Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Eat & Run book review

Just read Eat & Run, now that the Kindle edition finally came out.

Yes anyone can become a vegan ultrarunner, like Scott Jurek claims. Just eat vegan & run ultras. Simple.

But winning 7x Western States 100 miles, 3x Spartathlon 153 miles, 2x Badwater 135 miles, or even 1x Hardrock 100 miles? Wow!

Not that this self-proclaimed 'existentialist in shorts' would ever think that winning is the most important thing in the world. Winning sure is cool, but running is mainly just a vehicle for self-discovery.

And the kid is only 38 years young. His ultrarunning career is far from finished.

Hope he will get back to UTMB some day, the only race that's repeatedly broken him. He did finish 19th in 2009, but he should be able to go faster than 26h. Jurek won Hardrock with a twisted ankle. I can't see why he couldn't successfully run around Mont Blanc. Maybe he will improve like a good wine as he gets older. After all, Marco Olmo was 57 when he won UTMB for the first time.

This is a good book for epic race stories. Or for his secret recipes, if you are interested in vegan cooking for athletic purposes. I like the zen-like writing style. Jurek is well-read, and it shows. Also Steve Friedman, the co-writer of this book, did a good job of editing. There were zillions of great insights that blew my mind. Read & enjoy!


Will said...

nice review. I too don't understand why Jurek, or any American male, hasn't been able to do better at UTMB. Maybe its the jet lag or, possibly, the French women?

Trail Plodder said...

You may be onto something, Jurek may well have partied too hard with his buddy Dusty, LOL!

I think Jurek's UTMB story goes something like this:

2007: he twisted his ankle just before Hardrock, less than 6 weeks before attempting UTMB. He won HR, but had to drop out halfway UTMB.

2008: he separated from his wife, arrived in Chamonix early, got bored and ran around the entire UTMB course with his Italian friends in 3 days. Then he immediately ran it again with his French buddies in 4 days. That was too much even for Jurek - he got the runners knee. He dropped out at mile 75.

2009: he developed a plantar fasciitis early on that year, but it healed and he was in good shape before UTMB. His new gf Jenny (btw they just got married) was there running too, and his friend Dusty was crewing (pacing is generally not allowed in Europe). Jurek was ready to win. But he wasn't ready for the rainy & foggy weather at night. He got lost while in top 10, found his way back on the course again and then fought himself into top 3. But the last 20 miles were hell for him, with bad nausea & cramping, and he finished 19th in 26:07. It's his only UTMB finish, but he wasn't too happy. I'm sure his buddy Dusty also pointed out that he was chicked by Moehl and Hawker.

2010: Jurek was in the best shape ever. However mother nature didn't co-operate and the race was cancelled due to horrible weather. In the excellent video below he says: "it's a magical place...a fantastic event..most competitive 100-mile race in the world...I'll be definitely back".


Sergio said...

Yes, the americans at utmb... Seeing hal koerners recent hardrock performance makes one wonder why it took him 39 hours (i may be mistaken) to finish utmb last year. But to hals account i have to say that he deserve utmost respect. Other top americans seem to drop out rather fightless at utmb. Also hoping to see tony k taking a go at utmb.
Anyway, will be interesting to see how tony and kilian are doing this weekend at speedgoat!

Trail Plodder said...

American women have done pretty well at UTMB. For men it just usually takes a little longer to adapt. Jurek might say it's only because they are not vegan yet :)

Hal's time was 38:55, which was good enough for 371./2400 starters. That's not too bad, considering he dropped out of UTMB 2007 at mile 48. Like Hal said in his race report, UTMB isn't going anywhere.

Trail Plodder said...

One more thing, here's Jurek's own account of his 5 UTMBs, including 2011 when the weather situation caused a delayed start.