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Ed Caesar

  • Original Title: TWO HOURS
  • Publication date: July 2015
  • Publisher: VIKING
  • Country: GB
  • 256 print pages
  • Factual/Investigation


  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Surpassing oneself, Life choice, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Commitment


Ed Caesar looks at the history of the marathon and the science behind long distance running that could lead to breaking the 2-hour-mark.


Winner Of The Cross Sports Book Award For New Writer Of The Year 2016

Translation rights sold: US, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, Israel, Japan, Slovenia

Ed Caesar is a British non-fiction writer. His stories have been published by The New Yorker, The New York Times, GQ and The Sunday Times. The winner of nine major journalism awards, he was named Journalist of the Year for 2014 by the Foreign Press Association. This was his first book.


The marathon tethers runners to their own personal narratives. It is a question of how you grow. Nothing but your own body will sustain you; everything you have done in your life until the moment you cross the finishing line is connected to the effort.

Two hours, to cover 26 miles and 385 yards. It is running's Everest, a feat once seen as impossible for the human body. But now we can glimpse the mountain-top.

The sub-two hour marathon will require an exceptional feat of speed, mental strength and endurance. The pioneer will have to endure more, live braver, plan better, and be luckier than his forbearers. So who is he?

In this spellbinding book, Ed Caesar takes us into the world of the elite of the elite: the greatest marathoners on earth. Through the stories of these rich characters, and their troubled lives, he traces the history of the marathon as well as the science, physiology and psychology involved in running so fast, for so long. And he shows us why this most democratic of races retains its savage, enthralling appeal - why we are drawn to test ourselves to the limit.

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  • Author’s biography

    Ed Caesar is a British nonfiction writer. His first book was TWO HOURS: The Quest To Run The Impossible Marathon (2015). As a journalist, he has reported from many countries, from the Central African Republic to Kosovo, and has been published by The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Sunday Times of London, The Guardian and many others. He has won 9 major journalism prizes, and was named “Journalist of the Year” for 2014 by the Foreign Press Association of London.