EAT & RUN (Scott Jurek with Steve Friedman, 2012, 250 pages)

Scott Jurek in 2014

“The inspiring story of one of the best runners of all times”

Easily readable, and not a very long book, it is a mixture of a biography about the life of ultra-runner Scott Jurek and a recipes book. The book is divided in 21 chapters, with most of them including a recipe at the end.

The book combines Jurek´s main ultra-running races, exposed in chronological order, with his memories, that go back and forth a few times.

Jurek explains his relationship with his mother, suffering from ELA since he was a teenager, and how it conditioned much of his life, giving him extra responsibilities to assume at home, and as a motivation for his running achievements. He also mentions the rest of his family, and his difficult relationship with his father.

We follow his first victories, and how he pursued longer and more exigent trainings regimes, making himself a name after winning 7 consecutive Western States 100-miles race. We also know of his economic difficulties before he became better known in the ultra-running world, and also when his first marriage finished.

We meet some of his training partners, what he learnt from them, as how they pushed him beyond his comfort zone. Special mention to Dusty, that accompanied him in many occasions, although they got into a disagreement at some point, unsolved by the end of the book (at least at publication time).

We know how he discovered vegetarianism, and its search towards an eco-friendly, natural and healthy lifestyle.

The recipes break the book rhythm. It could have been easier to include all of them in an annex at the end of the book. If you are not interested, you could skip all of them. Generally, they are quite complicated, and ingredients may not be easily accessible outside the United States.

Score: 3 (out of 5)

Pros: easy to read; motivational; know about races I had never heard before; approach to a healthy lifestyle.

Cons: book structure; recipes hard to follow; little attention to his rivals in competition; with a last chapter referring to 2010, the book feels a bit outdated (it would benefit from an update).

 

Jurek with taharamura runner Arnulfo Quimare

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