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The Silence of Great Distance: Women Running Long

by Frank Murphy

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I really built this book up in my mind, and upon completion it was a bit of a let down from my initial expectations. I learned about the book upon reading an excerpt in Runners on Running, and from that expected the book to be a bit saucier. That was really the only shocking chapter in the entire book, and really only a minor side story.

The Silence of Great Distance starts out great, charting the history of women running and all of the difficulties they faced being taken seriously as competitors, and in being allowed to compete in the first place. The book then hits its stride detailing collegiate middle distance runners, and that's pretty much the course the book takes to the end.

I was hoping for a bit more about marathoners (the Great Distance part in the title is apparently metaphorical) which were not mentioned at all, except in passing. Quite frankly, numbers are boring and I found during many long paragraphs that my eyes were glazing over reading about course records and who beat whom in how many seconds in what race.

I guess this book was just trying to be too much of too many things and just didn't quite do enough for any of those things to be really spectacular. ( )
  lemontwist | Jun 12, 2011 |
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