WINNER OF THE CROSS SPORTS BOOK AWARD FOR NEW WRITER OF THE YEAR
‘Lyrical and passionate … a celebration of the human spirit and what it can achieve’ Observer
Two hours to cover twenty-six miles and 385 yards. An exceptional feat of speed, mental strength and endurance. The sub-two-hour marathon is running’s Everest, a feat once seen as impossible for the human body. But now we have reached the mountaintop.
In this spellbinding book Ed Caesar takes us into the world of the elite of the elite: the greatest marathoners on earth. Through the stories of these rich characters, and their troubled lives, he 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 savage, enthralling appeal – why we are drawn to test ourselves to the limit.
Now with a new afterword telling the inside story of how Eliud Kipchoge achieved the impossible, with exclusive access to Nike’s #Breaking2 project, and the Ineos159 event at which the barrier was finally broken.
We are getting so close to the mark now... superb -- Dan Jones * Evening Standard * Ed Caesar's treatment of the near-mythical two-hour marathon is both implacably scientific and wonderfully reverential. As a former marathoner I deeply appreciate both. The prose hums along effortlessly and the topic is one of the most profound there is: the absolute limits of human performance. Reading a book that combines those two things is one of the great pleasures in life * Sebastian Junger * A fascinating insight into the clockwork of what it means to be an elite athlete, always pushing at the edge of possibility. Like a good runner, Caesar carries the story along with grace and ease and generosity. He brings us to Kenya, New York, London, and Berlin, but ultimately allows us to look inside ourselves. It's the human story that shines through * Colum McCann * I didn't think any book could make me interested in marathon running. Two Hours did that and much more. Ed Caesar's in-depth reporting explores one of sport's ultimate questions: is there a final human boundary and, if so, where? A terrific book: elegant, engaging and rewarding * Ed Smith, former England cricketer, Times Columnist and author of Luck * This book explodes out of the blocks, continues at a terrific clip, never flags and breasts the tape victorious, its arms in the air. Like the best foot race, it is tight, pacy and riveting. A brilliant debut. Give the man a medal and a bunch of flowers * Esquire * Lyrical and passionate... a celebration of the human spirit and what it can achieve * Observer * A delight to read. The definitive book on professional marathon running * Independent on Sunday * Marvellous. Caesar's reportage has the feel of the very best of American journalism - as if he has researched the matter to hell, spent his time in the field, nailed down every fact, then bashed it out on a typewriter with a cigarette smouldering in his mouth * Sunday Times * Two Hours is a kind of "Hoop Dreams" for runners * Spectator * Fascinating, timely, meticulously researched... this exploration of one of the great sporting quests of modern times will inspire anyone with a pair of trainers to go for a run * Observer * Caesar is very good on the personalities, mixing the art and science of distance running with vignettes about the athletes -- Matthew Syed * The Times * Superb * Guardian * A fine, engaging study of human endurance and the competitive spirit of marathon runners. Caesar wears his considerable research into most aspects of the marathon - its history, science, and the spectre of performance-enhancing drugs - with a loping, easy style * Independent * Fascinating. Will be enjoyed by anyone who has completed long runs along canals, through parks and down suburban streets * Daily Telegraph * Zippy, engaging, stylish, evocative * Financial Times * There is much spirit in Two Hours and much human warmth * New Statesman * Two Hours breaks new ground * Economist * Intelligent, thoughtful * Irish Times * Caesar has established himself as perhaps the best new long-form magazine writer since the arrival of John Jeremiah Sullivan -- Richard Williams * Guardian *
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