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Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner's Story of Love, Loss, and a Record-Setting Run Across Americ a Hardcover – April 14, 2011
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"One of America's greatest living adventurers and an expert without peer in human endurance."
-from the foreword by Christopher McDougal
"Marshall is The Man. Definitively. His run across America at the age of 57 sealed that distinction forever. He's living proof that endurance never sleeps, never gets old, never tires. Nothing can stop him, and that gives us all hope, gives us resolve to keep trying."
-Dean Karnazes, acclaimed endurance athlete and bestselling author of Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
"Marshall and I go way back to the first Eco-Challenge in 1995. An athlete of astonishing grit both then and now, he never fails to push the limits of his sport, no matter what extreme endurance event he's chosen. Running on Empty tells the story of Marshall's greatest test: reading it, you get a sense of how tough this man is, but there's also a bit of Everyman in Marsh. He's an inspiration to all of us." -Mark Burnett, Emmy-award-winning producer of Survivor, Eco-Challenge, The Apprentice, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader and others
About the Author
Marshall Ulrich is an extreme-endurance athlete, ultrarunner, mountaineer, and adventure racer. His career has earned him wins, records, and firsts on some of the toughest courses in the world and has taken him to the top of the highest mountains. He lives in Idaho Springs, Colorado.
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Marshall's cross country run was the subject of a movie, "Running America",that I thought was a superficial look at what I knew must have been an amazing, intense effort. When I sat down to read his book, I found "Running on Empty" to be just about everything I wanted the movie to be.
Marshall goes into great detail about the challenges he faced during the run and how he overcame them. I got a much better picture of who he was, why he'd try such a thing, what he went through, and how everyone involved felt about the whole thing. Marshall shares the special moments during the trip and the exhilaration he felt when he finished, but he's not shy about discussing the downside of his dedication to complete his goal and the toll it takes on those around him. (Along the way, he also discusses some issues that help explain why the movie came out the way it did.)
He's definitely a runner who writes, not a writer who runs (unlike Christopher McDougall, who's "Born to Run" has broken out to find an audience among non-runners), but his honest and matter-of-fact writing style goes over well. Marshall doesn't make himself out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. If anything, his straightforward writing style tends to downplay the nature of his accomplishments.
I raced through Marshall's book in two days.
i'd just finished ray zahab's book and he'd mentioned marshal in such high regards i thought i'd better find out if he'd written anything. such a coincidence that 'running on empty' was due to be released the following week!! i waited patiently and downloaded it to my kindle as soon as i could. i read running on empty in a few days (and i'm a typically a slow reader.) the story of how marshal got in to ultras in the first place, to the dramatic race report of the transamerican race - just amazing. one this that blew me away was how there were no secrets, in that every training run, diet tip, fluid intake, even sirius radio station was recorded and shared.
and... get this, i'm currently in nashville to run the rock and roll marathon - at the race expo i saw a big cardboard cut out of 'running on empty' - i say 'hey i read that book' then 'HEY! that's marshal!' i went up and we talked for quite a while, he really is the down to earth guy you read about. soft spoken and results oriented. it was an honor. since he signed my bib i better run well tomorrow :).
get the book, you'll dig it!
My problem with this book is that it didn't really go beyond what we already know: running across the USA is hard on the body, the mind and the family. What's new? I would have preferred more anecdotes about people he met, terrain he traversed, weather, etc. Inspire us, don't just scare us!
In too many places it seems like we are just getting a defensive argument about why Running America turned out as such a mediocre movie.
But mostly, I want to know more about Marshall's other accomplishments. He has written extensively in other publications but why not here? He has done so many inspirational runs. It's a shame we only get to hear about this one, although awesome accomplishment.And I know it must have pained him to not write more about his personal charity.
Mayb my hopes were too high after waiting several years for this. It is enjoyable, but we want to hear more, Marshall!
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