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

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,133 ratings  ·  153 reviews
"A Race Like No Other" is a narrative based on the November 4, 2007 race, but it is timeless in its themes. Acclaimed "New York Times" sportswriter Liz Robbins captures the enormity of the New York City Marathon through the prism of five representative athletes and the experiences that brought them to the starting line: one male and one female professional runner from over ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 7th 2008 by Harper (first published October 1st 2008)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  1,133 ratings  ·  153 reviews


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Selina Young
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
More like 3.5 stars. I really appreciated hearing about the race as I’m about to run it. Great set up - each chapter is a mile. While I liked reading about the elite runners I felt there was too much. I liked the stories of the amateur ‘regular’ runners much more compelling.
Deanna
Oct 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
I have a very large collection of books about running. I love books about running. This is the least compelling specimen of the genre that I've come across in a while, though maybe less boring to someone who doesn't follow running as closely.
Katie
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book about the New York City Marathon. Unlike "Born to Run," I'm not sure how much this book would appeal to non-runners, but as a runner I couldn't put it down. It was one of those nonfiction books that is the perfect blend of personal anecdotes and history of the race, which really kept me engaged.

The author follows personal stories everywhere from the top elite athletes to people who finished in over 6 hours, and everybody in between. I liked how it was structured, how there was essent
...more
Kimberly Prytherch
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved every minute of it, it makes me want to run the race even more!
Totochelamouche
Jul 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Weber explained that paying attention to running or engaging in strenuous exercise is a distraction from studying the Torah. Still, two seminal Jewish scholars, Rabbi Akiba in the second century and Moses Maimonides, the twelfth-century philosopher, advocated taking care of one's body.


In a quarter century of marathons, this dramatic change in gender trends was made possible and inspired by three women, each a former winner of the New York City Marathon, each a pioneer of the sport: Nina Kuscsik,
...more
Jason Sherman
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow.

This book has always been on my bucket list (semi-alongside actually running the marathon) and I picked this up just about a month before this year’s marathon - my first. I had wanted to finish it before race day but in the end, I took too long and finished about 3 weeks after.

I’m glad I️ finished after I️ ran the race, actually, because it allowed me to appreciate the stories in a different way. I was able to flash back to certain moments, especially during the last stretch of the race, a
...more
Kimberly
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I started reading this book while training for the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon to help me get in the mindset, build excitement, and mentally prepare for the grueling NYC course. The book follows several runners (some elite professionals and others who are like me - average people looking to finish for one reason or another) as they make their way through the 26.2 mile course. Each chapter covers a mile and tells a bit of the story of each runner. It's an interesting way to detail the marathon, though ...more
Jenny
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I actually listened to this one on audio twice. The first time, it ended and I realized it had gone so fast I must have been distracted and missed some. But in listening again I realized I didn't really miss anything, and, yet, it entertained me all the same. I have always wanted to run this race (long before ever becoming a runner!) I had applied for the lottery this year (didn't get in, unfortunately) and had been reading this to psyche myself up even more. The author breaks each chapter into ...more
Bryan Hall
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: runners, new yorkers
As good a book as you could write about the New York City Marathon. Robbins covers the course mile-by-mile, tracking a variety of runners along the way. She goes into detail about the histories and personalities of the male and female elite runners, profiles several amateurs with inspirational stories, and even goes into the crowds to get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the spectators, musicians, and volunteers that line the course. The history of the race is also covered extensively, but in ...more
Raahil Modi
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-on-kindle, 2020
Having read this book - it makes me want to run the New York City Marathon soon.

The story captures the 2007 race mile by mile, exploring different runners, at different times in their lifes, the level of hardships, the good, the bad and the extraordinaire.

It also gives an interesting insight on New York Road Runners Team and their journey on how NYC Marathon became the Best and the Biggest Marathon in the world.

There is a lot of interesting historical stuff (everything about Marathons, runner
...more
Susan
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book for several reasons. The biggest is that if I ever decided I wanted to run a marathon, New York is probably the one I would want to run. (Except I am totally turned off by that 5 hour wait to start.) Also, based on the 2007 race, it was well before my interest in running so I wasn't familiar with most of the elites featured in the book. And obviously all the amateurs were unknown to me. Ms. Robbins did a terrific job of combining the flow of the race with everyone's pe ...more
Carianne Carleo-Evangelist
I really really loved this book. I’ve read it before but don’t appear to have reviewed it anywhere. Fun to run into my pre existing highlights on the library kindle copy. When I first read this I wasn’t a runner, and now the elites this book focused on are retired. Something special about reading this on a flight to England though with so much about Paula Radcliffe.
I liked that it focused on the city and the non elite athletes and volunteers as much as telling the stories of how the elites came
...more
Jelena
Aug 10, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book is a complete disappointment and reading it was an agonizing experience. It comprises of an endless row of anecdotes and yawn full stories with no clear narrative line or message. I bought the book while training for NYC marathon hoping to learn about this epic race and the five boroughs, instead the book offered a pig-pile of dull anecdotes that have no value in the NYC marathon context. I give the book zero stars.
Amy
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A friend book this for a group of us running the 2017 NYC Marathon, some of us, like myself, for our first marathon distance. I loved how the chapters were broken into miles to give you an idea of what to expect as you run the course. After reading this book I found myself equal parts terrified and excited to run 26.2 miles through the streets of NYC. Highly recommended for anyone running the NYC marathon!
Owen
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable look at the 2007 New York City marathon. A marathon is run by many types of people. Here you get a story of the elite runners and others runners. If you're a run marathon, or run the NYC marathon, or know the places discussed in the book I think you'll find it more enjoyable. So perhaps only 3 stars for some readers, and five stars for others. About 3.5 stars for me. Glad I read it. Pretty sure I won't read it again.
Yvette Goldberg
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was a great book for anyone that appreciates the effort to being the best you can be at any sport. As someone about to run the marathon I loved the breakdown of miles for each chapter. It was nice to read and the elites, though I too that went on a bit long. Loved the back stories of the different regular runners trying to accomplish something big for themselves or some else, and also the back stories of some of the volunteers. Very original.
David Jay
Nov 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved how the chapters each correlated with the 26.2 miles of the marathon. Very clever.

I loved reading the stories of the 'regular people' runners; the woman who had just been released from prison, the young man who had just finished treatment for cancer. I was less interested in the stories of the professional runners. I wish the book had focused less on them.

Colin
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent way to learn about the NYC Marathon course and some neat stories of runners and people along the course. I ready it right before running the marathon in 2018 and it was a great way to get ready to run!
Stephan
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
The A to Z about the New York City Marathon, and the back stories of a handful of runners who overcame tragedy or their own demons to run the 2007 New York Marathon. You don't have to be a runner to enjoy this book.
Nick
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a great book for anyone who has run, or wants to run, a Marathon. It's chock full of anecdotes about the people and events that make a marathon so fascinating.
Kate
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really cool. Lots of info about nyc/nyc marathon. Liked the setup - follow stories of multiple runners.
Kevin
Dec 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I ran NYC. Every other chapter brought back exciting memories of that day. But other chapters were like hitting the wall.
Gretchen
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Multiple compelling storylines here, about the famous and the ordinary, and I’m always a sucker for running lit. But the prose are painfully clumsy in places, especially where Robbins attempts landscape description and summative metaphors. Cringeworthy. I was itching to get out my old editor’s pen and kept thinking about what one of the exacting masters of long-form journalism for The New Yorker would have done to this. Straightforward reportage is much more her strength.
Melissa B
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great inspirational book for someone planning to run the NYC marathon for the first time
Amanda Cunningham
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent stories and descriptions of the New York City Marathon. It is a bit dated, it is the 2007 race but overall the stories and the history are timeless. Lovely read.
Shelley
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: audible, read-2019
3.5 stars. The book chronicles the elites and a few every day runner stories of the 2007 NYC marathon.
Phillip Daniel
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
3/5: This race focused narrative makes me want to run the five boroughs sometime soon!
Milla
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I have read many books about running, both personal stories and race stories, and I found this one to be particularly dry. Though it does give interesting details of each mile of the course as well as personal stories of some of the runners, I don't think it fully represented the world's largest (and most exciting!) marathon. I am glad I read it, but I won't be coming back to it.
David
Sep 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Quick read covering the 2007 New York Marathon, won by Paula Radcliffe and Martin Lel in exciting fashion over Gete Wami and Hendrick Ramaala, respectively. Delves into history of NYRRC, the NY marathon and the various neighborhoods through which the race goes (e.g., an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in mile 10 that author describes as not having embraced the race at all). Nice background material on wheelchair competition and on the main male and female contenders esp. Ramaala and his upbri ...more
Natalie Andrews
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you like running you will enjoy this. There are a lot of different stories about spectators and runners of the NYC Marathon (maybe too many stories - it was hard to keep track of them all). I found this inspiring, eye opening and definitely got choked up with emotion a few different times. This book is more about people's stories than it is about running and training.
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