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Mar 11, 2014

Hal Higdon's "4:09:43" Book Review

Hal Higdon.  He is one of my running idols.  He's probably one of your idols as well.  I've been training on his programs since I started running almost five years ago.  I've used his programs to go from a 4:12:17 first time marathoner to my PR of 3:38:20.  He is one of the kings in running especially to the everyday runner.

Naturally, when his publisher asks if I would be interested in reviewing his latest book, "4:09:43 Boston 2013 through the Eyes of the Runners", I would not pass it up.  I even had an opportunity to interview him via phone but I figured I'd be like a teenage boy trying to talk to a girl for the first time and was not sure what to say so I didn't take up that offer.  Lol!  Well, that's what I think it would feel like.

Mr. Higdon was not only a world class runner in his day, he's an excellent coach and a great writer.  The book consists of numerous stories from a variation of 75 runners accounts of their day leading up to the bombings in Boston last year.  I cannot imagine the amount of work that went into compiling the book even though it's not that long.

It's not really an interview with runners per say.  He's done more than that.  He's brought the thoughts of all the runners into one book in a very easy to follow manner.  The majority of the book talks about the runners day and each of the particular places on the marathon course.  This includes things from the Athlete's Village to Wellesley to Boylston Street until that final moment at 4:09:43.

While I've never run the Boston Marathon, the book really hits home not only as a marathon runner but as a typical 4 hour marathon runner.  My marathon times are 4:12:17, 3:58:45, 4:08:15, 3:38:20 and 3:56:12.  It's really scary to hear what people went through who were not only finished running but were still on the course and in some cases right near where the bomb went off.  I cannot imagine the feeling and hope nobody has to go through again what everyone went through that terrible day.

I remember I was at work at the time and hearing about it, then I watched, as much of the world did, as the events unfolded.  I really liked reading the perspective that everyone at the event had and how it effected each of them.  Mr. Higdon puts the book together in a way that does not talk the whole time about just the bombings but also a great perspective on runners running the course along the way in one of the greatest marathons in history, the Boston marathon.

Pick up a copy online or at the local book store.  I think it's a book that every runner should read.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!


  1. If you were at Boston, yes you could have been finishing at that time, but I bet you would have put in the big miles and would have run that 3h30 that is still hiding in your body... Don't give up on it. I'm past any marathon PR, and I'm a little sorry I missed my goals (only in the marathon) by a few minutes.

  2. Looking forward to reading this. I find books written by runners interesting - because all the stories, experiences are relatable at least in some way. When I first started to train on my own, I used a plan by Hal.