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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

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,009 ratings  ·  144 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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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,009 ratings  ·  144 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.
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
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.
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!
Jason Sherman
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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 I finished after I 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, and
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
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
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Malin Friess
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing

5 stars.

On November 5th 2017 I hope to be with 39,195 other runners as we pound the two decks of the Verrazano- Narrows Bridge leaving Staten Island and entering Brooklyn to begin the NYC marathon (hope I'm on the upper deck..and not the lower deck--runners have been known to relieve themselves spontaneously if necessary).

Liz Robbins takes us on a compelling 26.2 mile story of the NYC marathon and gives us a curbside seat--a race that begin some 35 years ago as 6 laps in central park. The NYC m
Jan 08, 2009 rated it liked it
A Race Like No Other describes in great detail the 2007 New York City Marathon. The author expertly captures the essence of the race and provides the reader with a rare vicarious treat of what is like to run one of the greatest marathons on the planet. The book focuses primarily on a few key players to illustrate the impact of the marathon from multiple perspectives. [return][return]The story was not without flaws. Just as the action was heating up and you couldn't wait for the next mile the aut ...more
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but it was much like a marathon itself.
Plus - I liked learning about the history of the event and the major contributors who made the event what it is today. I also enjoyed reading about the stories behind the pro runners as well as the amazing regular people. I liked how she broke the race down mile by mile and highlighted the exact area of New York where the race would be run during that mile. It gave a really flavor to the various neighborhoods and volunteers who
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
My running group recommended I pick up this book while I trained for the New York Marathon and for good reason. This book elevates the marathon to something emotional more than physical, which suited me just fine as I prepped. Robbins looks at the marathon through the eyes of several participants: a number of the elite runners, and a few of the non-elite normal runners. Whether competing against others, with yourself, or on behalf of others, Robbins makes it clear that running the marathon is - ...more
Mar 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Melody by: Mary Ann
Oh this book makes me think I might could possibly muster up the where-withal and the energy and the stamina to actually run another marathon. But I’d only do it if my running buddies would come along and we’d promise ourselves that we’d pee off the bridge – or at least squat on the bridge, and stop in the middle of the pack and snap pictures of ourselves (but not while peeing) with the SOL in the background and make sure we sang along to New York, New York as we strolled up to the starting line ...more
Dec 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
We met Liz Robbins when she visited the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. You can listen to her talk about "A Race Like No Other" here:

About this podcast:
New York Times sportswriter Liz Robbins reads from and discusses her new book A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York. When 39,195 competitors begin the thirty-eighth running of the famed New York City Marathon, they experience one of the most exhilarating moments in sports. But as the
Nov 03, 2009 rated it liked it
There is lots of cheese in this book, which tells the story of the 2007 NYC Marathon through anecdotes, history and runner profiles in mile-by-mile chapters. I read it during an unusual month in my own running life. So I was susceptible to the drama of Paula Radcliffe's comeback, Ryan Shay's sudden death during the Olympic Trials, and the perseverance of ordinary runners. Even though I don't want to take on the time commitment and mental challenge of training for a marathon, the book left me wit ...more
Oct 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: running
A lot of running books out there lately. This is my second one about a specific race; I read one about Boston earlier this year. Well written and fun to read - flipped around between the history of the race, the battles between the leaders of the mens and womens races, and some great stories of people running at different paces throughout the race. I's organized by mile, so you get a feel of what parts of the city the race winds through.

This made me realize a couple thing: I've never run a race
Jun 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book was very informative and while I don't really want to go out and run a marathon, I think the athletes who run there are even more amazing than I knew.

Every chapter in the book is a mile from the marathon, which is a clever idea, but around Mile 20 ("The Wall" of the book) things started to drag. I liked the final chapter, where it went over finish times (especially the part about Katie Holmes), but the photos in the book gave away the results of the race, making things a little less su
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