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Running to the Edge

A Band of Misfits and the Guru Who Unlocked the Secrets of Speed
Narrated by: René Ruiz
Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Summary

"Gripping...he narrative is smooth and immediate, almost effortless in its detail, if occasionally breathless, like a good fast run..." (The New York Times Book Review)

Visionary American running coach Bob Larsen assembled a mismatched team of elite California runners...the start of his decades-long quest for championships, Olympic glory, and pursuit of "the epic run."

In the dusty hills above San Diego, Bob Larsen became America's greatest running coach. Starting with a ragtag group of high school cross country and track runners, Larsen set out on a decades-long quest to find the secret of running impossibly fast, for longer distances than anyone thought possible. Himself a former farm boy who fell into his track career by accident, Larsen worked through coaching high school, junior college, and college, coaxing talented runners away from more traditional sports as the running craze was in its infancy in the 60s and 70s. On the arid trails and windy roads of California, Larsen relentlessly sought the "secret sauce" of speed and endurance that would catapult American running onto the national stage. 

Running to the Edge is a riveting account of Larsen's journey, and his quest to discover the unorthodox training secrets that would lead American runners (elite and recreational) to breakthroughs never imagined. New York Times Deputy Sports Editor Matthew Futterman interweaves the dramatic stories of Larsen's runners with a fascinating discourse of the science behind human running, as well as a personal running narrative that follows Futterman's own checkered love-affair with the sport. The result is a narrative that will speak to every runner, a story of Larsen's triumphs - from high school cross-country meets to the founding of the cult-favorite 70's running group, the Jamul Toads, from national championships to his long tenure as head coach at UCLA, and from the secret training regimen of world champion athletes like Larsen's protégé, American Meb Keflezighi, to victories at the New York and Boston Marathons as well as the Olympics. 

Running to the Edge is a pause-resister...a relentless crusade to run faster, farther.

©2019 Matthew Futterman (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"Running To The Edge is at its heart a vivid, fascinating and affectionate portrait of a man who changed the sport of running in America, and of the sport that changed him. Through the story of a pioneer coach, Bob Larsen, Matt Futterman deftly describes both the running boom era of the 1970s and 1980s, and the resurgence of American distance-running talent in the aughts. I can't think of a runner who wouldn't enjoy this book." (Ed Caesar, author of Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon)

"Packed with valuable knowledge elegantly conveyed, Running to the Edge is an inspiring and eye-opening look into the evolution of the distance running tradition. Matthew Futterman beautifully translates his passion and curiosity for running into a book that speaks to runners of all abilities." (Alexi Pappas, distance runner and star of Tracktown)

"Running to the Edge reveals the untold history of how a determined coach and his motley crew of underdogs practically defibrillated US distance running. It is at once a beautiful meditation on effort and a tale as captivating and suspenseful as a great race." (David Epstein, New York Times best-selling author of The Sports Gene)  

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  • Antonio Farias
  • 13-11-19

Superb!

Put in many miles while listening to an amazingly inspirational story. Bob Larson’s gritty story is forever inscribed in my head!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lauren Saladino
  • 30-10-19

Great book for runners.

Great history and insight on how far we have come as American runners and how we are able to push the limits of speed. Great listen

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-10-19

Great listen !

Really good book to listen to, with some great reading performance.
Worth your while !

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  • lilypadC
  • 22-10-19

listen

love it , a real inspiration of dedication and perseverance for anyone who loves to ron

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  • Francis J. Schappert
  • 21-10-19

distance runner inspired

loved being inspired to train hard as I listened to the stories in the book

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  • Rob Devine
  • 15-10-19

Bob Larsen and US Distance Running

I feel pretty foolish that I never looked into Bob Larsen since I’ve been a great Meb fan for more than a decade. This was a great read/listen about a very interesting coach and a great man. I really enjoyed how Matt Futterman wove his own story into it.

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  • jIM kEFFER
  • 04-10-19

Entertaining and Inspiring

A great book that every competitive rubber should read. It would have been even better if there author left out his personal vinyettes.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-09-19

so inspiring!

Loved it! Makea me want to be a long distance runner! Great story and would listen to it again.

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  • Edward F. Guerrero
  • 18-09-19

Must read

Best book on running , real running for the right reasons since once a runner

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  • Maggie
  • 13-09-19

one of the best books for a long run

one of the best books for a long run. kept me going even when I felt like I wanted to quit running