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

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  870 ratings  ·  101 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 revolu ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Rodale Books
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  870 ratings  ·  101 reviews


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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.
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 espec
...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 Berg
Oct 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
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 Brown
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-t
...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
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.
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.
Stefan Salonen
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
A book 3 focuses faith and running and near death
Tim Morgan
Oct 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Appalling and full of dirty lies
Mark
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting insight into obsession.
Roberto
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
May everyone run until they vomit -- monthly.
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.
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.
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 runn
...more
Julia B
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was ok
There is no doubt that Salazar is an incredible athlete and coach, and that distance running (particularly American distance running) was and continues to be shaped by him. It is, therefore, inescapably interesting to read through his life and experiences. He and his co-author go into exciting details about his racing, his battle with self-doubt and injury, and ultimately his transition into a career post-racing.

That said, it is difficult to listen to Salazar. He wastes many words as
...more
DJ Wilson
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love to get into successful runners heads and see what makes them tick, what is the edge that makes them succeed . This is why I bought this book. in 1985 I was a freshman in high school and was just getting into running. My brother Tom , who was a star runner at the school I went to always talked about Salazar. I graduated high school in 1989 and that is also when my running career faded.

Fast forward 20 years to 2009, I started to run again and have been very interested in the men
...more
Chris
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
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
Martin
Feb 25, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is well framed and constructed, but not expertly written. Some high-level words are misused often, and some malapropisms abound (Long suit? What exactly is a long suit? I know what a strong suit is!). Then again, it doesn't need to be. His life (or should I say death) story itself is quite fascinating in its own right, and the mere telling of it simply with the facts would have been engaging enough. He's very frank, which makes for good reading. You don't think you're being hoodwinked ...more
Woody Curran
Jun 08, 2015 rated it liked it
I finally read this after receiving it as a gift a couple years ago. In my opinion, the book is oddly organized and does not flow well. But Salazar explains his life experiences and how they shaped him, taking us through several near death experiences due to his obsessive drive to run through any pain and exhaustion.

The book occasionally dives deep into running and training details, Catholicism and his life of faith, and his cardiac condition but then pulls back to a high-level narrative to kee
...more
Chris Bryant
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: running
A quick, easy read. I decided to read the book because I was fascinated by the stories from his early Boston days and training with Bill Squires. And I enjoyed that section of the book.

But, I really enjoyed the latter portion of the book as well. There was something about his humility, from a not so humble individual, regarding his return to faith and its impact on his running that was enjoyable. It is a small portion of the book, but it hints at finding peace and contentment in the run that I
...more
Mandy
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was not familiar with Alberto Salazar and his running career until recently, before that I had just heard his name in connection with the Nike Oregon Project. Once I begun to become just a bit familiar with his career and then saw this opportunity to learn more about him I had to seize the opportunity.
Salazar's life took me by surprise. I was prepared for the dedication and near obsession he would have as a runner, but I was not aware he was a man of deep faith. As much as I enjoyed and
...more
Tiffany
Jul 31, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm an avid runner and enthusiastically read all the running books I can get my hands on. 14 minutes seemed like a fascinating read from a man known for his mental and physical toughness, marathon wins and more recently, as the coach of world-class athletes.

This book is an interesting read that takes you through Alberto's life from his adolescent years through the 14 minutes that changed his life and gave him a greater perspective and appreciation of life. Alberto's heart stopped for
...more
John
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running-books, 2014
I was hoping this book would show that Salazar was not an arrogant crazy person. In fact, it did make me like him more, but mostly because it simply reaffirmed that he's not really a jerk, just massively self-interested. At least five times in the book he suggested that HE was the catalyst for significant historical events (at least with respect to the running world). Each one is followed by some version of "lots of people think I'm arrogant, but I'm just being honest." Not once, more than once. ...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
“Again, simply declaring your goal won’t help you attain your dream, but unless you declare it—unless you believe in it—you have no chance of attaining it.” 0 likes
“This might sound extreme, perhaps even a little deranged, but I don’t think you can make it to the very top rank in any sport if you don’t have a similar aversion to losing—a visceral, physical loathing. I look for this trait in an athlete, although the hatred of losing has to be balanced by a certain degree of realism, an ability to step back just enough so that you can process your disappointing performance and learn from it.” 0 likes
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