My Marathon: Reflections on a Gold Medal Life is a revealing memoir by Frank Shorter, the father of American distance running. After winning the 1969 NCAA title in the 10,000-meters title during his senior year at Yale, Shorter went on to win a staggering 24 national titles on track, road, and cross country courses, but it was in the marathon that Shorter achieved his greatest fame and recognition.
At the 1972 Munich Games, Shorter won the Olympic marathon finishing more than 2 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher. Four years later, he finished a controversial second in the Olympic marathon in Montreal. The controversy, still unresolved to this day, revolved around the East German "winner" being a possible drug cheat. Shorter later founded the United States Anti-Doping Agency. Written with noted sportswriter John Brant, My Marathon details these inspiring events, as well as the physical and emotional abuse Shorter suffered as a child.
This inspiring memoir is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit and the transformative power of sports.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a compelling memoir on several levels. For the thousands of runners who now routinely run marathons, Frank Shorter's story is a great tale of how a small group of dedicated distance runners set the stage for the running boom of the 70's. For those of us who were a part of that early movement, it probably means even more. I am the same age as Frank and began running when he did and continue to race and coach to this day. I remember rejoicing in '72 when he won gold and feeling certain that something was fishy with Cierpinski in '76 when he came out of nowhere in Montreal. I loved wearing Frank Shorter running gear and have always been proud to have been a member of that early cadre of crazy people who raced marathons before they became so popular. I know that there are many more of us out there who owe a debt to Frank and his cohorts, Kenny Moore, Jack Bacheler, Jeff Galloway and Steve Prefontaine. On a much more profound level, this book is for non-runners, too...
I really enjoyed this well-written, absorbing and truly inspirational book by Frank Shorter with John Brandt. There is a lot of wisdom and inspirational material in these reflections on Frank’s Gold Medal Life.
To me, a gold medal life is where a person flourishes by pursuing mastery and excellence in their chosen field of endeavor – and Frank Shorter definitely has had a gold medal life. The key is to have a gold medal mindset – I think this is exemplified by these 2 great passages in the book:
• In discussing his goal - to have the best day possible and finish in the top three - at the Munich Olympics in 1972 and the approach he shared with Steve Prefontaine and Kenny Moore: “We wanted to get the best out of ourselves. The Gold Medal, in the end, was no more than a wonderful by-product of the training I had put into my marathon.” • On his vigilance and consistency “But that’s why you run your hardest...
Enjoyed the book but need to point out some factual errors. When Shorter is discussing Lasse Viren at the 1976 Olympics, he states Viren was attempting to win the 10,000, 5,000 and marathon to equal the achievements of Paavo Nurmi in 1948. Although Nurmi won multiple gold medals, he competed in the 1920,1924, and 1928 Olympics, and never in the marathon. He was to have run the marathon in 1932, but was declared a professional shortly before. Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia did win that triple victory, but it was in 1952. He also discussed running the Boston marathon for the first time in 1977, but it was actually in 1978, since Bill Rodgers did not win in 1977, actually dropping out. He did win in 1975, 1978-1980.
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