horrible sinking feeling I got when I related to his ego driven obsessive overtraining and the subsequent downfall.
- Comrades
- the b
...more
Charlie Daniel
Sep 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Salazar’s intensity of approach to everything in his life - running, faith, relationships - unifies this book. My honest take-away is that his approach is for the worse, and that a balanced life is much more sustainable than a life directed toward singular goals. Playing the game well is more important than winning or losing.
Howard Krosnick
Dec 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
A wonderful book that opens up the world of hi-end competitive running with a personal story of consequence. Salazar was a great and driven marathon racer and coach and his story is compelling. A fast read and hard to put down.
Keegan
Nov 22, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Salazar spends the entirety of the book defending himself against his 'critics' while playing himself off as innocent and pious. Though his devotion is respectful I believe a better story can be told from a different perspective than his ...more
Mark Elworthy
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
A autobiographical summary of when Salazar had a heart attack and lived. It also discusses other near death experiences. Salazer is believed to exaggerated some his life experiences. Generally dislike by peers
Angela
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots to think about. More than just a book about running. A glimpse at life and philosophy thrown in with a bit of history.
Roberto
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
May everyone run until they vomit -- monthly.
Clift Georgaklis
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Honest and profound, this book deals w sports psychology, death, relations w family, and ties them together. One of my favorite bios.
Roddy Pimentel
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Runners must read

A must for any runner. It turned a bit spiritual but not overly so. His story inspires anyone to just step out and run.
Mark
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting insight into obsession.
Stefan Salonen
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
A book 3 focuses faith and running and near death
Donna
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Learned a lot about a runner's mindset. Not sure if he was egotistical or just saying he believed in himself because he was that good ...more
Matthew Lohmeyer
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
just the man talking about how good he was or how good he should have been
Rick Smith
Feb 04, 2021 rated it liked it
Some good stuff in there about the Alberto I loved to watch, but overall, I didn't really enjoy the book that much...then the scandals started coming out, and well, there you are. ...more
Tim
Jun 08, 2014 rated it liked it
I've never thought of this idea until I read marathon great Alberto Salazar's "14 Minutes," but a memoir will sometimes tell readers more about you that you ever intended or even imagined.

I have a quote on my study wall that says, “I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we're all cowards.” -- Alberto Salazar, 2:08.52.

The quote refers to Salazar's world record effort in the 1981 New York City Marathon, which he won three years in a row. As a mere 3:05 marathoner, I
...more
Terzah
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running-books
Alberto Salazar, a former world-record holder in the marathon who now coaches distance runners for Nike, has a formidable reputation, even among mid-pack runners like me. If he ever lets reporters for magazines like Runners World or the more competition-slanted Running Times interview him on general running-related matters, I haven't seen it, and his pickiness about which athletes among the cream of the cream that he will coach adds to his aloof mystique. Not knowing much at all about the man, I ...more
Jessica
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This should be on every runner’s reading list. Second only to Born to Run, this was an inspiring read written by a key icon of the running community.

The title refers to the fourteen minutes Alberto Salazar’s heart stopped beating on June 30, 2007. It was a miracle that he lived at all, much less with no brain damage. And while that incident sets the tone of the book, it is certainly not the entire focus. Do not read this if you’re hoping to read about after-death experiences; you won’t find tha
...more
Malin Friess
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
For 14 minutes World Class Marathoner Alberto Salazaar's heart stopped while walking across the Nike Campus. An ER physician happened to be on the scene, chest compressions and mouth-mouth resuscitation ensued. 911 was called an he was shocked with a defibrillator at least 5 times. Salazaar survived.

A fascinating look at a shy Cuban boy who found meaning, success, and spiritual awakening through running and pushing his body to the exreme limits. Alberto grew up in the hayday of running in Eugen
...more
Chris
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography-memoir
I'm a few years older than Alberto and was struggling to break 3 hours in the marathon when he was running under 2:10. I'd always wondered what happened to him. No Olympic medals. He just faded from sight. Never knew he was Cuban nor that his brother was the same Salazar with me at USNA. He has had two near death experiences, not just the one that gives the title to his book. He pretty much disappeared from running due to his obsession and arrogance. He just ran himself into the ground. His heat ...more
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Alberto Salazar was the premier American marathoner of the early- to mid-80s. After a top-flight career as a distance runner at the University of Oregon, winning 1978 NCAA cross-country race, Salazar made his marathon début at the 1980 New York Marathon. He won the race again in 1981-82, and in 1981 his time of 2-08:13 was thought to be a world marathon record, but after re-measurement, the course ...more

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