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Hardcover Sub 4:00: Alan Webb and the Quest for the Fastest Mile Book

ISBN: 157954746X

ISBN13: 9781579547462

Sub 4:00: Alan Webb and the Quest for the Fastest Mile

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good*

*Best Available: (missing dust jacket)

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Book Overview

For more than three decades, not one American schoolboy had run a sub-4-00 mile. Then, in January 2001, Alan Webb clocked a 3-59.86 mile, the fastest indoor U.S. high school mile ever. Just a few... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The Trials of the Young Talented Milers: Webb & the Michgan Men

This is an exciting book about two young track stars by Chris Lear, author of "Running with the Buffaloes". This book is more concise than Buffaloes but I think Lear does a more articulate job strengthened by his excellent race coverage and detailed observations of the super workouts that the super freshman, Brannan and Webb run as teammates and as quiet rivals. The book also frames the efforts of famed miler head coach Warhurst to make his runners elites through gradual build-ups along with quick studies of the premier pro athletes he coaches such as Tim Broe, Kevin Sullivan and the great horse, Paul McMullen. many of the runners, Webb and Brannan included run the fine line between superb conditioning to injury and in fact both battle injuries through their freshman year struggling to over come these pitfalls as they quickly approach the NCACC finals their first year. Lear captures well not only their personal feelings while tackling their frustration with trying to get back in their elite shape and particular Webb who is under pressure as the next super miler. Lear underlines all this frustration with the growing speculation that Webb will turn pro and leave Michigan, which increases the overall team tension. In the background, never confirmed, are pressures to leave from Webb's former HS and now current coach Raczko to Raczko's mentor, John Cook who has great disdain for college programs. Cook is a noted professional coach, still today (Shalane Flanagan) known for his great George Mason teams and not mentioned by Lear but also a highly successful HS coach at Edison in VA. One of Cook's HS multi-state champions is the current distance coach at Tennessee today. The writing is crisp, highly descriptive and the race play by play thrilling, capturing not only the movements of the runners but the tactics and the overall action. The book peaks with the NCAA finals as Brannan shines and Webb does well but he is frustrated. The only criticisms of the book is that Lear always seem to neglect how these great collegiate athletes make it academically when they train at such levels. Not to dwell on it but it would be interesting to know how they cope academically while fueling their passion. An edit gaffe is the listing of finishes in the NCAA mile o the same page of the thrilling race descriptions. It ruins the suspense and the list could have been on another turned page. Although the book is covering material that is over 6 years old, it is still exciting to read and it is relevant today as Webb currently is experiencing the same frustrations that he felt during his only year at Michigan. In addition, where is the nimble Brannan, once roommate/teammate of Webb's? Brannan burst through a sea of Kenyans at the 2009 Prefontaine Classic to garner 3rd place in a PR 3:52 while Webb struggled in 10th with a very creditable 3:55, which was not satisfactory for Webb personally. Great book, it makes an old trackster want to get back on the track and run!

Excellent account of Webb and the collegiate running scene

Chris Lear has done it again! Following an exellent debut with "Running With the Buffaloes" he comes back with "Sub 4:00" -- a great account of Alan Webb's first and only season at the University of Michigan. Lear is the only guy out there writing about the collegiate running scene as most books in the running section at your bookstore revolve around training logs or how to run your first 10K. It's about time someone took a different path and I'm glad Lear has done so. Webb's tumultuous season at UM is well-depicted. The tough workouts, the injuries, and most importantly, the hot and cold relationship Webb has with his collegiate coach. Webb is pulled in a couple of different directions, whether to turn pro and go back and train under his high school coach, where he had great success; or stay at UM where he has friends and training partners. After awhile one can tell where Webb is going to end up. What makes Lear's books so good is he gets right into the action. Just like his first book, he has intimate access to the team, it's workouts, meetings, and private moments. He's with Webb in the residence halls, on solitary and team workouts, at the meets, and even on the road in his car. Lear isn't an outside observer, he's right there. Also, the main supporting character, Brannen, gets his fair share of coverage. This isn't just a book for runners, but anyone interested in athletics, particularly college athletics and how the system works and how coaches are under pressure to win -- yes, even so-called minor sport track and field coaches. I highly recommend this excellent book and hope Lear has more coming down the road.

great book for track fans

Lear's latest is among the best track & field books I've read. It's evident that he's knowledgeable about the sport and had thorough access to Webb and got some great information and interviews. I recommend it for coaches and athletes alike, but it's also simply a great book about sports.

An intriguing and insightful book

A great read for anyone interested in Track & Field or runnng in general. This books brings to life the trials and tribulations of Webb and the Michigan track team in the spring of'02. What makes it especially interesting are the behind the scenes stories of Webb, his teammates and coach that Lear delivers, as only he can. Warhurst and Brannen also emerge as very intriguing characters. I can't wait to see how Webb and Brannen do in the years to come, as they are huge talents with speed to burn. Any competitve runner can tell Lear has been there before and writes like he is with Webb every step of the way. He has definitely developed a knack for capturing the emotion and drama of competition. A very impessive second book that was tough to put down.

Capturing the Season

As a runner on the Michigan Track and Field team, I must say that Chris Lear captures the season exaclty how it happened. Chris doesn't take sides, he just tells the truth. Often times people ask me about that season, having Nate Brannen and Alan Webb on the same track, and I tell them to read the book. There are so many stories, so many ups and downs that occur with all runners. This is a great book for any high school runner looking to compete at the next level.
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