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The Long Run
A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete
Matt Long with Charles Butler
Rodale Books, August 2011
ISBN: 978-1-60961-179-8, ISBN10: 1-60961-179-9,
5 1/2 x 8 7/16 inches, 312 pages, 8-pg b/w photo insert,
Trade Paperback, $15.99
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On the morning of December 22, 2005, Matt Long was cycling to work in the early morning when he was struck by and sucked under a 20-ton bus making an illegal turn. The injuries he sustained brought him within inches of his life. Miraculously, more than 40 operations and months later, Matt was able to start his recovery. In spite of the severity of his injuries, Matt found the psychological consequences of the accident nearly as hard to process. He would no longer be able to compete at the highest level.
In the 18 months before the accident, he had competed in more than 20 events including several triathlons and marathons and had qualified for running’s most prestigious race, the Boston Marathon. After the accident, his doctor told him he’d be lucky if he could even walk without a cane.
The Long Run
is an emotional and incredibly honest story about Matt’s determination to fight through fear, despair, loneliness, and intense physical and psychological pain to regain the life he once had. The book chronicles Matt’s road to recovery as he teaches himself to walk again and, a mere three years later, to run in the 2008 New York City Marathon—a gimpy seven-and-a-half hour journey through the five boroughs. “Running saved my life,” Matt says, and his embrace of the running community and insistence on competing in the marathon has inspired many, turning him into a symbol of hope and recovery for others.
“I could feel for Long during his darkest moments, but also share in his joy when his marathon finish-line drew closer. Others will as well. An exuberant read!”—
Bob Woodruff, ABC News journalist and author of the
New York Times
In an Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing
“This is an incredibly inspirational story about an incredibly brave guy. He has the kind of stuff runners are—or would like to be—made of.”—
John L. Parker, author of the best-selling classic,
Once a Runner
“Matt’s story is one of inspiration and perseverance. He is unwilling to allow a horrible tragedy stand between him and the finish line. There are powerful lessons here for any athlete.”—
Dean Karnazes, champion runner and best-selling author of
“Some runners inspire, and some are inspired by others. Matt Long does both. His love of life, family, and friends, and his true passion for sport, make this an incredibly courageous comeback story.”—
Joan Benoit Samuelson, winner of the Boston Marathon and 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist
“To aim high is glorious; to achieve your goal when starting from the bottom—that’s the mark of a champion. And that’s Matt Long.
The Long Run
is the powerful story of Matt’s unbreakable sprit as he aims for the ultimate: to run the New York City Marathon after nearly being destroyed in a horrifying accident. I promise not to complain about my Achilles tendonitis anymore!”—
Bill Rodgers, winner of the Boston and New York City Marathons
“I've met some truly uncommon athletes over the years, but Matty Long's trial by fire is in a class by itself. What this man endured, and where his countless hard earned victories eventually took him, is almost beyond belief. Read his story and you'll believe; not just in him, but in the power we all have to change out lives for the better.”—
Mary Carillo, HBO Sports
“Television, movies and fiction are full of heartwarming stories filled with brave souls who fight their way back from hard times, overcoming impossible odds as they learn important lessons and bring a tear to your eye. Guess what?
The Long Run
is the real deal. Armed with heart, wisdom, grit, and wit, Matt Long kicked death right in the ass and came roaring back to life. And here's the best part: It may well be one of the most entertaining books you will ever read! If you want a lesson in believing in yourself, in fighting back against all odds, buy this book—before they make the movie.”—
Denis Leary, comedian, actor, writer, and creator of the television drama
“Matt Long is all the things I wanted to be when I grew up—fireman, athlete, bar owner, and author.
The Long Run
is a funny, sometimes horrific, deeply human testament to the healing power of family, friends and community. This book will move you, and not just metaphorically: It got me running again.”—
Steve Rushin, award-winning journalist and author of
The Pint Man: A Novel
“Three days before Christmas in 2005 New York City was embroiled in a bitter transit strike. So firefighter Long decided to ride his bicycle to work. A charter bus, making an illegal turn, collided with him, pulling him under the bus and inflicting injuries that nearly killed him on the spot. He survived, and made a slow and extremely painful recovery (although he’ll never have the same range of motion and physical abilities as he once did). This memoir, co-written with an editor at
, focuses on two key elements: Long’s physical recovery (dozens of surgeries to repair massive internal injuries) and his psychological recovery (as the firefighter, marathon runner, and Ironman competitor came to terms with the knowledge that he’d likely never work or compete again). The book ends on a high note: Long has brought himself back farther than anyone thought he could. But it’s the journey that’s important. The book is open and honest—at times, almost painfully so—and readers will be horrified by Long’s ordeal and inspired by his determination to get back as much of himself as he could.”—
“Like Long himself, his memoir is full of the heartfelt can-do attitude sure to appeal to the Ironman in everyone.”—
About the Author(s)
is the founder of the I Will Foundation, which helps men, women, boys, and girls to pursue goals they previously thought were beyond their reach. He lives in New York City.
is an editor at
. His writing has appeared in the
New York Times
. He lives in Emmaus, PA.
© 2014 Macmillan