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  • 26 Marathons

  • What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life from My Marathon Career
  • By: Meb Keflezighi, Scott Douglas
  • Narrated by: Holter Graham
  • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

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26 Marathons

By: Meb Keflezighi,Scott Douglas
Narrated by: Holter Graham
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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

Critic Reviews

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)

"Keflezighi is a four-time Olympian who has won the Boston and New York marathons - so it’s fitting that his 2017 New York Marathon was not just his last, but his 26th. That’s one marathon race per marathon mile for an athlete whose wisdom and lessons aren’t just for runners.” (The Washington Post )

"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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What listeners say about 26 Marathons

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Perfect read to prepare for your marathon

I love this book! So much so that I had to read (listen) it all again right after I finished the story.
What was surprising is that there were a lot in common between Meb, who is an elite runner, and myself, who is just a slow recreational runner. Over his 26 marathons. Meb tries to share with us what he learned from each marathon chapter of his, and those learnings are definitely something we can incorporate into our own marathon training. The strongest message I received was the importance of the mental tenacity. Narration is also superb, vibrant and energetic. I could almost feel it each time when Meb "pushed so hard" to achieve his goal.
Overall, great read if you want to get pumped to prepare your own next marathon event.

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a beautiful memoir

a solid inspirational book, beautiful depiction of a world class athletes mindset. This is a book to pick you up and let you run.

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Every runner's must-read

Absolutely amazing stories. Each marathon's story gave so many emotions, learnings and even give a feeling that rtn those marathons. Real, legit and inspiring book!

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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MEB is a legend

If you like endurance topics, true storys of challenging times and hearing about success against the odds in sport and life this is the book for you. It is a highly motivationg classic from one of the worlds top ever Marathoners. He describes his win in Boston superbly after the bombings there. What a legend he really is! Go MEB !!

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Inspiring Story

I found Meb’s story inspiring, and found many good insights for my running and life.

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  • jda9ball
  • 16-04-2019

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.

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7 people found this helpful

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  • Mike Sinks
  • 27-04-2019

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!

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  • David M
  • 22-02-2020

Too much about injury

Love Meb, but overdone on injury after injury. Had to stop listening as it became demotivating.

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2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-06-2021

Worth it, but not great

This is a good book if you follow Meb or are a weekend warrior into pro running.

It’s probably longer than needed, and the writing isn’t super compelling, but it’s a good diary of his life combined with a few corny bits.

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  • Kristin
  • 26-10-2020

Horrible

Poorly written and weird, not inspiring or insightful at all. If you want some e reprimanding you, listen to this book.

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1 person found this helpful

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  • Mika Hiltunen
  • 18-04-2020

Great story, pace of reading way too fast

I really liked the story and the way the narrator managed to to bring it to life. His way of telling the story was one best I've heard. However, it was almost ruined by the pace he was reading. I'm not a native English speaker but this was one of the rare occasions I actually had to slow down the pace to 80%. At normal speed I understood everything he said but I couldn't comprehend the story.

Anyway, excellent book!

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  • amazon user
  • 24-01-2020

very inspiring.

really enjoyed the overall story. I do my first marathon in one week at the age of 49. very inspired and looking forward to the experience even more after listening to this very quick audible book

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  • WWaltonG
  • 14-10-2019

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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  • Pythagorus
  • 27-03-2019

Perfect read while running

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

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  • Justin
  • 15-02-2024

Great Insight into a Professional Runner’s Life

I didn’t take an interest in marathons until I was old enough most pro runners retire. I enjoyed running fast vicariously through Meb’s story. Since it takes me at least double the time to complete 26.2 miles, Meb and his colleagues definitely seem superhuman to me. I hope to apply tips and lessons from this book to one day run Boston myself.

The book is really well narrated.

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  • Matt
  • 01-09-2021

Great for distance runners

Some good tips & tricks and nice to listen to whilst running. recommend it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Carol Hurley
  • 19-04-2021

Painful!

I think more suitable for an American, rather than an Irish (me) or English audience. The over pronunciation of THON is the word marathon grates on you after the 50th time hearing it.
Too hyper and self congratulatory for my taste..cringe worthy in places.. I only listened to the end as I had paid for it!

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  • Collwyn Baye
  • 09-11-2020

Great injury recovery listening. An easy 5 star

I listened to this almost entirely on the elliptical trainer recovering from an injury. It proved to be highly inspirational. Its structure is perfect for an audiobook. Each chapter is almost like its own podcast, each unique and contained within itself. The ups and downs that Meb went through along his career kept me gripped and inspired. It's an easy 5 star

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