Hal Higdon Marathon: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780963634603

Marathon: A Novel

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9780963634603: Marathon: A Novel
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Celebrity X (more famous than Oprah) departs Rome on a private jet bound for the Lake City Marathon. Race director Peter McDonald arrives at the Expo for an inter-view with TV reporter Christine Ferrara, new in town. Peter and Christine find love almost immediately, but when will she learn the dark secret that clouds his life? Thus begins the fascinating 72-hour countdown to the Lake City Marathon, a race beset by problems: Will Peter lose his sponsor and job? Will hot weather threaten the health of runners? Can he keep the identity of Celebrity X secret? And for Chris-tine: Why is Nami­ the supermodel clinging to Peter s side? The race up front pits fast Kenyans against twin brothers from Minnesota. Among the women, the sudden loss of the world record holder opens the door for a flirtry Irishwoman and an unheralded podiatrist, who has not raced since injuries cancelled her college career. Back in the pack, Nani­ raises money for charity, a New York Times reporter chases Celebrity X, and once-married color commentators bicker their way through the telecast. Marathon, amazingly, is Hal Higdon s first novel, told in the grand tradi-tion of fact/fiction books by James Michener (Hawaii, The Source) and Arthur Hailey (Hotel, Airport). Whether runner, veteran, newcomer, or someone who has a friend who runs, Marathon will shock and surprise you as it uncovers the drama and intrigue behind the roadrunner s sport.

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About the Author:

Hal Higdon is a Contrubuting Editor for Runner s World and author of 35 books, including the best-selling Marathon: The Complete Training Guide.

Review:

Hal Higdon already knew as much as anyone could know about the history and insider workings of marathoning. Why not write a novel about one big-city race? Why not follow a tried-and-true formula--the hour-by-hour countdown to a major event--that allowed for maximum intersection of people and events, especially unexpected events, as the clock ticks down to the final minutes? Suspense builds, the reader turns the pages rapidly, eager to find out what the next minute will bring. Of course, I'm not going to reveal much more about what happens in Marathon. That's up to you to discover. I'll say this however: No matter how many marathons you've run, you haven't yet run one as dramatic and surprise-filled as this one, the annual Lake City Marathon. The things that happen in Marathon are bigger and more incredible than any that have happened in any real-life marathons. And yet.... And yet, they're believable, because Higdon knows marathons, knows what has happened in various races, and knows how to take the action to the next level. --Amby Burfoot, Runner's World

Author Hal Higdon is famed and popular, having written almost three dozen books, many of them training books, and countless articles, especially in Runners World. This is his second book entitled Marathon. The first was Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. This second is a novel, one centered on the 72 hours leading up to a megamarathon (50,000+ runners) and on the race itself. As expected, Higdon captures the essence of the marathon, especially a megamarathon. Veterans will recognize and even chuckle over what they read. Theirs was the God of Fitness, one to whom human sweat was Holy Water. One marathoner, as we all have, worried about the impending weather thwarting the months of training that had gotten him...into the best shape of his life. And at the expo, attire is the familiar traditional runners garb: jeans, T-shirt, and running shoes. Higdon also documents the ins and outs of directing a marathon of this size. McDonald and his staff, full-and part-time, paid and volunteer, must handle countless matters, often unseen and unknown, more than just having enough water and bagels, chip-timing, etc. City police must be secured, directed, and paid, especially with the presence of a mysterious character dubbed Celebrity X. For the world record attempts, rabbits must be found and also paid. Media coverage must be catered and coordinated. And much, much more is required to ensure that the Lake City Marathon experience is pleasing and memorable to the mid- and backpackers as much as to the well-paid elites. (And where would McDonald be without his cell phone?) Nonrunners will also get a taste of the marathons appeal. One character, certainly not a runner, could not understand the fascination with running 26 miles and 385 yards.... He just did not get it. Did it not hurt? He would learn and become, if not a convert, a fan. Marathon is an entertaining, informative, and compelling book. We can hope that Higdon has another such novel in his pen. But, be forewarned, if you start reading it, the chores won t get done for a while. --Ron Marinucci, Michigan Runner

Hal Higdon has used the novel format originally developed by Arthur Hailey in Airport to fashion a story a BIG story of what goes on during the weekend of a big-city marathon. Relying on both his decades of covering long-distance running and his expertise as a journalist, Hal has assembled a cast of characters from every strata of the marathon game and mixed them together in a literal tornado of time-sensitive schedules and flying feet. His weaving of all these characters into the first four hours of the actual race is masterful. --Rich Benyo, Marathon & Beyond

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