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The 100 Greatest Track & Field Battles of the 20th Century [Kindle Edition]

J. Hollobaugh
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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  • Length: 112 pages
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Book Description

From the introduction:
The genesis of this book came in 1999 when I was writing a weekly online track column for The joy of such a column is obvious: the opportunity to write about track and field all the time. The burden was equally obvious: having to write about track & field virtually all the time. Not really so bad usually, but there were inevitably slow news weeks, or weeks where true athletic accomplishment was overshadowed by the negatives of drug stories, money stories, or whining superstars stories.

I first fell in love with track and field by thumbing through the pages of old copies of Track & Field News. These were thrilling issues, filled with the exploits of John Walker, Filbert Bayi, and Steve Prefontaine. I so wanted to travel back in time and be at those races and absorb the rarified atmosphere of that kind of greatness firsthand. Perhaps that's what stimulated my interest in track history. Even if I wasn't present--or even alive then--I didn't want to forget those magic moments. I wanted to share them. In the end, for me and for many track fans, it's all about the love of a great battle on the track or the field.

But what defines a great competition? I once knew a noted track expert who felt disgusted if he traveled to an Olympics or World Championships, saw some of the best runners of the world on the track, and had to watch them run a tactical race instead of chase after the world record. For him, a great race was a fast race, period.

Honestly, though, after seeing my fair share of world records in person, I came to the realization that the excitement often came from swiveling my eyes back and forth from the runners to the stadium clock, wondering if they could produce the magic numbers. While that's certainly a legitimate form of excitement, I had to admit that if we turned off all the clocks, what we would be watching at many Grand Prix meets is a fairly boring exhibition of a runner pushing the edge of the envelope figuratively holding the hand of a hired pacemaker.

That's when I generated my own definition of a great race: a race that would be fun to watch even if no clocks were present. Ranking the finest competitions of the century is still a daunting task. but at least the standards for comparison are more fair: excitement and significance.

Product Description

About the Author

Jeff Hollobaugh is a former managing editor of Track & Field News. He has worked on the staff of the 1992 Olympic Trials, the 1996 Olympic Games, and was head of the media information team at the 1997 World Championships in Athens, Greece. His writing has appeared in many USATF meet programs, Encyclopedia Britannica,, Michigan Runner, and a wide variety of other venues. As a journalist he has covered five Olympic Games and ten World Championships.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 226 KB
  • Print Length: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Michtrack Books (22 Feb. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007CB5R8U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #612,135 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 Greatest track battles almost defined 10 Mar. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just a bit short and a bit 'U.S. centric' but its clear the author knows his stuff. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested. I just want it to be 500 or 1000 Track & Field battles.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely Done!! 7 Dec. 2012
By Michael DENNISUK - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jeff Hollobaugh has compiled a fascinating list of track "battles", some famous, some obscure. This volume is beautifully researched and presented with excellent detail. I am a student of the sport and Mr. Hollobaugh took me places I've never been. This is a must read for all track fans!!!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent. 6 Dec. 2012
By Jean Luc Bedard - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent review, quite thorough and unique. Slightly US-centered, but besides is a great work, encompassing large historical periods, with some interesting biographical notes about what happend to these athletes after their athletic careers.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 Stars For 100 Battles 6 April 2012
By John - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Jeff Hollobaugh's "The 100 Greatest Track & Field Battles of the 20th Century" is a gem. You don't have to be a track nut to appreciate each story, but it certainly doesn't hurt to be a huge fan of the sport. Whether you have been to several Olympic Games or several high school track meets, this is an excellent book. Jeff is a talented writer with the ability to take you through the 1900's and share some of the best performances in one of the world's most popular sports. I found myself making a list of my favorites and I can tell you that my number one matches the book cover. This book is an easy read and if you're like me, you'll probably read several times. It also makes a nice reference book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Stories! 2 Jan. 2013
By Ronald James Colyer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Remembered a lot of these when I was growing up. Good reading for a running/track afficianado. The "Duel in the Sun" was a great memory.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great capsul of the Greatest Track and Field Moments 13 Feb. 2013
By Daniel Hurley - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A nice historic list if the top 100 competitions in Track & Field over virtual he past 100 years incorporating jumps, throws, sprints and distance. These are the authors picks and they are very good choices, the key is the close competition between two or more competior's from Billy Mills to Al Oerter. The descriptions are just a few pages and include typically the top 9 finishers. I only gave it four stars because a little more detail is wanting for the fan and more detail on the post event careers would have been more satisfying. However, a very good effort.
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