Anyone who has been interested in ultra running for more than a month or so has heard the name Scott Jurek. As a vegan and a runner, I found his story fascinating despite only knowing a little about him. When I saw “Eat & Run” by Scot Jurek at the library, I decided it was worth checking out.
The book started with his experience at the Badwater ultra which has to be one of the legendary stories within the running world. Being flat out on the pavement, over heated to the point of being unable to stand and only about half way done with the race. Then standing up and running the next 70 miles faster than the first 70… Insane! The book tended to focus on the pain and difficulty he was facing (which seems like the obvious thing to focus on), but it does that throughout. When he was in good shape and won a race without excessive pain, the race was hardly mentioned. It was only when he go through it by sheer force of will that the race warranted comment.
The main take away was that above 50 miles, racing isn’t about being fast, it’s about having the will to keep going. It was a fascinating look behind the headlines at a runner I knew about, but hadn’t heard much of his perspective. The only real draw back was that he had a co-author and, for one reason or another, the flow seemed a little choppy. On the other hand, some of the recipes he gives at the end of each chapter look delicious and will soon make it into my list of running meals. At the end of the book, Scott Jurek no longer felt like an unbelievable legend. He seemed much more human and although I’d still be very interested in talking with him about running, I’m now more interested in talking to him about food.