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A Few Degrees from Hell: The 2003 Badwater Ultramarathon Paperback – November 11, 2010

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Scott has run every single day since November 20, 1978 and he currently has the 35th longest streak in the U.S. He has run 200 marathons, over 800 races, and accumulated over 130,000 miles in his lifetime.

He began running ultra-marathons early in his running career, his first belong a 50-miler in 1982. In time he would run ultras ranging from 31 miles to 135 miles. In 2002, Scott ran 129 miles in the U.S. National 24-Hour Championships and won the masters national championship. In 1992 he ran 280 miles in six days, from the west side to the east side of the state of Georgia, to raise money for charity. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (November 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450267823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450267823
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,990,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rather than a single runner's detailed review of the Badwater Ultra this is an awesome compilation of the thoughts and experiences of many of the event's participants (w/ added input from some crew members). I began the book vaguely aware of the Badwater Ultra. Halfway through I was ready to join a crew. By the time I finished this book I was thinking... "I wonder if..."

Then I went outside and ran (no, suffered) 10 miles in 85 degree heat and thought "FIFTY more degrees?! That is INSANE!!!"

If you are a runner you WILL love this book. If you are not a runner this book will take you inside the minds of some of the sport's most accomplished members. Whatever the case you will finish this book w/ a smile on your face and a brighter outlook on life because you'll know that human beings (including yourself) are capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tabitha on September 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was AMAZING!!!! I couldn't believe the will of these people. I would certainly consider everyone of these runners elite runners but strangely, their stories really helped me to respect the art of walking. They all walked and in fact trained to walk large chunks of the course. If they can walk when they need to, I should feel no shame when I need to. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
What makes a runner aspire to challenge himself (or herself) by running one of the most grueling courses on the planet? What drives a runner to continue when his entire body begs him to quit? Why are some people driven to push themselves far beyond their natural limitations?

A Few Degrees From Hell answers all of these questions as it gives readers a unique insider's look at the intense world of Ultra Marathons. It offers a peek into the motivations, trials, and sacrifices of ultra-athletes as they run in the one of the most inhospitable locations on the planet. But more important, it gives both runners and non-runners alike the chance to see the thought process behind championship performance.

If you desire to challenge yourself in any area of your life and need a bit of inspiration to get you there, A Few Degrees From Hell is a must read.
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By joeyjodes on October 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I could not put this book down and consider it one of the best books I've read to date. I am struggling to find other books on running that are as engaging as this one. This book had me totally inspired and motivated to put on my shoes and run... not to the extent that these people do, but it was so interesting getting an insight into the mindset of such mentally strong athletes. I am shortly heading off on a trip to the States and Death Valley is one of the places I have decided to visit and stay thanks to this book. On the top of my to-do list during my visit is to run a few miles of Badwater!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By @souvikstweets on May 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book documents both first hand & Ludwig's accounts of racers & their crew that competed in the 2003 badwater ultra. Not everyone finds a place in the book, but there are 26 chapters, organized from the toppers to the did not finishers, that tell inspiring stories of human endurance. Needless to say that everyone who competed had some sort of a background in distance running but the other striking commonality among all of them was, in a way, philosophical, even spiritual. Runner after runner talks about finishing the badwater merely to see if it could be done, if they could push their bodies, minds, & strip-bare emotions to the brink & survive, if not conquer, the picturesque & but terribly cruel stretch of land.

The runners form a colorful bunch of personalities & they stamp their stories with their persona. Some are meticulous in detailing their overall experience, some write in a documentary fashion - writing the facts in a dry, matter-of-fact way -, some are outright funny in their writing, & some are, well, just excellent runners.

I had not read a book about ultra running before this, so it was a learning experience for me reading about all the preparation that goes into running an ultra. Though the 'practice' is fundamentally a physical exercise, I'm pretty sure that all these fine human beings have very well developed mental faculties which we see in action but do not learn about the developmental process.

Overall, the quality of inspiration that one could derive from reading this book is stupendous - the quality of writing does not quite match up as often.

@souvikstweets
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By Scott J on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has a great deal of information about the race, but be warned. Once you read it you might plan to do an ultra. Badwater is a crazy crazy race and the 20 people highlighted in this book, make you think about how crazy but doable it really might be.!
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By lisa trevino on May 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book made Badwater come to life for a person interested in such a challenge. It is an amazing race and the way this book was written made it feel like you could almost comprehend what the athletes go through. Loved this book.
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