Marathon man My 26.2-mile journey from unknown grad student to the top of the running world

Bill Rodgers, 1947-

Book - 2013

A four-time winner of the Boston and NYC Marathons details his historic victory of the 1975 Boston Marathon, recounting the events that led to his achievement and his role in inspiring the modern running boom and the goals of countless fellow athletes.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 796.42092/Rodgers Checked In
New York : Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Press 2013.
First edition
Physical Description
viii, 322 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (page 319).
Main Author
Bill Rodgers, 1947- (-)
  • Relax, Mr. President
  • The teachings of Amby Burfoot
  • The full twenty miles
  • Blown off course
  • Racing to the morgue
  • Washed out on Westland Ave.
  • The writing on the hospital wall
  • Power of the emerald necklace
  • Battle at Silver Lake
  • Nothing but heartbreak
  • Boston, you're my home
  • San Blas
  • Racing for blenders
  • Will-ha
  • Duel in Morocco
  • I can't run that fast
  • Lunch break runs
  • The trials
  • Feet, don't fail me now
  • Showdown in New York
  • More than a shoe store
  • The forty-foot wave
  • Still chasing butterflies.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Marathoner Rodgers makes clear in this engaging memoir that his rise to running greatness was a meandering path with many pit stops and detours along the way, including a period of time where he stopped running completely and became a smoker. The memoir is told in two parts, alternating between recollections of his life beginning with his college years and a detailed account of Rodgers' victorious 1975 Boston marathon, in which he set the American record. Rodgers' story is a remarkable tale of athletic triumph, and the account of how he was able to return to running will be inspiring for new runners and those returning to the sport after a long layoff. Rodgers emphasizes the hours of hard work and sacrifice that led him to the top, but, unfortunately, he sometimes crosses the line from taking pride in his accomplishments to simply boasting about them, which is definitely off-putting to the reader. Still, followers of marathons will be eager to learn the story of one of the sport's big names. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Rodgers's energy—and self-regard—never flags in this bombastic sports memoir. The author was a long-distance track superstar in the 1970s; he won four Boston and four New York marathons, and in the book he recalls how his feckless existence of partying and dead-end jobs gained meaning through the discipline of 150-mile-per-week training regimens—in an era when running was an eccentricity. (Luckless opponents discovered that he would "keep pushing harder and harder, increasing the severity of your pain, until I'd annihilated your soul, your spirit, your body.") There's flab in Rodgers's narrative, with its interminable step-by-step account of his 1975 Boston Marathon win, its mystic bromides—"the marathon is the essence of the unknown transforming into the known"—and its tireless recounting of accolades, from the fulsome ("the greatest runner in the world and the history of the world") to the celestial (" literally reached out and touched people, like God on Michelangelo's Sistine chapel"). Still, readers with stamina will find an absorbing portrait, shaped by coauthor Shepatin, of the grueling stress and subtle strategizing of long-distance races, and of the plucky, slapdash subculture of marathoning in its salad days. Photos. Agent: Robert Wilson, Wilson Media. (Apr. 2) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The former marathon runner details his unlikely victory in the 1975 Boston Marathon, his rise to the top of the racing world, and his role in sparking the modern running boom that exists today.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A four-time winner of the Boston and NYC Marathons details his historic victory of the 1975 Boston Marathon, recounting the events that led to his achievement and his role in inspiring the modern running boom and the goals of countless fellow athletes. 35,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The legendary long-distance runner details his historic victory in the 1975 Boston Marathon that launched the modern running boomWithin a span of two hours and nine minutes, Bill Rodgers went from obscurity to legend, from Bill Rodgers to "Boston Billy." In doing so, he instantly became the people's champ and the poster boy for the soulful 1970s distance runner. Having won the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon four times each, he remains the only marathoner to have appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated twice. Winning the Holy Grail of marathons in an unthinkable record time changed Bill's life forever.But his dramatic breakthrough in Boston also changed the lives of countless others, instilling in other American runners the belief that they could follow in his footsteps, and inspiring thousands of regular people to lace up their shoes and chase down their own dreams. In the year before Rodger's victory at the 1975 Boston Marathon, 20,000 people had completed a marathon in the United States. By 2009, participants reached nearly half a million.Thirty-seven years later Bill Rodgers still possesses the same warm, endearing, and whimsical spirit that turned him into one of America's most beloved athletes. In Marathon Man he details for the first time this historic race and the events that led him there.