The Long Run: One Man's Attempt to Regain His Athletic Career-and His Life-by Running the New York City Marathon

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Overview

New York City firefighter’s emotional and inspiring memoir of learning to run again after a debilitating accident, based on the wildly popular March 2009 piece in Runner’s World.

On the morning of December 22, 2005, Matt Long was cycling to work in the early morning when he was struck by and sucked under a 20-ton bus making an illegal turn. The injuries he sustained pushed him within inches of his life. Miraculously, more than 40 operations and months later, Matt was able to ...

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The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete

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Overview

New York City firefighter’s emotional and inspiring memoir of learning to run again after a debilitating accident, based on the wildly popular March 2009 piece in Runner’s World.

On the morning of December 22, 2005, Matt Long was cycling to work in the early morning when he was struck by and sucked under a 20-ton bus making an illegal turn. The injuries he sustained pushed him within inches of his life. Miraculously, more than 40 operations and months later, Matt was able to start his recovery. In spite of the severity of his injuries, Matt found the psychological consequences of the accident nearly as hard to process. He would no longer be able to compete at the highest level.

In the 18 months before the accident, he had competed in more than 20 events including several triathlons and marathons and had qualified for running’s most prestigious race, the Boston Marathon. After the accident, his doctor told him he’d be lucky if he could even walk without a cane.

The Long Run is an emotional and incredibly honest story about Matt’s determination to fight through fear, despair, loneliness, and intense physical and psychological pain to regain the life he once had. The book chronicles Matt’s road to recovery as he teaches himself to walk again and, a mere three years later, to run in the 2008 New York City Marathon—a gimpy seven-and-a-half hour journey through the five boroughs. “Running saved my life,” Matt says, and his embrace of the running community and insistence on competing in the marathon has inspired many, turning him into a symbol of hope and recovery for untold numbers of others.

 

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Matt Long had no chance. He was cycling to the firehouse when a 20-ton bus turned, making an illegal turn, and hit him. Sucked under the chassis, he sustained injuries serious enough to necessitate 40 operations. And then the real recovery began. This veteran marathoner and brave firefighter had faced challenges before, but even he had never experienced such physical and psychological pain. Yet just three years later, Matt Long ran in the 2008 New York City Marathon. A "Running Saved My Life" memoir that you won't forget.

Publishers Weekly
When Long, a New York City firefighter with East Harlem's Ladder Company 43, was crushed by a bus while riding his bike to work one winter's day, he was transformed from a man who ran marathons to a man who might never walk again. Having recently completed the 2005 New York City Marathon, in just over three hours, Long was training for Boston. "Each day I was up and out, sometimes early, sometimes late, but always looking for something new to do. And one more finish line to cross." After the accident, and a prognosis he didn't want to hear (a slim margin for survival; likely paralysis), Long endured 40 operations and spent five months in the hospital, never taking his mind off the finish line at the end of the 2008 NYC Marathon. Completing the marathon after his recovery at 42 years of age was a major accomplishment, and it motivated him to begin speaking publicly, and to create the "I Will" foundation to help people recover from traumatic life-altering illnesses or injuries. Like Long himself, his memoir is full of the heartfelt can-do attitude sure to appeal to the Iron Man in everyone. (Oct.)
Library Journal
A natural extrovert from a huge Irish family in Queens, NY, first-time author Long played ball, worked as a fireman, and owned several bars in New York City before triathlon became an integral part of how he enjoyed life to the fullest. Then he was struck by a 20-ton bus. Keen descriptions of the formerly happy-go-lucky alpha male's heartbreak and grief will deeply touch listeners, who will celebrate Long's eventual return to endurance sports—managed through persistence and massive courage—following years of rehabilitation. This moving memoir eschews the low-hanging fruit of a slick, "inspirational" treatment; instead, it is a refreshingly frank and authentic account especially well voiced by actor Matthew Del Negro, whose gruff delivery nicely channels Long's indefatigable grit and determination. Highly recommended.—Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Middletown
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605292465
  • Publisher: Rodale Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,059,841
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Matt Long

Matt Long is the founder of the I Will Foundation, which helps men, women, boys, and girls to pursue goals they previously thought were beyond their reach. He lives in New York City.

Charles Butler is an editor at Runner’s World. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Fortune, and Inside Sports. He lives in Emmaus, PA.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Awesome...incredibly inspiring!!!

    I loved this book from start to finish. Matt's journey shows that you can accomplish anything with the right attitude and loving support.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 23, 2010

    Great Read

    Arrogant and conceited are words that when finished reading The Long Run you may use to describe Matthew Long. But, to be fair if you are going to make a descriptive list then you must also include strong, fighter, hard worker, spirited and family oriented. The list could probably go on and aside from what I or others may choose to describe Matt Long, there is no escaping that his story is remarkable as well as inspiring. And, to be honest it is just not Matt who you are drawn to in this book, but his parents, his family, the doctors and medical staff, and his friends who together through their mention help to create a full story. A story you want to follow. A story that is not sugarcoated, it is real and raw and truthful.

    It's no secret that Matt Long has accomplished many feats throughout his athletic career, 3:13 marathon and 11 hour ironman pre-accident and then the completion of both events post-accident, all of which are extremely impressive. However, the accomplishments that took place the hours, days, months, and years between December 2005 and November 2008 are much greater, much more powerful (teaching the body to move forward, to overcome such physical insult and injury, starting over with new challenges and then to have to retrain the mind to not look back and move forward with a new way of life).

    While reaching the finish line can draw applause and can motivate, it's knowing the journey one took, their back story, their struggles, along with their triumphs that got them to the finish that inspires. The Long Run takes you on the journey of Matthew Long. It weaves you though some of his life events as a boy, his life before December 22 and his life after that day. It is not just a book about running or swimming or biking, but a book about recovery and healing, a book about family and friendship, about setbacks and triumphs and about moving forward and living.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    very moving and inspiring

    One day i will shake matt longs hand and tell him what a true inspiring human he is. What a fantastic account of a tragedy turned victory!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    Inspirational, spunky comeback story

    "Long Run" is a fairly well written, first hand account of Matt long's inspirational recovery from a horrific accident. Using self-deprecating humor, he documents his physical and emotional struggles to return not only to walking, but eventually running marathons and ironman Triathlons. He has incredible will. My only complaint is his virulent criticism of the transit union strike, which he continually blames for his misfortune. Keep plugging away Matt, and thank you for your service and your story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2012

    Touching and inspiring book

    a touching and inspiring book...a must read for those working thru a major illness/injury.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Awesome

    The best book ever!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Great Read

    This is such an amazing read. I have a huge amount of respect for Matt, as he beat the odds, over and over again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Greatbook

    This book was amazing and inspiring!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 5, 2012

    A raw story of courage

    A powerful story of determination and courage. A NYC firefighter recovers from a devastating accident which nearly took his life. I can personally relate to the book since my son is on the FDNY, I live near Breezy Point, NY and graduated from Iona College, all of which play a part in this gripping story. This is a "great read"!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 31, 2011

    Must read

    Great athletic journey well written and so inspirational. Could not put it down and everyone that I recommended it to felt the same way. Excellent

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2011

    Simply awe-inspiring!

    I picked up this book after seeing Matt Long on The Daily Show. Being an IronMan finisher, I was interested in Matt's story of survival, and overcoming the obstacles of his harrowing ordeal; he was run over by a bus! He was given less than a 2% chance of survival, went through more than 68 units of blood, a good many surgeries, and survived. But that's only part of his story. Not only did he have to overcome the crippling physical barriers, but he also had to overcome many mental hurdles as well.

    Matt Long, a hero in every sense of the word, was an active firefighter who stood on a mountain of rubble at ground zero on 9/11 and saved many lives over the span of his career. His story was nothing short of inspiring. A truly powerful read that I could not put down. I recommended it to all my triathlon and swimming buddies, because this book NEEDS to be read.

    Knowing how emotional it is coming down an IronMan finisher chute for the first time, I was in tears at the end when I read about his first IronMan finish after his accident.

    This man can't be stopped!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    highly inspirational

    this book was recommended to me by a friend and i can only say "wow." i started reading last night and could not put it down until i finished it less than 24 hours after i started. story is simple enough but i felt really connected to Matt. Like Matt, I grew up in brooklyn and queens so that part of his life I felt close to him. i also remember the transit strike of 2005 because that was the year i moved into the city and had to walk to and from work everyday in the freezing nyc winter. what was inspirational is his fight to reclaim himself after the accident and that is what made me cheer for him the entire book. book is well written and flows very easily, there were moments when i was crying and a few lines down i was cracking up with laughter. i've never met Matt but now that i've learned about him, looking fwd to hopping into any one of his bars just to say "thanks" for sharing his truly inspirational story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Inspiring from start to finish

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2011

    Engaging. Inspiring. Motivating.

    LOVE this book! If you need some motivation, inspiration, or a swift kick in the rear to realize that the obstacles in your life aren't so bad or imoossible to overcome... read this!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 4, 2011

    Very inspirational, must read!!

    Matt's story is extremely touching and is inspirational in his never ending perseverance to get better, rebuild his life again and do what he loves most- to run again. This story really describes his emotions and I found myself really connecting with the story and fighting tears as I could not even imagine what he had to endure. His family, friends, doctors, and faith were instrumental in rebuilding Matt to where he is today. This book was very well written and I didn't want to put it down! I highly recommend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    You should read this book.

    What an inspiration Matt Long is. His raw honestly, beautiful spirit and goal-achieving attitude have inspired me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    MOST AWWESOME!

    This story has given me more courage to challenge myself to do things and overcome ALL obstacles in my life...the KEY is TO NEVER QUIT!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2011

    Ggg

    Lije

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2011

    ¡El libro es realmente inspirador!

    La historia de Matt Long es inspiradora; El libro está muy bien escrito y es un ejemplo de como una persona normal puede convertirse en un ejemplo para todos.

    ¡Altamente recomendada!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2011

    Amazing!!!!

    This book is absolutely amazing. You will laugh, cry, and squirm in your seat reading about Matt unthinkable injuries and the process of putting his life back together. A must read for any runner.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews

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