26 MILES TO BOSTON slips squarely into the running shoes and minds of the athletes as they traverse the 26-mile, 385-yard course of America's most venerated long-distance race. From suburban Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to the center of metropolitan Boston, here are the mile-by-mile sights and sounds experienced by the runners. Interwoven throughout is the colorful history of the men and women of manifold skills who have competed in this preeminent event over the span of more than a century. ... read more
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful: In defense, sort of, of bandits . . ., December 1, 1999 Reviewer: Christopher C. Smith from Honolulu, Hawaii I read this book as someone looking forward to doing his first Boston Marathon (20th overall) next April. I can't imagine a better introduction to subject. It is rich in history, anecdote and illustration. And its mile by mile "feel" for the course brings the event alive. I suspect it is the closest thing to a definitive book on the subject. But particularly I want to address the criticism (in one of these reviews) that it is written by a participant who didn't qualify for the event -- i.e., a "bandit." I agree (with the critic) that achieving a qualifying time is an important part of the experience. Doing a 3:42 marathon in Portland (Ore.), after my most diligent training ever, brought me my greatest thrill as a runner (at age 65!). But as a first-time marathoner, Michael Connelly conveys a delightful naivete and sense of wonder that by definition a "qualifying" marathoner couldn't. I found myself particularly looking forward to the italicized paragraphs begun with his initials "MPC:". Secondly, whether the Boston Athletic Association or any of the official runners likes it or not, "bandits" constitute a regular part of the landscape. It seems significant that the BAA, on the book's jacket, offers an endorsement of "26 Miles to Boston." One more thought: Three-time winner Uta Pippig of Germany, quoted throughout, comes across as such a classy, wonderful athlete and human being that her spirit ought to be bottled. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.