Two Hours by Ed Caesar
The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon

85%

6 Critic Reviews

...it breaks new ground by examining the race strategies of the latest generation of runners. Mr Caeser’s research leads him to propose the perfect conditions for a sub-two-hour run: windless chilly weather, a flat circular course, an evening start and a world-class field.
-The Economist

Synopsis

“Essential reading for every runner.” —Men’s Fitness

“Compelling…As becomes clear not long after its starting gun, this book transcends the search for a two-hour marathon.” —The Washington Post

Two hours to cover twenty-six miles and 385 yards. It is running’s Everest, a feat once seen as impossible for the human body. But now we can glimpse the mountaintop. The sub-two hour marathon will require an exceptional combination of speed, mental strength, and endurance. The pioneer will have to endure more, live braver, plan better, and be luckier than anyone who has run before. So who will it be?

In this spellbinding book, journalist Ed Caesar takes us into the world of elite marathoners: some of the greatest runners on earth. Through the stories of these rich characters, like Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai, around whom the narrative is built, Caesar traces the history of the marathon as well as the science, physiology, and psychology involved in running so fast for so long. And he shows us why this most democratic of races retains its brutal, enthralling appeal—and why we are drawn to test ourselves to the limit.

Two Hours is a book about a beautiful sport few people understand. It takes us from big-money races in the United States and Europe to remote villages in Kenya. It’s about talent, heroism, and refusing to accept defeat. It is a book about running that is about much more than running. It is a human drama like no other.
 

About Ed Caesar

See more books from this Author
Ed Caesar has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Outside, and the Smithsonian, among many others, and has reported from a wide variety of locations, including Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kosovo. Among other subjects, Caesar has written about African civil wars, the world’s longest tennis match, British murder trials, wingsuit flying, and Tom Wolfe’s beautiful apartment. He is the winner of nine journalism awards. Most recently, he was named Journalist of the Year for 2014 by the Foreign Press Association of London. Two Hours is his first book.
 
Published October 27, 2015 by Simon & Schuster. 256 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Two Hours
All: 6 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jun 17 2015

Caesar’s winning prose will keep even armchair readers turning pages, perhaps tuning in to watch the next marathon.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Jamie Doward on Jul 21 2015

Caesar, though, is too faithful to his original source material to pad his book out with a last-minute cuts job discussing Kimetto’s achievement. Rather, he has understood the first and only rule when it comes to running marathons: “Run your race.” And he has done it superbly.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Richard Williams on Jul 18 2015

...Caesar has established himself as perhaps the best new long-form magazine writer since the arrival of John Jeremiah Sullivan. Two Hours is his first book, and a more than useful debut, but one suspects that he has yet to glimpse the limit of his own performance.

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The Economist

Above average
on Jul 11 2015

...it breaks new ground by examining the race strategies of the latest generation of runners. Mr Caeser’s research leads him to propose the perfect conditions for a sub-two-hour run: windless chilly weather, a flat circular course, an evening start and a world-class field.

Read Full Review of Two Hours: The Quest to Run t... | See more reviews from The Economist

The Maine Edge

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Oct 21 2015

Through copious interviews with top-echelon marathoners and coaches - as well meticulous research into the marathon’s history and the genetics of running – Caesar seeks an answer to a simple question: can a man run 26 miles, 385 yards in under two hours?

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Sports Book Review Center

Good
Reviewed by Budd Bailey on Aug 13 2015

Here's what the world of modern marathon running looks like from the inside, as the runners advance the world record toward the magic two-hour mark.

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Reader Rating for Two Hours
83%

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