Book Reviews

Scott Jurek was, in his own words, “a shy kid with high blood pressure.” In school, he was spit on, called Pee-Wee and a target of bullies. Few could have ever imagined this scrawny boy would one day become a world-class endurance athlete and running legend. Over the course of his nearly 20-year career, Jurek has won some of the world’s biggest and toughest ultramarathons, starting with seven consecutive victories at the Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile trail race in northern California he dominated from 1999-2005. He’s broken the tape in the mountainous Hardrock 100, twice won the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon, and found victory three consecutive years at on.


I'm Here to Win: A World Champion's Advice for Peak Performance
by Chris McCormack

In I'm Here to Win, Chris "Macca" McCormack pulls no punches. This will come as no surprise to those who've followed him for years. Over the course of his very honest, fun and reader-friendly 261-page autobiography, which he co-authored with Tim Vandehey, Macca tells his life story, shares his secrets and in more than a few areas recounts "war" stories. A big part of the book is dedicated to Macca's pursuit of a World Championship at the Hawaii Ironman, where he ultimately broke the tape in 2007 and again in 2010. This is an outstanding book for professional, amateur and aspiring triathletes, age-groupers and endurance athletes in any sport--from ultrarunning and marathoning to cycling and on.

An ultrarunning and adventure racing legend, Marshall Ulrich has lived quite a life and shares his story in his long-awaited autobiography. On the surface, Running on Empty is about Marshall's greatest challenge yet--an attempt to set the speed record for running across the US. But it's about so much more. Over 320 pages, Marshall humbly bares his soul and shares the good, the bad and the ugly of his dramatic 3,063-mile, 52-day run across America in the fall of 2008 at the tender age of 57. The book includes an entertaining, funny and downright awesome foreward by Christopher McDougall. From page one, Running on Empty is a stirring, thought-provoking and deeply moving autobiography that is uniquely different than many other running autobiographies. Marshall tells of his profound sadness over the loss of his first wife and high school sweetheart, Jean, to invasive breast on.


Run!: 26.2 Miles of Blisters and Bliss
by Dean Karnazes
There have been greater ultrarunners, but never has an endurance athlete come even remotely close to achieving the fame, image and fortune of Dean Karnazes. Dean is back with a third book, published by Rodale Books (Rodale also publishes Runner's World magazine) that will once again land him on the best-sellers list, on "Letterman" and "Leno" and God-only-knows what else. Only this time Dean, who has clearly been hurt by the criticism of his own community, comes across as slightly more guarded than the guy with nothing to lose back in 2005. You see, Dean's hugely famous now. He views himself as a celebrity. As told in his book, people slam on their brakes when driving past Dean to meet the "Ultramarathon Man" himself. It's only folks like convenience store clerks who haven't a clue who he is, really. Again, this is all from the on.


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