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Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness Hardcover – June 5, 2012

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Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2012: While many of us sit behind a desk for eight or nine hours a day, Scott Jurek is running. A legend among hard-core runners, Jurek has fashioned a lucrative career as an ultramarathoner. He runs, and wins, grueling races in excess of 100 miles, in a wide array of usually inhospitable environments: Death Valley, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Mexico’s Copper Canyon. And he does it on a completely plant-based diet. In Eat and Run, Jurek tells the story of how an average Midwestern kid growing up on meat he caught or killed himself became a vegan elite athlete. Part memoir, part training guide, part vegan manifesto, Jurek’s most inspiring proposal here is that running—like so many things in life—is less dependent on physical skill than it is on willpower. Runners of all levels, meat-eaters, and vegans alike will be inspired to lace up their sneaks and hit the trails. --Juliet Disparte

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The Tarahumara were known for their grace and speed. The fastest and most graceful of them all was Arnulfo Quimare, and to this day I consider him one of my noblest competitors.
In 2005, two weeks after my seventh consecutive Western States 100 victory, I set out to conquer the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile endurance slog through Death Valley. Mile 12, 120 degrees, and I'm leading. What could go wrong?
At 48miles in, I was over 5 miles behind, considered quitting, and decided that yes, those who described the insanity of the Badwater were right.
In 2010, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman interviewed me. Before any questions, he opened his fridge and asked me to prepare a meal. I whipped up a veggie and tofu stir fry with homemade Indonesian almond sauce and quinoa.


"The surprise here isn't that Scott Jurek knows a lot about nutrition—I especially love his "Holy Moly Guacamole" recipe. Or that he ran prodigious mileage to prepare for his many ultramarathon victories. More impressively, we discover that Jurek studied many of the great philosophers, and used their lessons to focus his running. In pursuing the mental side of endurance, Jurek uncovers the most important secrets any runner can learn." —Amby Burfoot, winner of the 1968 Boston Marathon and author of The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life

"What a triumphboth Scott Jurek's life and this one-of-a-kind book. I've seen Scott in action as he defies unimaginable challenges, and thanks to this breathtakingly personal account, I finally understand how he does it. He rebuilt himself literally from the inside out, and the result is a man—and a story—unlike any other." —Christopher McDougall, best-selling author of Born to Run

"This is the inspiring story of an inspired man. Scott Jurek's phenomenal success as an ultramarathoner demonstrates that meat and other animal foods are not necessary for optimum health, strength, and endurance." —Andrew Weil, M.D. author of Spontaneous Happiness and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1st Edition, 1st Printing edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547569653
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547569659
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (884 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

200 of 212 people found the following review helpful By G. Kellner VINE VOICE on April 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Many people first heard of Scott Jurek due to Chris McDougall's "Born to Run", although I think I had had heard of him through Runner's World. I must confess, I was anxiously awaiting the publication of this book, admiring it on Amazon and counting the days until June 5th. Then I had an opportunity to get it early--yippee!

Scott Jurek is an ultrarunning legend. Not only has he won Western States 100 seven times, but to do it he has run on torn ligaments and stepped on a rattlesnake (or maybe that was Badwater)and overcome countless other obstacles along the way. In any case, he's amazing, and many athletes think he is all the more amazing because he does all of this on a vegan diet. I admit to being intrigued about a vegan diet, and for anyone considering such a lifestyle change I found the book helpful. It's dotted with recipes, and I really like Scott's attitude--it's not holier-than-thou at all. He merely emphasizes that the three most common causes of death in the Western world are all diet and lifestyle related.

You wouldn't think someone who can run 165 miles at a stretch would be relatable, but he is! He's smart and funny and thoughtful and sometimes he seems like anyone else, if they happened to be running ridiculous distances. At one point during a race he's so miserable he starts looking for a sidewinder, figuring if he gets bit he can quit without guilt. I can totally relate to that! I have had similar thoughts--if I get eaten by this bear I won't have to climb this God-forsaken hill. I'm sure others have as well.

Very entertaining, and for the casual runner, like me, very inspiring. I don't think I'll go vegan--I like dairy and eggs a LOT--but I am putting some more thought into what I eat and eating more veggies and fruits, and I think Scott would approve.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By T. Szymanowski on June 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Scott Jurek's book, Eat & Run, is inspiring in so many ways. Although I don't (yet) aspire to be an ultramarathoner, I am a consistent runner (max out at 26.2 races) who greatly appreciates the solitude, freedom, introspection, and feeling of wholeness that comes from running. This is not a book just for ultra-runners. For anybody who is serious about body/mind/spirit issues, I think this book is an excellent resource whether a recreational runner, a frequent racer (no matter the distance), cyclists, and even elite athletes from other sports who will appreciate the discussion about performance, nutrition, competition, camaraderie, and self-doubts.

A handful of things I appreciated about the book:
- The coming of age aspect of the book: In this sense, Scott's life journey is told more like a novel than a biography. The transparency into Scott's life (both good stuff and bad stuff) as it related to his underdog social status as a kid, his relationship challenges with his father, the tragedy with his mother's sickness, and his circle of friends helped create a meaningful feeling of a kid who faced both normal and abnormal struggles in life while searching for meaning and striving to overcome.
- Character development: Again, although this is not a novel, Scott and Steve Friedman did a fantastic job developing the various `characters' in the book. We got to know people really well.
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101 of 120 people found the following review helpful By booksy on May 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a casual runner whose longest distance has been the half-marathon, I've always been fascinated by the marathon and ultra community and what would make somebody train so hard and run such long distances. Scott Jurek provides some of the answers in this book.

The book is a sort of memoir, detailing Jurek's childhood and family life, and partially as the evolution of his ultra-running and dietary lifestyle. He tells us about the close-knit yet motley collection of dreamers in the ultra community, the desire to transcend bounds and push oneself to see how far one can go, and the psychological benefits and risks of all that time alone.

I really liked that there was a section ending each chapter that had either an exercise tip, a recipe, or both. Jurek is a serious vegan and writes a lot about his decision to eat that way. If you're curious or a committed vegan, the recipes look really good (I plan on trying some of them out!)

I wish that he had written more about his family life after he got married, or given more details in general about his personal life, because the book began to sound a little like a catalog of races after a while. He barely mentions his wife or what their relationship was like, and only writes a sentence or two about other friends. I think that adding a little more about them would have given the book a better balance. I also wish that he had given more detail in a couple of the training tips, and I would have loved to hear more about the logistics of planning an ultra and getting the crew together.

Solidly written and a good introduction to ultra running and veganism.
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