Book Review: 100 Marathons by Jeffrey Horowitz

100 Marathons

100 Marathons: Memories and Lessons from Races Run around the World hooked me in right from the beginning.   I don’t remember how I came across this book (it may have even been an Amazon recommendation!), but I really enjoyed it.  I expected this book to be a little more educational with more of a focus on “takeaways”, but it is definitely more of a memoir.  The storytelling in this book is fantastic, I felt as if I was running alongside an old friend as he told me about his running adventures.  I suspect this would be a fantastic audiobook if someone is looking for one for a long run.

Jeff started running marathons in the late 80s, when he signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon while in law school.  He found that running not only got him in shape, but helped him clear his head, and he quickly began to enjoy the challenge of training for a marathon.  After his first, he was hooked, and trained for a second.  After a couple dozen, he realized he could set a big goal – and set out to run 100 marathons.

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What follows Jeff’s introduction to running are the stories of his favorite, craziest, and most lesson-inducing marathons.  The stories I enjoyed most were those of the crazy and challenging marathons he completed, such as the Pike’s Peak Marathon and a marathon on Antartica.  While reading, you can’t help but let your imagination go wild imagining running alongside penguins.  He discusses his quest to qualify for Boston,  compares a small town marathon to the big city marathons, and brings you into the friendships he made with other runners who supported and challenged him along the way.

Throughout the book and his journey, Jeff tries to answer the simple question: “Why do you run marathons?”.  He struggles to articulate an answer that is satisfying and fully encompasses the spirit of the marathon and the passion behind it.  By the end of the book and his journey, Jeff has a great explanation (which I won’t spoil for you!)

In '100 Marathons', Jeff tries to answer the question 'why do you run marathons?' Click To Tweet

Not only was this an easy and enjoyable read, but I don’t think you have to be a runner to appreciate this book.  The stories are entertaining and Jeff doesn’t take too much time on the technical details.  He inserts “tips” at the end of each chapter which you can easily skip over if you prefer.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have already passed it along to another running friend.  I’d recommend this to any runner for a light, entertaining, and inspiring read.

What’s your favorite running-related book?

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