Book Review: The Long Run by Matthew Long

25 Jul

In 2005, New York public transit went on strike. As a result, New Yorkers had to walk, bike or carpool to work. NY firefighter Matthew Long was an avid marathoner and triathlete. He had done an Ironman and had just qualified for the Boston Marathon. On December 22, 2005, he decided to bike to work to start his early shift at the firehouse. One of the investment banks in NY had hired private buses to bring their employees to work. That morning, the bus made an illegal right turn and ran over Matthew Long on his bicycle.

The book, The Long Run, is about Matthew’s accident and his struggle to regain his life. When he was hit, his shoulder and both legs were broken. His entire abdomen was shredded and his pelvis was crushed. He was given a 5% chance of living that day. What followed were dozens of surgeries and 60+ blood transfusions. Doctors attributed his survival to the fact that he was an amazing athlete and therefore had a strong enough heart to endure such a trauma.

He would go through 3 extremely painful years of rehab and recovery all the while being told he would never be an athlete again. Long had such determination, he wouldn’t accept that diagnosis. The book chronicles his recovery and his fight to run to the New York City Marathon just 3 years after his accident. Only 4 years following his accident, he would participate and finish an Ironman Triathlon (2.2 mile swim, 120 mile bike ride, 26.2 marathon run).

This was an amazing book. It was one of the most inspirational stories I’ve ever read. What this brave firefighter went through is unbelievable and to think he not only survived but ran the marathon and completed an Ironman is unfathomable. It carries his strong, gritty New Yorker voice throughout the book and puts you right along side him and all his struggles.

Any athlete who has had a day where they think they can’t go on should read this book and see what a real struggle looks like. However, I think it’s such an amazing story that whether you’re an athlete or not, you will greatly enjoy it.

Buy The Long Run on Amazon.com

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