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170 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Scott Jurek
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...
Published on April 27, 2012 by G. Kellner

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96 of 113 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting peek into ultra lifestyle
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...
Published on May 16, 2012 by booksy


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170 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Scott Jurek, April 27, 2012
By 
G. Kellner (Westfield, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (Hardcover)
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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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108 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly intimate, revealing, and inspirational!, May 4, 2012
By 
Gentleheart (Sierra Nevada Mtns, California United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (Hardcover)
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Scott Jurek had me from the prologue through the very last word. The book arrived on a day when I had no time for reading it. Or so I thought. Just a peek, I told myself. I opened it and flew away with the runner, the skinny adolescent, the determined athlete, the world-renowned ultrarunner, the vegan. Many hours later having reached the end, I was finally able to put it down. That is some book!

The writing is crisp and vivid. The running is sweaty, painful, uplifting. Sometimes you are face down in Death Valley dry heaving and doubtful you can go on, sometimes you are jubilant in victory, always you are mesmerized, captivated, held in the grip of a writer who has something to say and knows how to say it. The book is written with certainty, determination, and nerve. Jurek grabs you and holds on just as he holds on to his dreams and aspirations. His father taught him "Don't ask why. Sometimes you just do things." The theme continues throughout the book, throughout Jurek's career. It is a rule that makes for hard lessons, but lessons that serve him well.

Along the way the author introduces us to fascinating characters, among them Dusty, his favorite last of the race pacer, his father, the disciplinarian and complicated man who eventually balloons to 280 pounds but urges his son to give up his vegan diet, his mother, the creative cook and loving early force in his life whose own life-force was sapped and eventually stamped out by multiple sclerosis.

The book is unified by three compelling themes: the running itself, the joys and requirements of food and eating, and deep spiritual discovery. All work together just as all have worked together to make Jurek the outstanding man and runner that he is.

I learned so much from this book. I cherish the insights into the hard realities of long distance running. I cherish the recipes, lentil-mushroom burgers, Minnesota winter chili, chocolate adzuki bars, kalamata hummus trail wrap, and more. Most of all I cherish the blazingly honest story of Jurek's spiritual discoveries, his inner contemplations and meanderings, his enlightenments that ultimately enlighten us. I am not much of a runner, but Jurek spoke to me as much as to anyone. This is a book I hope you will read.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Good, June 27, 2012
This review is from: Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (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. So well, in fact, that if I was left wanting at the end of the book, it was to know more about some of these people in Scott's life (Dusty, first wife, Dad, brother & sister, coach)
- The philosophical nature of the book: Scott's musings on why things happen, how and why you have to knuckle down and "sometimes you just do things," finding good in the bad, and grappling with spiritual concepts as he wrestled with where he fit into the bigger world, etc...these aspects of the book made it `real' and readable.
- The humility Scott seems to exhibit and the respect for his sport: Admittedly, Scott Jurek has accomplished phenomenal and unimaginable things in the sport of ultra-running. Legendary status is rightly bestowed up him. And yet, he has obviously spent a lot of time wrestling with why winning is or isn't important, the balance of giving so much to a sport and yet being given so much back (friendships, character, courage, etc.), the fleeting aspects of success, the challenging unintended results that come with fame (relationship stress, marital strife), and the true meaning behind who we are and what we do.
- The journey into healthy eating: While I don't think my lifestyle will ever be fully conducive to a full-on vegan lifestyle, I was encouraged to do even better with my dietary habits - eating vegan when I can, paying closer attention to what my body is telling me after eating certain foods, exploring foods that I wouldn't have otherwise thought about without reading the book, etc.
- The recipes: I liked the variety of different recipes and am eager to attempt them all. I picked up some nourishment and performance tips, particularly focused on pre-race, in-race, and post-race ideas.
- The coaching: I appreciated the sporadic segments that provided tips for performance - receiving meaningful yet simple advice from a world-class athlete is motivational.

Toward the end of the book I found myself moving from being highly inspired to getting very melancholy. The convergence of events in Scott's life mirror, I think, most lives - getting older, facing disappointments, failed relationships, stress and demands causing us to lose our edge, the temptation to give up, and the circling back to what is ultimately important. As a 50+ year old who in many respects is looking over my shoulder at my glory days, I even found the melancholy tone of the book to be real and inspiring. It was cool to see the book end on an impressive high note with the final race that he wrote about in France.

If this book is even close to your reading sweet spot as a runner, athlete, health enthusiast, or philosopher it is a must read. Scott has made it to the top of my list as a `famous athlete who with whom I would most desire to share a meal and a beer."

Now I am going to go run.
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96 of 113 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting peek into ultra lifestyle, May 16, 2012
This review is from: Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (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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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo!, June 5, 2012
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This review is from: Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (Hardcover)
I'm a little biased but also very proud of Scott for finally producing this book. As a co-founder and Trustee of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run for 32 years, I became friends with Scott during his years racing it.
I had a front row view during his seven-year reign as champion, an era that proved to be my favorite. Sometimes it seemed his feet were barely touching the ground as he ran the rugged trails, other times I watched him dig deep into the warrior spirit that carried him through the tough patches.

We could always count on a thrill when Scott and Dusty were first to arrive at the 78-mile Rucka Chucky River Crossing. Under the afternoon's oppressive blazing hot sun they would dunk themselves in the refreshing chest high and fast moving water; you could almost hear them sizzle. Aided by the stalwart River Team, Scott and Dusty grabbed the safety line so not to be washed downstream and pulled themselves hand over hand across huge uneven and slippery riverbed boulders to the other side. Onlookers watched in awe and knew they were witnessing something special, those were some amazing times. Scott always showed true sportsmanship and gratefulness to people around him.

Many of the fun times with Scott were spent in the kitchen as we created dazzling, healthy and tasty dishes. Some of his vegan culinary expertise rubbed off on me, which I still incorporate today.

Of course I followed many of his other races as well as he has accomplished so much and inspired me often. Scott Jurek is an awesome human being and this book will share his greatness with many readers.

Taylor adds: Hey man! You forgot to include the the time when I rescued you and Dusty at Robinson Flat. Remember when your car got stuck and I had to drive up and pull you two knuckleheads out of the SNOW?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!, June 25, 2012
This review is from: Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (Hardcover)
Scott Jurek is an amazing runner, an excellent speaker and an incredible writer! This book is easy to read and impossible to put down. It speaks to anyone wanting to eat healthier and to runners - from 5k to ultra marathoners. It is inspirational and entertaining. Plus the recipes are amazing! I now make the chili recipe frequently and LOVE the pre workout drink. Definitely a must read!!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great follow-up read to 'Born to Run', June 14, 2012
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This review is from: Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (Hardcover)
This book caught my attention after I'd read 'Born to Run', and I must say it's very good reading. Scott gives a lot of color and details into his life as an ultramarathon runner. His motivations, his philosophies, his races, his love for running, all given in a wonderfully readable manner. Some books you can't put down. This book, you'll want to put it down from time to time, just because it truly inspires you to go running!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, June 11, 2012
This review is from: Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (Hardcover)
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. The man is an inspiration. The book is enlightening (and very well written). It's one of those books that you can't wait to read and finish feeling like you have done something meaningful (then gobbled down a supremely tasty and healthy meal). The antidote to people like Dean Karnazes or whatever his name is.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such an inspiration, June 10, 2012
This review is from: Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (Hardcover)
I'm a casual runner and competitive dancer. I had been a vegetarian for about 6 years and was thinking of going vegan. Scott convinced me. I loved reading how someone, thinks, eats and trains for extreme competition. I loved the personal stories of what he went through growing up, his relationship with his parents and how it helped shape him as an athlete. The stories of him and his best friend Dusty made me at times laugh until I cried. I felt I could identify with so much of his story (except I don't know if I will be running more than 10 miles anytime soon ;)) Bonus- His recipes are awesome! I made the Western states trail "cheese" spread today. Delicious!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, May 17, 2012
By 
nitsa (New York , New York United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Scott Jurek, is an American Ultramarathoner, who happens to be vegan. Scott grew up in close proximity to the woods and rivers. Learning to hunt and fish as a child, it is no surprise that he enjoyed eating what he caught..meat. Scott as a young teen, endured many responsibilities and obstacles. He was not one to join team sports in high school. He felt more comfortable as a loner and found happiness when he joined the competitive ski team . On one particular training camp that he attended, he was first introduced to the vegan diet. Jurek found that he felt much better by eating better. The transformation from meat eater to pure vegan would be a slow process. Jurek was under alot of pressure to help his mom, who was slowly becoming disabled due to MS, he would help cook, clean, take care of his siblings and work. He still achieved excellent grades and attended college to study Physical Therapy. With his good friend, Dusty, Jurek began to run trails and eventually bike long miles. He found that he enjoyed the long distances and eventually focused more to running than skiing.
Jurek's adventures and accomplishments were phenomenal. He constantly strives to be better in both speed and endurance. His experiments with his diet and slowly starts to eliminate all meat, diary and processed foods eventually turning to vegan. Jurek finds eating a plant based diet is more effective as he continues to run in extreme races.
At the end of each chapter, Jurek inserts a recipe for his readers to enjoy.
His story is very humble while at the same time I am amazed at what a remarkable runner he has become and still is.
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Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness
Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Steve Friedman (Hardcover - June 5, 2012)
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