Rob Hadgraft, Plimsolls On, Eyeballs Out: The Rise and Fall of Marathon Legend Jim PetersDesert Island Books, 2011 Although outshone by his contemporary and Olympic nemesis Emil Zatopek, Peters had a huge impact on marathon running in the early 1950s. It is accurate to say he obliterated the world best for the Marathon. (I say “world best” rather than “world record” because marathon courses have varied in distance and height over the years—the Boston Marathon for example was considerably shorter than the standard distance from 1951 to 1957. As well, it still drops 220 ft. from start to finish.) When Peters started running marathons in 1951, the World Best was 2:25:39, set in 1947 by Suh Yun-bok of South Korea. In three years (1952-1954) Peters lowered that mark four times, eventually running 2:17:39, an unbelievable 8:00 faster. Three of these world-best marks were achieved in three consecutive UK Poly Marathons; the fourth was run in the Turku Marathon in Finland. Two books by Peters have preceded Hadgraft’s new biography. Soon after his retirement in 1954, Peters wrote his autobiography, In the Long Run. As well, with his coach Johnny Johnston he wrote a technical book on training, Modern Middle- and Long-Distance Running. But generally it is hard to find much material on Jim Peters, especially since his autobiography is long out of print and very expensive to buy. With his fifth biography, running historian Rob Hadgraft has moved closer to the present with this superb book on Jim Peters. Following books on Deerfoot, Alfred Shrubb, Walter George and Arthur Newton, he has now tackled the life of a runner who made his name in the middle of the last century—only some 60 years ago! Jim Peters was a great choice because the Essex marathoner has not been given the general recognition he deserves. Although much was written about him during his career in the 1940s and 1950s, his fame has gradually faded. And when he is remembered, it is for his two failures in a stellar career: the tragic conclusion to the 1954 marathon in Vancouver, when he nearly died; and incomplete run in the 1952 Olympics.