Eat and Run

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek.

If you want to know how the life of an ultramarathoner is like, this is the book for you. It describes Scott’s life from youth to the last race he is running competitively. Along the way, you meet his best friend, and furious user of profanity, Dusty. You get to know about a tribe of Tarahumara Indians. And you get to know the comradery & loneliness that come for free with each ultramarathon.

Scott holds many records, so I will only list the most impressive one. he set a new American record by running 165.7 miles in 24 hours—6.5 marathons in one day. Yes, that’s right, 6.5 marathons in one full 24 hours (and that isn’t even the longest he has been on the road). It’s difficult to comprehend even how long this is. For us Dutch, it’s 266.7 km, as far as going from Groningen to Venlo.

Two other things make Scott different from most runners. He follows a plant-based diet, i.e. he is a vegan. He finds all his (high quality) proteins in soy, lentils and other non-dead-animal places. And after every race, he gets into a small tent and wakes up each time a new runner arrives to high-five them when they finish. He doesn’t go home or finds a spa, he stays out in the open to say hi to the other runners.

Now after writing his book, there is some fame reserved for Scott. But as far as I know, there was never any fortune (the money kind) involved. He, of course, made some money with sponsorship deals and even is the designer of a popular running shoe. But since running ultra long distances isn’t the best television material, there was never much money. And I think that this also shows that money is something that can be a force for the good, but that it’s necessary for a good life.