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Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon Paperback – April 1, 2003


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Frequently Bought Together

Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon + Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons + Hal Koerner's Field Guide to Ultrarunning: Training for an Ultramarathon, from 50K to 100 Miles and Beyond
Price for all three: $32.50

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Breakaway Books (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891369377
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891369377
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A compelling read even for those who have no intention of trying to run 31 miles or more at once. -- Mark Taylor, Outdoors Editor, The Roanoke Times

From the Publisher

What it's really like to run an ultramarathon.

This book is a warm, fascinating, human introduction to the sport of ultramarathoning. You'll find out what it's like for the stars, like Ann Trason and Tim Twietmeyer and Ian Torrence -- and also what it's like for average runners who decide to run through The Wall. In ultramarathoning, ordinary people can discover the extraordinary within themselves.


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Customer Reviews

There are amazing triumphs over incredible adversities.
Mark E. Zimmermann
Each of the stories are very personal and full of passion as well as experience that you can both draw and enjoy.
J. Esbech
Enjoyed reading this book, gave lots of info if anyone is considering an ultra run.
David P. Beatty

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mark E. Zimmermann on April 1, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Neal Jamison's collection of essays by ultrarunners is delightful in its diversity. There are racers who tell of their speed, and adventurers who describe their wilderness survival experiences. There are winners. There are amazing triumphs over incredible adversities.

But most fascinating are the honest remarks by people who fell short, who "failed", and who in the process succeeded in learning something important about themselves. My favorite of all, by Keith Knipling:

"In the process of completely exhausting myself, I connect with an inner part of me ordinarily veiled by the everyday distractions of life. During that short time spent on a trail in the mountains, my life is reduced to its simplest terms. Most ultrarunners are people who find goodness and joy in difficult times, who see beyond the misery to the beauty of nature, and who truly realize the elemental and important aspects of life. Going for a run always clears my head, but running 100 miles distills my soul."
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mark Bauman on June 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a whole, I enjoyed this book. There are stories from well known ultrarunners; but the ones I most enjoyed were from the ordinary runners - the folks I could really identify with. And there were plenty to make this effort a worthwhile read. There's not much detail regarding any one run, course, etc. Rather, it's more focused on people's personal experiences with the Ultra. As someone who is considering a first Ultra experience, I gained some good insight by reading others' experiences; I also picked up some training tips and race management type stuff that, although not the focus, was sprinkled throughout.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. Brockmeier on January 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
So.......do you have friends or family that just shake their heads or roll their eyes when you mention your upcoming 100 miler? Would you really like to be able to answer the question "Why do you DO that?" Well there's no more eloquent answer to that question than is found in this collection of personal ultrarunning stories. The question isn't so much directly addressed but the joy of doing ultras comes through in the stories. How does the saying go? Don't *tell* the reader what you want them to know, *show* them. Jamison's book shows the uninitiated what we get out of what can be a rather punishing hobby.
If you've heard of ultrarunning and are curious or if you're looking for a new challenge and want to see what doing ultras is all about then this is a great book for you. It's not a how-to book but then the best way to learn how to do something is to do it - not to read a book about how to do it. These are stories written by ultrarunners of all levels and they really do a great job of getting across what it is like for ordinary people to perform extraordinary feats.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Esbech on April 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is just a must-read for those who are interested in ultras, whether as an active athlete or just out of curiosity. Each of the stories are very personal and full of passion as well as experience that you can both draw and enjoy.

When finishing it, I simply longed for more and wished it had been a 500 pager or more...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By kthdimension on April 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Neal Jamison's "Running Through The Wall" is a collection of several ultrarunners' stories about how they got into the sport, what motivates them to run, and a race that they recently raced. The contributors are of varied backgrounds, skill, and accomplishments so it is almost inevitable that one of the stories will speak to you on a personal level. Most of the runners were initially incredulous that people actually RUN 50 or so miles until they themselves, of course, ran 50 or so miles. Ian Adamson sums it up best with "The main thing I came away with was that ultrarunning was for the lunatic fringe, and I wouldn't be caught dead near such an event. Little did I know that I would not only be running ultras within 15 years, but ultra distance running would become a passion, a lifestyle...a way of life for me." I am a budding ultrarunner myself (one 50 miler thus far) and I loved what this book provides: anecdotes, inspiration, motivation, and brief glimpses into the souls' of ultrarunners -- novice and veteran alike. Outstanding!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
Neal Jamison has done a great job collecting and editing this compilation of short stories from ultra-distance athletes. If you are at all intrigued by what makes endurance athletes tick or if you are already a runner and want to hear from world class athletes and enthusiastic amateurs this is the book for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
The stories in this book help me see why some people like to run these races. I could never imagine running even 3 miles, much less 30 or 50 or even 100! But reading these makes me feel like trying.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tim Krause on April 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful collection of personal essays on what it means to make the personal sacrifices to run beyond marathon distances. Every essay is written from an intensely personal point-of-view and shares a variety of tips and tricks for getting through the physical challenges of running an ultramarathon (any distance over a marathon).

What makes this an impressive collection, though, are each individual's sharing of the emotional aspects of preparing for, running and finishing an ultramarathon.

The collection ends with a touching, honest account of an ultramarathoner who perseveres in his final race only to die any untimely death a day later.

The accounts of race winners, finishers, and those who try are a testament that all who stand at the start of an ultra come away winners in one respect or another.
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