Review: Million Dollar Marathon

A running novella with a little bit of something for everyone.

Dr. Phil Maffetone is best known for his writings about health and fitness, but his new fiction novella Million Dollar Marathon is a delightful departure from his usual work.

Part adventure story, part geo-political statement, part detective story, part romance, and part sports triumph, the short book has a little bit of something for everyone in a form that should be appealing to those who don’t have time to read a full-length novel.

Xi, a political refugee from Tibet, literally runs away from home, crossing a high mountain pass carrying with him the secret and sacred Tara tea and bulbs, to his freedom in Nepal, and eventually to India, where he suddenly finds himself immersed in the world of professional running and picks up a manager along the way. He meets Liu, a romantic interest and also an elite runner, and sets out to run a sub-two-hour marathon in the United States.

You’ll have to read the novella yourself to find out what happens.

I nearly laughed out loud at Xi’s aversion to riding in an air-conditioned bus, instead preferring to run to the starting line of the race in order to avoid “unnatural air.” Of course, it’s Phil who is doing the writing here and as one might expect the book is full of casual and sometimes veiled references to his philosophies on health, fitness and lifestyle. Beyond the notion of a 1:59 marathon, which is the subject of his non-fiction book “1:59,” Xi also runs barefoot, and there are references to nutrition, stress and other topics familiar to Phil’s followers.

This cleverly constructed novella is light and fun, and contains just enough stress to make you stronger and more fit. I highly recommend.

Million Dollar Marathon is available only on Amazon as an ebook, which can be read on any tablet or computer. You can order it through the MAF website — click here.

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