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In the Long Run

A Father, a Son, and Unintentional Lessons in Happiness

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


It's 2008. Jim Axelrod—once among the most watched correspondents on network news and the first television reporter to broadcast from Saddam International Airport in 2003—is covering the final stages of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. He's forty-five years old and thirty pounds overweight. He's drinking too much, sleeping too little, and scarcely seeing his family. He's just figured out that the industry that pulled him up the corporate ladder is imploding as he's reaching for its final rungs. Then, out of the blue, Jim discovers his late father's decades-old New York Marathon finish times. At forty-six, Bob Axelrod ran a 3:29:58. With everything else going on in his life, Jim sets himself a defining challenge: "Can I beat him?"

So begins a deeply felt, often hilarious, quixotic effort to run the 2009 New York Marathon. Along the way, Jim confronts his listing marriage, a career upset by the seismic changes going on throughout the television news industry, excruciatingly painful shin splints, and the worst-timed kidney stone possible. Looming over it all is the shadow of a loving father, who repeatedly lost his way in life but still has a lesson to impart.

This is a book about a dead father's challenge to a son at a crossroads, but, more than that, it is about the personal costs paid when ambition and talent are not enough to ensure success. Most fundamentally, though, it is a book about learning what it takes to be happy in your own skin.

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 14, 2011 – In this well-written, honest memoir, Axelrod, a national correspondent for CBS News, describes the dramatic effect of receiving an e-mail with his deceased father's New York City marathon times, which inspired him to train for the 2009 New York City marathon in the hope of beating the race time his father achieved at the author's age, 46. Of course, such an undertaking is a manifestation of larger issues, and Axelrod lays his midlife crisis bare while recounting the ups and downs of his training regimen. Jumping back and forth between the present and past, Axelrod explores his relationship with his father, a complex man who took to running to deal with his confusion about how to handle his fatherly and social obligations. A father and husband himself, Axelrod, who left to cover the Iraq War when his wife was pregnant, has his own domestic issues, mostly due to his traveling incessantly and listening to his father's advice to "never say no" to his employer. Like the mirrored relationship of Axelrod and his father, the book's other stories have a pleasing symmetry, as can be seen in the parallel accounts of the author's physical ailments, like a painful calf injury, and his emotional problems that culminate in a bout of "acute stress response" brought on by a near-death experience while working in Iraq.

Customer Reviews

In The Long Run

Great read! Enjoyed the journey with Jim Axelrod.

In the Long Run
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: May 10, 2011
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings