Books for Runners: The Long Run by Matt Long

5 Aug

The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter’s Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete
By Matt Long with Charles Butler

A few months ago, needing a little inspiration, this book was recommended to me by a friend. I used to be a big reader, but now with work, all the running, planning for Baby Key, and…everything else…I feel like I run (no pun intended) out of time. However, I am REALLY glad I made time to read this book. Within minutes of opening the cover and reading that his goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I knew this would be a great read.

After completing the 2005 New York City Marathon in just over three hours, New York City firefighter, Matt Long, had achieved his goal of qualifying and was ready to be on the road to Boston. Training for the big day, however, came first. Training with his buddies was going perfectly, until three days before Christmas Eve in 2005 when his whole world came crashing down on him. Matt was involved in a horrific accident.

On this winter day, which happened to fall in the one of the worst transit strikes in New York City’s history, Matt decided he would go ahead and take his bike to work. A city bus, making an illegal turn, hit Matt on his bike, nearly taking his life. The accident quickly transformed him from the marathon man/Ironman (multiple times over, no less) Boston qualifier to a man who may very well never walk again…if he even survived.

After 40 grueling surgeries and five long months in the hospital, Matt returned home, ready to start the recovery process. Or so he thought. This process proved to be more physically and psychologically painful than he could have ever imagined. In addition to the recovery required to put his body back together, Matt dealt with the emotions of loneliness, fear, and frustration. However, ever persistent and determined to reach his goals, Matt defied the odds. He taught himself to walk again…and within three years went on to complete the 2008 New York City Marathon.

Although his physical abilities and range of motion in some joints are different than before the accident, Matt has never allowed this to stop him from achieving his goals. Today, Matt speaks on behalf of his foundation, I Will, which helps provide training and funding to athletes overcoming adversities and traumatic injuries, as well as being a source of inspiration for athletes around the world.

The Long Run will have you experiencing every emotion…crying tears of laughter over the way he talks about the exploits of his training buddies and the bars they frequent to tears of sadness when reading of the struggles he has had to face and overcome.

What I admire most about Matt Long and the strongest message I take away from this book is to NEVER GIVE UP. You just can’t stop trying. EVER.

I highly recommend this book and hope you consider picking up a copy the next time you are looking for a good read. You won’t be sorry you did!

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3 Responses to “Books for Runners: The Long Run by Matt Long”

  1. werrunners August 5, 2011 at 4:24 PM #

    Hi Katie,

    Couldn’t agree more – a great book. I listened to the audio book. I think of Matt’s story often as I’m running and need that extra push. After finishing the book I made a point to go run Central Park and visit Matt’s bar – Third and Long. I blogged about it on our blog – http://werrunners.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/running-memories-new-york-central-park/

    Keep Running!

    Jeff

  2. Courtenay August 5, 2011 at 8:51 PM #

    I got this book for my trip to FL in April and could not put it down. SO good!

  3. Marisa August 6, 2011 at 3:31 PM #

    I am reading this too! So good!!

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