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Run to Overcome: The Inspiring Story of an American Champion's Long-Distance Quest to Achieve a Big Dream

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3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  776 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
The incredible true story of Meb Keflezighi, winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon!When Meb Keflezighi won the New York City Marathon in 2009—the first American to do so in 27 years—some critics questioned whether the Eritrean-born runner was “really” an American despite his citizenship status and representing the USA on two Olympic and several World Championship teams. Yet M ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 25th 2010 by Tyndale Momentum
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Tara
Mar 17, 2012 Tara rated it liked it
I am a runner. I love books about runners. This book fell a little flat for me. Meb is clearly a wonderful person with strong family values and stores of kindness. This review is not a criticism of the man, but of the choices that the writers took in presenting the story. The autobiography told more than showed. I didn't feel a sense of suspense while reading at anytime. I should have. I think that a different organizational technique might have helped. Delaying the emotional punch may have help ...more
Tiffany
Aug 03, 2012 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Ever since I saw Meb conquer the 2009 NY marathon with the USA singlet on, I have been a huge fan! Hearing his story is inspiring, reading it firsthand in 'Run to Overcome' is a heartfelt look into Meb's life journey. Meb writes about his family's roots in Eritrea and how much his parents sacrificed to get him and his siblings to a safer environment. After years of separation and preparation, his father was able to get the family to Italy and ultimately the U.S. Meb's story is the essence of the ...more
Sarah
Apr 09, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Meb is very inspiring. If you follow or watch running at all, his performances ooze fantasmo. His childhood is one I can only relate to by watching movies and the same goes for his adulthood.

This book felt as if it had been written by Meb himself, not a ghostwriter. So, it kind of just felt as if we had been sitting on the couch while he related his life story.

I did not enjoy, towards the end, how his prize money amounts kept getting mentioned - though I realize with some of them mentioning it
...more
Nancy
Nov 07, 2010 Nancy added it
From very humble beginnings, Meb relies heavily upon his Christian faith and belief in the American Dream. Coming from a war-torn country where food is scarce and luxury includes owning your own skinny cow, Meb recognized the positives in life early on. His father, willing to sacrifice his own safety and well-being, traversed the continent to reach Sudan then emigrated to Italy. At this point the very large family joined him. Meb recalls the joyful reunion in detail.

Two years later, the family i
...more
Dorothy
Feb 21, 2011 Dorothy rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! A great read for anyone who considers themselves an athlete. Not only did I enjoy reading Meb's story of coming from essentially nothing to becoming the winner of the NYC Marathon and an Olympic medalist, but I learned many tips that I can apply to my own running. He inspired me to think more about recovery and what we do 'off the field' that affects us in our athletic pursuits. His belief in God warmed my heart, because he showed no fear in saying where he gets his strength fro ...more
Christopher
Mar 11, 2014 Christopher rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
(Full Disclosure: I had the honor of meeting Meb Keflezighi twice at the LA Marathon and the San Diego Rock n' Roll Half Marathon last year and the copy I just finished is an autographed copy. Having said that, I shall try to review this book as objectively as possible.)

In recent years more Americans have been taking on the challenge of running long distance races like a half-marathon or a full marathon. Some of that uptick I think is do in part to the number of great American distance runners w
...more
Steven
Apr 09, 2011 Steven rated it really liked it
Since I enjoy reading autobiographies and since we're talking about Meb (one of the current great American runners), this book does a good job in telling me his struggles in his native Eritrea, the factors involved with his move to the states and how this non-athlete became one of the fastest marathoners and an Olympic medalist. Definitely would recommend it, especially the questions that he asks at the end of the book.
Jan Daker
Feb 01, 2014 Jan Daker rated it really liked it
Meb is one of my favorite runners. I see him at the BIX often. Meb never fails to impress me both with his running success and the way he conducts himself.
His book is an outstanding example of a family that sets high goals in life. They truly represent what is best about America. Also learned some new running tips.....doesn't get better than this.
Suep
Nov 27, 2011 Suep rated it liked it
Driven man, inspiring, little dry for me but that's just me. Dang! Can he run!
Eric
Jan 15, 2017 Eric rated it liked it
Meb is one of the greatest ambassadors for sport I have ever followed. He demonstrates the ideal form of "class" that all the nostalgic old timers claim no longer exists (whether it ever really did or not).
Meb's cultural upbringing emphasizes modesty beyond the standard of American understanding and so a relatable memoir by our standards could not have been easy to tease out of Kaflezeghi. American's love opinions and judgments from our idols that we can hang our own hat on and feel better for t
...more
Owen
May 12, 2017 Owen rated it really liked it
Nice story about a great athlete. I really liked it. A hard working guy with strong values has great results running. Also, it was interesting to learn he'd never run a sub 4:00 mile. A very good read, but not a must read.
Terzah
Mar 25, 2012 Terzah rated it liked it
Shelves: running-books
I've had this autobiography of professional runner Meb Keflezighi for a while, having won it as part of a blog giveaway. Though I'd dipped into it here and there, I hadn't really sat down to read it. But when I found out recently that I have a back injury and what it meant for my running (that I can't run for a while), I knew it was time to pick it up and read it through.

In the end, the first-person narrative (Meb worked with a co-writer), while nothing special in a literary sense, was the perfe
...more
Randi S
Jan 12, 2011 Randi S rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Run to Overcome" is the new book by Meb Keflezighi. Don't know who that is? No worries, neither did I until I read this book! Meb is one of the best marathoners in America, in the world. This is "the inspiring story of an American champion's long-distance quest to achieve a big dream" (taken from the book cover).


Meb's story is not an usual Cinderella story: a family emigrated to America (via Italy) from Eritrea, a very small African nation. Eritrea was a war zone so his father, fearing for his
...more
Nancy
Nov 07, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From very humble beginnings, Meb relies heavily upon his Christian faith and belief in the American Dream. Coming from a war-torn country where food is scarce and luxury includes owning your own skinny cow, Meb recognized the positives in life early on. His father, willing to sacrifice his own safety and well-being, traversed the continent to reach Sudan then emigrated to Italy. At this point the very large family joined him. Meb recalls the joyful reunion in detail.

Two years later, the family i
...more
Jenn
Sep 03, 2012 Jenn rated it liked it
Meb is one of my running heroes.
I knew he'd had a number of obstacles to overcome in early life, but I didn't realize the extent of the suffering and sacrifices that his family endured before and after leaving their home in Eritrea and coming to the U.S. I was in tears several times during the first couple of chapters.

I feel terrible saying this, but there was a bit of a "goody two shoes" tone to the rest of the book. I continue to admire everything about him, but I had a bit of a sense of "hmm
...more
Annabelle Winters
Jan 29, 2014 Annabelle Winters rated it it was amazing
This is a great book! I and several of my friends have our own personal "meeting Meb" stories and all of them hinge upon the impression that Meb is passionate, compassionate, and genuine. This book totally supports that impression. Like several other biographical books from athletes, Meb does draw on his Christian faith and beliefs a lot throughout the book, but unlike some of those others it isn't at all off-putting or evangelical, it only makes him even more appealing. I had tears in my eyes a ...more
Megan
Mar 26, 2015 Megan rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Meb's autobiography! Renee Baker Smith lent this book to me almost a year ago (not long after Meb came to a Marathoners-in-Training Wednesday speed workout), and I finally got around to reading it. Meb Keflezighi was the 2009 NYC Marathon and 2014 Boston Marathon winner, and he will be running the upcoming 2015 Boston Marathon. I had admired him before and even more so after reading this book, which describes his life from his birth in Africa to his win in Boston last year. His ...more
Jennifer
Apr 29, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: others
Meb's autobiography about overcoming obstacles during his life and becoming an olympic medalist runner was so inspiring. His entire family were all-stars in everything they did. I think the best part of the book was to hear about the dedication a pro athlete/runner takes in his life - eating healthy, no alcohol, running every day, strength training... however, the injuries Meb sustained while running and training sounded so painful. At times, his account of injuries and deaths of fellow racers s ...more
Andy
Sep 09, 2012 Andy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-library
After watching the mens Olympic marathon on tv this year I requested this book from the library. It came in this week and I found it to be a quick but really good and encouraging read. This evening especially as I am sitting at home with a stress fracture and read that Meb also had the same problem but went on to win the New York Marathon so there is hope yet. Still not sure whether I'll go for a marathon again - I'm inclined to keep it safe and sensible and stick to the half marathons but we'll ...more
Koji Kawano
Feb 26, 2013 Koji Kawano rated it liked it
It was a couple of months after Meb Keflezighi won the Olympic Marathon Trial in Houston when I saw an Amazon promotion posted on Twitter about this book, Run to Overcome. It was offered at $0.99! I jumped on it and started to read. However, it did not go as fast as it has done for other books. This is partly because I had three other books (Young at Heart, The Four-Minute Mile, and Jim Ryun Story) from the public library, which I had to finish within three weeks – they were all great books. Tha ...more
Joel Arnold
Apr 06, 2013 Joel Arnold rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book because it's about running. If you're not into running it may not be as interesting. Basically, it's an autobiography of how an Eritraen boy worked his way up to being a successful Olympic athlete. Along the way, I definitely appreciated his tone and emphasis on discipline. I wouldn't say the book was as self-glorifying as many autobiographies can be. It's also apparent that he really was a good example of diligence (he maintained excellent grades and left other options open ...more
Elizabeth Kennedy
Oct 19, 2015 Elizabeth Kennedy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I feel so inspired by this man now that I have read his book!! He seems so kind and well adjusted despite his hardships. I have always been impressed by his running, but now it seems that I will have him for a hero. This weekend, at age 40, he will be running in the NYC Marathon and is still considered competative!!! Based on what I have read, he would give all of the thanks and credit for this to God, as he did when he broke the American half marathon record a couple of weeks ago. I am in awe o ...more
Carla
Apr 19, 2012 Carla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Parts of this book are worth at least 4 stars - the character traits & values he was raised with & embodies, his faith, his work ethic, the relationships he nurtured, the story of meeting & courting his wife, and the tips for runners & goal setting. Other parts he gets real wordy, with naming off all his run times & workout schedules & listing in succession different races - I can see how it's important to the book, to see the amount of planning & work that goes into ...more
Margaret Klein
Feb 17, 2016 Margaret Klein rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
I liked the concept of the book better than the book. I am a huge MEB fan and so impressed with all this athlete has accomplished. The book had moments of exhilaration but too repetitive and too religious for my taste (and I say that as a rabbi). I would have liked more information on training and more on what he was feeling rather than the details of the individual races. It also seemed to need an editor as there was some back and forth in time and some repetition. Nonetheless, pleased to have ...more
Drew
Apr 23, 2014 Drew rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story about how Meb and his family came to be in America and journey to become an elite marathoner. He takes you through his early days in Eritrean, immigrating to Italy and then the United States. From there he goes into how he became interested in running and through his progression from High School all the way through his 2009 NYC Marathon win. The book is filled with inspirational stories which are sure to help motivate any runner or just anyone who might need a little encouragem ...more
Tonia
Jul 01, 2012 Tonia rated it really liked it
I found the book to be very inspirational! As someone who only started running three years ago, it was interesting to see the perspective of someone who runs professionally, especially the things we had in common! I found the author to be sincere, humble and above all, dedicated. I think there are some great lessons in this book, and I enjoyed reading it. My reading was timely, too, as the 2012 London Olympics are set to start in a few weeks. I know I'll be keeping my eye on Meb in the marathon!
Christine Worms
Sep 14, 2016 Christine Worms rated it really liked it
Meb is a great man with a great story. Although this book was simplistic in its writing style, I found the subject matter to be inspiring. Men's family left Eritrea during a time of violence and conflict and eventually came to the US where they became college graduates, US citizens, and a true "American Dream" success story but not without lots of hard work and a strong faith life. Loved "listening" as Meb recounted his races, race strategy, how things went right on some days and wrong on others ...more
Kathy
Jan 19, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it
An inspiring story of faith, dedication, courage and perseverance. Meb shares his story and through that one can tell what kind of man he is. Even if you are not a runner, you can appreciate what he has to say about setting goals, the importance of education, having a good support system and being wiling to test yourself. I loved how when someone said he could not do something he, "filed that one away" and worked toward making it happen.
A quick read about a likable, humble man that you cannot he
...more
Hannah McEntire
Nov 08, 2016 Hannah McEntire rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
Great book. He credits his family, faith, and friends to his success. If anything, a really awesome book about overcoming a lot of adversity (civil war in his home country, a country I'd never heard of but is making a mark in running at the moment, NYC Marathon Female one of the top three was from Meb's home country). "It takes a village".

Good book. Meb seems down to earth, easy to relate to, thankful, and kind.

Go Meb Go!
Trisha
Aug 24, 2015 Trisha rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! What an incredible inspiration, not just in running either. Trying to recover from an injury and this is what I needed. I have felt very alone through this process, let's be real, people don't give a crap about your problems. Reading about all that Meb has overcome, including an incredible amount of injuries, is truly inspiring. Never give up on yourself! A great read for runners and non-runners.
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Mebrahtom "Meb" Keflezighi is an American athlete, specializing in long distance running. He and his family were refugees from Eritrea via Italy to the United States, when he was age 12.

He is the driving force behind the MEB Foundation, the "MEB" standing for "Maintaining Excellent Balance," which principally promotes healthy living, and other positive lifestyle choices and motivation for school-
...more
More about Meb Keflezighi...

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“But I also realize that winning doesn't always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself.” 36 likes
“But I also realize that winning doesn't always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself. One of my greatest joys is inspiring other people to perform at their best.” 7 likes
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