THE LONG RUN

A New York City Firefighter's Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete

Matt Long & Charles Butler

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 pushed 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,

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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 pushed 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 untold numbers of others.

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  • Rodale
  • Hardcover
  • August 2011
  • 264 Pages
  • 9781605292465

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$25.99

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About Matt Long & Charles Butler

Matt Long 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.

Charles Butler is an editor at Runner’s World. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Fortune, and Inside Sports. He lives in Emmaus, PA.

Praise

“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 Rescue Me

“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 best-seller, 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 Ultramarathon Man

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