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26 Marathons

What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from My Marathon Career
Narrated by: Holter Graham
Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
5 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller 

A world-class runner and four-time Olympian shares the life lessons he’s learned from each of the 26 marathons he’s run in his storied career. 

“An athlete whose wisdom and lessons aren’t just for runners.” (The Washington Post

When Meb Keflezighi - the first person in history to win both the Boston and New York City marathons as well as an Olympic marathon medal - ran his final marathon in New York City on November 5, 2017, it marked the end of an extraordinary distance-running career. 

Meb's last marathon was also his 26th, and each of those marathons has come with its own unique challenges, rewards, and outcomes. In 26 Marathons, Meb takes listeners on those legendary races, along every hill, bend, and unexpected turn of events that made each marathon an exceptional learning experience, and a fascinating story. 

26 Marathons offers the wisdom Meb has gleaned about life, family, identity, and faith in addition to tips about running, training, and nutrition. He shows runners of all levels how to apply the lessons he's learned to their own running and lives. Equal parts inspiration and practical advice, 26 Marathons provides an inside look at the life and success of one of the greatest runners living today. 

Praise for 26 Marathons

26 Marathons is a swift read, guaranteed to be popular with student athletes plus hard-core and recreational runners, who will undoubtedly agree that Meb is an American treasure and running ambassador who never fails to inspire.” (Booklist, starred review) 

26 Marathons gives great insight about the ups and downs in marathon running and how to cope with them. As Meb shows, dealing with these marathon experiences help us become better in our lives.” (Eliud Kipchoge, Marathon World Record Holder and 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist) 

“Meb’s 26 Marathons is like opening a treasure chest full of inspiring stories that give behind-the-scenes glimpse into the mental and physical joys and obstacles that elite-level racing can bring. His advice on training, overcoming injuries, and adversity is for everyone. It’s pure gold!” (Shalane Flanagan, 2017 TCS NYC Marathon Champion)

©2019 Meb Keflezighi and Scott Douglas (P)2019 Random House Audio

What the critics say

26 Marathons is a fantastic book. It tells the story of Meb Keflezighi’s career by documenting his marathons, but it’s not really about running. It’s about life! About setting goals and pursuing them, and how to continue to strive to excel in the midst of satisfaction and disappointments. Meb drives home the fact that winning in life isn’t defined by coming in first place. This book is not just for runners. It will help you no matter what your passion in life might be.” (Tony Dungy, Super Bowl Winning Coach, NFL Hall of Famer, and New York Times best-selling author)

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loved it!!

it's so easy to listen to. each chapter is 1 marathon. meb takes you through the elite mind while training and competing. I loved all aspects.

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A Winner

Really enjoyed this book start to finish. Great pacing. Inspiring and motivating and well written.

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  • Mike Sinks
  • 2019-04-27

One of the Best I've Ever Experienced

You do not have to be a runner to enjoy this book. The lessons Meb imparts transcend racing and running and apply to life writ large. As for the running and racing aspect, the journey is well worth it. I found myself cheering Meb on through each twist and turn, despite knowing the results ahead of time. I cringed and agonized with him as he stumbled along the way.

The emotional journey Meb takes you on in this book is incredible. It was hard to NOT get emotional along the way. I literally welled up and cried tears of joy for his Boston triumph.

The words in this book inspired me, not just as an amateur (at best) runner, but as a person.

Go Meb! Thank you!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • jda9ball
  • 2019-04-16

Another Great Book by Meb!

This book is a fantastic recount of Meb's personal triumphs & challenges leading up to, during, and after each marathon to the next. I loved listening to the detail that was going on in his head during each marathon and where he got confidence along the way.

I've listened to probably at least two dozen running related books over the years, and for the love - WHY is it so difficult for narrators to pronounce; Eliud Kipchoge & Joe Vigil?? If they are not 100% sure how to pronounce a name, why do they not just ask either the author, (in this case, Meb), or somebody that knows something about running? It is so annoying to listen to audiobooks when the narrator clearly doesn't know a pair of running shoes from a pair of stilettos. This is why I took 1 star away on the Overall rating.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Pythagorus
  • 2019-03-27

Perfect read while running

Loved it, as always, Meb is inspiring and so honest about his mistakes and failures, triumphs and motives. So awesome!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Cameron Rankin
  • 2019-11-13

Fantastic Read

Absolutely fantastic book by Meb. His story was challenging, encouraging, and inspiring all at once. The narration was pretty dry, but it didn't take away from the story too much.

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  • Brandon
  • 2019-10-18

Excellent book

Wonderful story that really shows how Meb thought and his philosophy on life as well as his lessons from pro running. Really enjoyed it.

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  • WWaltonG
  • 2019-10-14

Pure Meb

Great idea for a marathon book - 26 stories and lessons. You learn something about Meb and running from each chapter. He is a the real deal for American runners. Motivated, talented and truly nice man. We can all learn something from Meb and not necessarily limited to running. He has faced a lot of challenges and seems to have come through neither cynical or jaded. Hope he writes more books so I can listen while running.

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  • Luke Cameron
  • 2019-10-03

Good book about running and life.

I enjoyed this book, though as a non-competitive runner I wish he would have included more personal insights and family stories and more about what makes Meb, Meb. I wanted to understand what makes his spirit soar and sink. I did very much enjoy this book though especially the running inspiration and life insights he shared.

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  • Lia Soffia Ludovica
  • 2019-09-28

What a great running memoir! So proud of you!

This may be less of a book review than it is a giant thank you letter to Meb. Thank you for sharing your marathon history and personal stories of perseverance with us! As a marathoner myself I was engrossed in the story and felt a sense of connectedness with both your successes and... well, really they were all successes even when you had a bad day. Looking forward to meeting you at the 2019 Corning Wineglass Marathon!

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  • Terence Baptiste
  • 2019-08-25

Amazing!!

Really enjoyed hearing about the daily grind of marathon training. Very motivating to hear an elite runner like Meb going through similar struggles as a non elite runner.

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  • runalattemomma
  • 2019-08-22

Inspiring!

I loved this book!! Listening not only motivates me to get out and train for my marathons but gave me key thoughts for how running ties into life. Such a great story and I love knowing the background of an elites journey of the same 26.2 I run.