Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Book Review: 50 Marathons in 50 States

Although my game plan was to go to bed at a decent hour last night (because the Olympics are over :-( and thus I conceptually have nothing to keep me up) it was not to be.

My delay in sleep was caused by reading "50 marathons in 50 states". It is a riveting book that complements the 50 marathons in 50 states movie recently released for one night. I could not put it down because it was so interesting, inspirational and even humorous.

The book chronicles Dean's Endurance 50 (E50: 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days). He talks about people he met, experiences he had and even stories from when he was growing up that influenced his running. The lessons he presents are particularly relevant to runners but definitely can apply to real life.

He starts his book by talking about what inspired him to create and run the E50. He also briefly introducted the logistics of performing this event which were taken care of by a team of folks (Garrett, Koop, JB, Robyn, his family...) Having participated in this event, I knew all these folks. I was ready to take them home with me after Delaware because they had taken such good care of my mom who was still recovering from her stroke back in 2007. Spoiler alert skip to end of this paragraph: I was really amused by the fact that the guys on his team were trying to score ladies phone numbers. I in fact after my two runs with Dean, I was going to give out my sisters number because they were so cool and nice and at the time she was between boyfriends (the only problem with this was at the time she was in Singapore). I watch my sister's back because she watches mine when I am running endurance events!

In addition to getting to know Dean, his family and the crew you meet various runners Dean has been lucky enough to run with. He talks about the camraderie between runners in this event as well as others. I can relate completely. During E50, in Delaware I met my friend Dave. We both were going slower then the 4:00 hour marathon pace the runners set. We both had gotten lost on the Delaware course but stumbled on each other about 7 miles in. We were joined by Matt and much until about mile 15 the three of us ran together. We had formed an alliance and figured that they could not sweep us off the course if we stuck together (I had noticed in the sweep vehicle there were only 2 seats so as a threesome we had safety in numbers). Matt ultimately was struggling and had to walk. But Dave and I kept plodding along.

During our 4+ hour run togther at E50: Delaware, I learned about Dave and his family. Dave's wife was a cancer survivor and sounded like a trooper. I was very inspired by how resilant and tough she sounded. This was his first marathon and was just inspired by Dean, so Dave was tough as well! He did struggle at points but I think we kept each other moving. It was amazing coming over the finish line with Dave hand in hand. We continue to keep in touch. Dave sent me a very nice and inspiring note that was in my drop bag at the VT100 and is just a great person. I have been lucky enough to watch Dave grow as a marathoner. Last year he was supposed to run Chicago but was one of the 10,000 folks who were pulled from the course. But I suggested he consider salvaging his training by running a Marathon later in the fall. I proposed Richmond because I was running it but he ended up running the Harrisburg Marathon just a month later. We are planning to run Harrisburg Marathon in just a few months and I still have hopes I can convince him to sign up for Akron (or at least come out and run a few miles with me at that marathon:-). In addition to running, Dave raises money to support the awareness and prevention of cancer through Lance Armstongs LiveStrong foundation. Please feel free to consider contributing to the fight against this disease at the following website: http://philly08.livestrong.org/dave4melanie

Getting back to the book, it is an easy and inspiring read. Knowing Dean and having run with him during this event makes it even more special. As usual in this book he has succeeded in providing inspiration, insight and has made me just want to get out and run!

2 comments:

Bob Gentile said...

THANKS Tammy for the book review... I will pick one up this week:-)

CTmarathoner said...

Tammy ---sounds like you like the book. It was front and center in the Barnes and Noble book store...will have to get it at library or buy ...
LOVE the photos of Powder Puff -I get the feeling that is one spoiled cat!!