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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Published with athletic timing.
You wonder how long this book or the idea of this book was a glint in the eye of Seb Coe.
He has had so many opportunities throughout his glittering career to have sat down and put pen to paper to tell "my story" but averred. Something must have told him to hold on, just wait, and not make a hasty dash for the line,- until this year- the year of perhaps his greatest...
Published 19 months ago by December Hare

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars you need to be a full on sports fan to enjoy this
Just found this rather boring , it was chosen for our book club but somehow it missed the mark as a general read .
Published 5 months ago by V.A. Tuxill


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Published with athletic timing., 22 Nov 2012
You wonder how long this book or the idea of this book was a glint in the eye of Seb Coe.
He has had so many opportunities throughout his glittering career to have sat down and put pen to paper to tell "my story" but averred. Something must have told him to hold on, just wait, and not make a hasty dash for the line,- until this year- the year of perhaps his greatest triumph- the London 2012 Olympics. In this regard Seb Coe and his autobiography are very different from the hordes of other autobiographies rushed out to make the most of "ten minutes of fame."

The book starts off with Seb's 'roots' and the story of his father, Peter Coe.( the ultimate "autodidact" as Seb puts it). His personality explains a lot about the latter father-son relationship which is discussed in a very open manner ( yes, Peter Coe did tell his son that he ran like a c*** after the 800m at Moscow where he won Silver) and generally the book did not have the feel of hagiography ( Seb is honest enough to recount what he perceives as personal failings and this does create a more rounded and realistic self portrait). What you do also realise if you didnt already know this was that when it came to running, Seb Coe was a very lucky man indeed in the choice of his highly analytical father. In this regard I think the 'old man' would be pleased with his son's efforts to set the record straight about their relationship.

The story rapidly moves on however to look at athletics, and writing about the most fascinating aspect of Coe's life (for many of us) was always going to be a fine balancing act- I mean the Coe versus Ovett story. I initially thought this bit was a little undercooked but then on further reflection saw that most of the hype and media interest in the pair was just that- hype. After all these two did not run against each other that frequently and were not all that close- how does one manufacture up some 'great rivalry' out of that? (However if you are interested in more of this, Pat Butcher does an okay job at tackling this theme in The 'Perfect Distance, Ovett and Coe'.) Nevertheless you can't help feeling that Coe is maybe holding out a little on the reader in terms of how he felt about Ovett at the time.

Coe covers the Olympic periods of Moscow and LA and most interestingly Barcelona and why he didnt make it,- which when seen from the perspective of our poor more recent middle distance running achievements is quite sad.

Then we have a large section devoted to life after sports as an MP and then working for William Hague- interesting how some of the most amusing (laugh out loud) bits cover this period! - before getting the job of 'landing' and then 'running' the 2012 Olympics.

Overall a very interesting story, with a number of genuine learning points in there for sportsmen and those interested in leadership and coaching (though it is an autobiography not a manual!)- I did however note some typo's and also more importantly some factual errors whith regards to performances. This is something that could easily have been fact checked before printing:

(eg Flo Jo's 100m record was set in 1988 not 1984 and doubts as to its veracity are more to do with the timing equipment than confirmed drug taking. Then, Linford Christie who came third and not fourth in Seoul and was elevated to Silver not Bronze when Ben Johnson was banned.)

These are probably just accidental slips of the fingers on the keyboard by a man with a lot to do - but then again Seb and Linford don't exactly get on do they? More importantly, when even I can spot glaring errors like this it makes you wonder about other errors beneath the surface. This, for me, definitely rubbed off some of the gloss on what was otherwise an enthralling, well written (ghosted?) and enjoyable read.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High Achiever, 15 Nov 2012
By 
Mr. D. F. MacGregor (St Andrews, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This is a book written on the back of the great success, for which Coe can claim a lot of the credit, of the London Olympics and Paralympics. The author gives a lot of insights into the bidding process and help received from diaparate people as Ken Livingstone, Tony Blair, Tessa Jowell, John Prescott and Juan Antonio Samaranch, though I felt he skated over Samaranch's dubious record in the Franco era.
The book is long (470 pages of text, plus illustrations)and I found the first few sections dealing with his childhood and adolescence, the most interesting. His father Peter played a huge part in his success as an athlete, and he paints a justly admiring picture of his father, who was regarded by the athletics establishment as a bit of a heretic. Seb, too, had several brushes with the sports authorities until recent times, and once he was famous was exposed to more than one made-up story in the tabloids, two of which he successfully sued.
The athletics part of the book - the major part, obviously - races along at breakneck speed, interrupted by the period as a Tory MP (despite having grown up in a Labour area) which was a principal ingredient in the breakdown of his first marriage. There is a good account of his 'rivalry' with Steve Ovett, exaggerated by the media.
There are one or two sloppy uses of English ('equally as') which is all that stopped me awarding the book five stars. Incidentally there is another book by a fellow Olympian, though a less distinguished one - but of course there is no copyright in titles.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, intelligently written, 28 Jan 2013
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This was really well written and brought me back to my teenage years when I followed athletics fervently. When you get used to Seb Coe's ability to remind everyone just how wonderful he was/is then it is a fascinating read. The difference to other autobiographies of sports stars is that he has a wonderful story to tell of all of the strands of his life. Not to be missed
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read, 7 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Running My Life - The Autobiography (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed reading Seb Coe's autobiography and recommend it to anyone interested in sports or politics. It is well written and very interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!, 22 Jan 2013
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A thoroughly enjoyable read. Surprisingly witty and a great insight to a good guy! From little acorns and all that...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Prepared to be Inspired !, 28 April 2013
I've just finished this book and I must confess I did not want this to end. This was such an entertaining read. Fascinating, humorous, inspirational and uplifting from start to finish.

Being around the same age, I've grown up watching many of Seb Coe's achievements from Olympic titles to world records. In his book he talks honestly and frankly about his rivalry with Steve Ovett, life as a politician, how the political system works, working for William Hague, and the absorbing, honest, enlightening, and at times comical revelations of how the Olympics were won.

I've been surprised at some of the revelations that have been made in this book, especially about mainstream political figures, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson, he holds nothing back.

His honesty and at times humorous anecdotes are what makes this book so enjoyable. His recap of the Olympics rekindled those wonderful feelings of bursting pride and magical spirit that consumed everyone. His recall of issues surrounding the obtaining of planning permission for Greenwich equestrian events, the exploits of our athletes and his recapping of the positive comments that other global entities were saying about our Olympics. All of this was hugely entertaining.

This book is truly inspirational, and although he's already achieved more than many of us can only dream about, it seems Sebastian Coe is not ready to sit back just yet, as illustrated with his closing comments. "Although my children consider me ancient, I'm still only in my mid fifties. And while I may no longer hope to run faster, jump higher or be stronger, there's still a lot I want to do with my life. I'm not ready to slow down yet"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seb Coe's autobiography, 18 Mar 2013
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This was a Christmas present for my ex-husband, who's also an ex-international athlete. He was delighted with it and I hope will return it for me to read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seb's book, 4 Feb 2013
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Excellent service. Came very quickly, so on time for my son's birthday which saved my bacon so all I can say is thanks a lot!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars running my life - the Autobiography Seb Coe, 17 Jan 2013
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this book was bought as a present for my adult son having been recommended to me by a third person
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seb Coe, 14 Jan 2013
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A book I cant put down. Very inspirational and a man the country needs, thank goodness sense prevailed and Seb accepted the challenge
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