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on 13 May 2012
I was given this book as a present (perhaps to spur me on as a virgin marathon runner OMG! two weeks to race day!) I loved it! I could not put it down and even put aside 'Fifty Shades of Grey' in perference! It made me laugh and even cry! As a runner of a few years now I know how addictive this sport can be but having never run a marathon this really helped me to believe that it can be done! Phil writes about all the highs and lows with humour and honesty leaving the reader with no doubt that although marathons are great they must always be approached with respect and of course a good amount of training! Thanks Phil you have truely inspired me although I am not sure that I will ever run the number of marathons you have!
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on 6 April 2012
This book is brilliant. I have never reviewed anything on Amazon before but felt this book was worth it. It will make you want to enter a marathon today. If you have one on the horizon, as I do (VLM 2012), then it will raise your excitement levels sky high.
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on 14 August 2012
I've been into running for at least 5 years, and away from the usual running "manuals", I find that a good running book helps maintain the motorvation during training. I stumbled upon Phil Hewitt's "Keep on Running" by chance, just the other week.

It's a really engaging account of how one man got bitten by the marathon bug, and his quest for bettering his overall race time, and how to deal with the highs and lows that come when you take up marathon running. Getting a place in the prestigious London Marathon is usually out of most runners' reach unless they get a charity place, and this was Phil's introduction to the marathon, and the start of a life-changing journey.

There are plenty of emotions and stories that will be familiar to runners, and I found it interesting to read about his next quest, be it Berlin, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Dublin or Rome. It's written so well - like you are in the room, sharing a drink or out on the road, sharing a race with him.

It's packed with many funny moments, serious at times - how does he keep to his training and hobby when he has family commitments and the ever important quest for breaking his marathon time and attaining that all important personal best. It's a book anyone considering running a marathon should read, as well as anyone interested in living a life well spent in a pair of running shoes.

Looking forward to volume 2, Phil!

Thomas Robinson
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Although many of the previous reviewers have enjoyed this book because they are either marathon runners or prospective marathon runners this wasn't the case with me as I have no intention of ever running the 26.2 miles, unless I could take two weeks to do it and can call into every pub on the way.

This didn't prevent me from liking this book though. The author, Phil Hewitt, makes an excellent job of explaining what it is like to take part in a marathon and the preparations he makes before he does. He does this in such a way as that whilst it will be informative to the runner it is also very entertaining for the non-runner (i.e. me). The consequence of this is that I found myself being quietly elated when he broke his previous best time during one marathon but then feeling rather irritated when everything seemed to go wrong during another.

I'm sure that the descriptions of the major marathons in places like Paris, Dublin or New York or even the small local events like ones in the New Forest or Steyning will inspire some people to get out their old running shoes (this may be a mistake as the author strongly advocates visiting a specialist sports shoe shop to get the right shoe for your foot) but for me reading this book was enough - I have competed in a marathon the best way, by reading about it sat in a comfy armchair.
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on 15 March 2015
I enjoyed this book. It's not a training guide; it's a well written, honest and perceptive account of the author's marathon running exploits, and I think most of us who do this sort of thing will identify with many of his thoughts and experiences. Those who don't might get a bit of an insight into what's driving friends and family who feel compelled to run. At times it's funny, at times quite sentimental, at times quite thought-provoking.

The author is a respectably competent runner, neither outstandingly good nor hopelessly slow. He is motivated (at least in the bigger, road events) by improving his times. He's hardly alone in that, though his talk of speed and pacing gets a bit obsessive in places. There's also one sentence too many on the problem of nipple chafing - made me wince. But his accounts of the various events he runs and his personal experiences of them are interesting and entertaining. He does a particularly good job of bringing out the differences in atmosphere between prestigious big-city marathons and smaller local races.

I can't say that the book changed my life, or that I'd dash back into my burning house to retrieve it. But in the increasingly crowded 'mid-life amateur sport memoir' market, I think this is one of the more intelligent and interesting offerings. So I'm happy to recommend it.
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on 7 February 2013
In the middle of training for my first marathon I needed a pick me up to help pass the painful miles. This book was gripping from start to finish and makes you realise the pain the madness the dark mornings and nights are all worth it. That the torture you go through is not just in your head but everyone else that embarks on this crazy challenge. I would highly recommend this book to anyone whether you are running your first or 21st marathon. Absolutely brilliant tale of the highs and lows.
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on 15 January 2013
As a fairly keen runner myself (I have done many half marathons but tackling my first full marathon in August). This book is brilliant - it really captures the desire to continue running, how much morbid joy people get out of completing many miles. It's well written and really endearing. I thoroughly recommend this to the novice and seasoned runner. We should look up to Phil, this book does inspire us to all give running a go, because the rewards are awesome.
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on 12 September 2014
This book managed to keep my interest and annoy me in equal proportions. Most of the race descriptions were pretty good but there was a fair amount of padding in there too. Trying to explain the intellectual and spiritual appeal and reward of being a marathon runner and actually running marathons was a little repetitive and tedious for my liking. His dismissive attitude to 10k and half marathon runners (even though he did run one) jarred a bit too - probably because those are the distances I like to run.

The writing style was good though and the book held my interest to the end. I have to wonder though if Phil Hewitt should actually be running marathons. Given that he appears to lose control of his thought processes towards the end of the race and can be on the point of collapse after crossing the line maybe he's actually better suited to shorter distances.

Disclaimer - I've never run a full marathon and probably never will so the hallucinations and wobbly legs could well be what all marathon finishers experience. Although I doubt that many would ever contemplate running 20 miles in a bin liner.
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on 16 January 2014
I bought this book when I was training for my own marathon, I was looking for some motivational inspiration to get the wheels, or rather feet moving.

What i found was minimal motivation, but a collection of interesting stories that every marathon runner or long distance runner may have experienced or felt at some point in their running career.
Although i found it gave minimal motivation, it did give me a different look on the marathon and the training I was doing, although it doesnt specifically and is not specifically a book on marathon training.

It did spur me on through inspiration and has sparked a few thoughts for future marathons.
I even read the specific chapter on my chosen marathon several times, although on the day i couldnt tell you anything about what i read.
An interesting fun read on the experiences of a marathon runner, good for marathon runners to see/look on the funny side (even if it is after the event) of a marathon. A good insight into what to expect if you have a partner who is considering taking up marathon running.
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on 24 December 2013
Where to start? This was one of the most unintentially hilarious books I think I have ever read.Each marathon is replayed stride by stride in almost anal detail.This guy is truely the alan partridge of marathon running,no detail is too small to not be included on the page, he really could bore for Britain.
He whinges a hell of a lot to, and seems to blame everyone and everything if he runs badly. Amsterdam (hated it,rained,hardly saw any canals ).Berlin (had a cold, scenery uninspiring ).The comic masterpiece is the Rome marathon were he runs badly (again), this time partly, according to him, because of the smog and the crappy organisation.During this race he also has to cope with,and I quote, "one of the most shameful incidents ever recorded on a marathon course anywhere in the whole history of the world", this is were he crashes into a nun who had foolishly walked into his path and then calls her a "******* stupid cow" as she cowers in his wake.Absolutely priceless. I gave it an extra star for this passage alone.
It is worth 99p of anybodies money to read this hilarious ego driven road trip.His own sense of self importance is truely mind blowing.You ran a few races pal, not rewrote the geneva convention.
I feel very,very sorry for his wife.
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