Review: Ayer’s The Long Race

The Longest Race: A Lifelong Runner, An Iconic Ultramarathon, and the Case for Human Endurance
Ed Ayers

A lifelong runner uses his training, and running, of the JFK 50 miler as a way to ruminate on the nature of running, both as an activity and as a metaphor for political action. Ayers has been running competitively since the 1970s and his ruminations on the glory days of the 70s running boom, and on what it means for an elite amateur to grow old are wonderful. He is also a political activist, deeply invested in environmental issues and other progressive causes. While I agree with Ayers on just about every political issue, I found these sections of the book tedious and preachy. I’d have like to hear more of his life on the roads and less about his thoughts on political issues.

Still Ayers has had a unique view on over forty years of running. This is worth checking out if running memoirs are your thing.

Recommended for the enthusiast.