The Long Road to Boston: A book review

It’s less than a week away! The greatest marathon of all marathons, the one and the only, The Boston Marathon. For those runners who are lucky enough to have gotten in this year, already you deserve a congrats. The road to Boston can be long and winding and still there are some who may never get to the big race. I don’t have many pre-race rituals, but for the big ones, during that restless taper week, I like to read.

Long Road to Boston

Mark Sutcliffe and Bart Yasso (who writes the forward!)

This week I’m recommending everyone read, “The Long Road to Boston” by Mark Sutcliffe. Whether you’ve already raced Boston or still trying for that BQ, this book will speak to all runners. The book starts off with the history of the marathon, the highly coveted Boston marathon and even a closer look at the history of women’s running.

Long road to Boston

Kathrine Switzer changing the game for women runner’s everywhere.

Since Boston held it’s very first marathon, over 640,000 runners have crossed the famous finish line. The race started with maybe 20 people running but now each year over 25,000 runners line up on Patriot’s Day and run the 26.2 miles to downtown Boston. The standards for the race get harder every year, because now you don’t just have to run a BQ (Boston Qualifier), but you have run it up to 3 minutes faster to gaurentee a spot to register (this is all explained in the book).

Boston Marathon

Mark’s personal journey to Boston is one most runners will relate to. He didn’t get it on his first try but he didn’t give up. After the 2nd and 3rd try, you’ll begin to feel his frustration and his internal battle with Boston growing stronger. This is a man who relentlessly raced over a dozen marathons to finally get into the super special Bean town run club.

I was one of the runner’s Mark mentions in his book, the ones he envied. I ran my first marathon and really didn’t even know why this Boston race was such a bloody big deal. I qualified by over 20 minutes and didn’t sign up for Boston or run another marathon for over 3 years. I had no plans to ever go to Boston. Then one year a boy I liked raced Boston and I went to cheer for him. It wasn’t until seeing this race up close I decided I should do it. I qualified again that year, entered the race and ran it two years in a row.

Mark completed his first Boston and this is the part of the book I could and will read over and over again. Mark recounts his journey from Hopkington to the hills in Newton all the way to the finish line on Boylston street. His eloquent writing shines where he describes his entire Boston experience from start to finish. Mark’s recollection of his 26.2 mile journey brought back a flood of memories for me.

Boston Marathon

Mark completes his first Boston Marathon

While you must rest this week, the best thing to temper the taper crazies is keep your mind occupied. Trying to not think about the race is almost impossible, so read about it. Let “The Long Road to Boston” inspire you, capture your imagination and soothe your jitters. Boston is a special race and getting there is the best part of the journey. Inside The Long Road to Boston you’ll find a little piece of yourself and even some wisdom to get across the finish line.

Here’s the best part! You can buy the book online and get a special 15% discount. For the hardcopy version go to or to get an e-copy of the book follow this link and use the CODE MIZUNOTHXU


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