Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness
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Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  7,775 ratings  ·  906 reviews
For nearly two decades, Scott Jurek has been a dominant force—and darling—in the grueling and growing sport of ultrarunning. In 1999, as a complete unknown, he took the lead of the Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile traverse over the old Gold Rush trails of the California Sierra Nevada. He won that race seven years in a row, setting a course record along the way. Twi...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2012)
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Christopher  Ryan
I'm a longtime admirer of Scott Jurek, both for his athleticism and veganism, and was really looking forward to this book.

Within two pages, however, I was shocked at its simplistic, childish tone and oddly terse sentences. EAT AND RUN is, at times, more difficult to read than a sophisticated piece of literature. It isn't condescending, but comes across as naive and underwritten. I'm not sure if this was his voice or the ghost-writer's, but it was an odd decision. (While I don't know Scott, I on...more
Scott Bischke
Read this book shortly after completing BORN TO RUN, being inspired by the latter and intrigued with ultra-marathoning, the ultra-marathoning life, and Scott Jurcek. Loved reading about his exploits in any of a hundred races, the crazy pain these folks put themselves through. And also greatly enjoyed the way the book talked of nutrition as the basis of his incredible physical feats. Only a tiny downgrade for some self aggrandizing, though given the premise of the book being reviewing his stellar...more
Martin Rowe
I'm a marathon runner and I'm a vegan, so I've a soft spot for Scott Jurek. I've seen him speak twice in person and he seems like a nice guy, and his memoir hasn't changed my opinion of him. He's made an enormous contribution to distance running, and shown that you can be a world champion on a vegan diet! He doesn't shy away from the "v" word, but he doesn't talk much about animal welfare (he initially became a vegan for health and environmental reasons).

I hadn't realized that Scott had grown up...more
Christina
I couldn't decide at first whether to give this book a 2 for its self-absorbed, sticky-sweet, are-you-for-real passages or a 5 for the moments of comedy and enjoyment my kids and I had in reading those same passages to each other. I settled on a 3.

This guy can run. He can run long distances (100 miles, anyone?) and he can win at those distances. And I totally respect him for that. I just wish he could consistently describe those races without the grand-standing and self-congratulatory tone.

Other...more
Elizabeth
I was very disappointed in this book though maybe it is my own fault. I wanted to learn about ultras and was very curious about his diet but the book felt flat to me. Jurek seems very invested in this dual narrative that he is just an ordinary person who has a stronger will than everyone else and that he achieves because he lives so outside the mainstream.

He was awfully sneery about the modern lifestyle considering this lifestyle is what allows his to exist.

I enjoyed hearing about Dusty and th...more
Wesley
This was great, sure if you liked “Born To Run” odds are you will greatly like this, but that aside I’m a Jurek Fan. He’s one of the few athletes in the world, real athletes and it was only a matter of time before the popularity of “Born To Run” would enable him a real opportunity to write his own story/biography.

He didn’t have it exactly rough but life sure as shit wasn’t diamonds and pearls for this guy, even through his career and I guess up until now. Seems like whenever he accomplished som...more
Corey
The writing is very subpar, but the recipes have been really good so far. The lentil burgers are time-intensive but fantastic and you can make a ton of them at once and freeze them forever. They taste good not even cooked, just eat them raw or whatever.
The book itself is really strange, you can tell that there is a whole lot of information missing (like how we only hear about all of the "amaaaazing" runs he has where he wins the race, but we never hear about the races he doesn't finish). I remem...more
J.R. Newell
Before I read this book, I had never heard of Scott Jurek. I checked it out of the library based on an article I had read in a running magazine and thought the premise sounded interesting. And it was -- but the writing was not. The book did not flow well at all. While what Scott Jurek as accomplished as an ultramarathon runner is AMAZING, he doesn't know how to craft his rather rough childhood into an interesting and compelling story that could inspire others. He didn't touch on how he balanced...more
Jennifer
Parts of this book I really liked. Jurek is a vegan ultramarathoner, and a lot of this book explores the relationship between what he eats -- whole, plant-based foods, with no meat, dairy, or animal products of any kind -- and his athletic performance. The book contains vegan recipes that look delicious, and as a vegetarian and a runner, I loved reading about his gradual discovery that -- in contrast to the many people who insisted that athletes need lots of meat-based protein in order to perfor...more
Sharon Roy
I am all about running these days, and this book, written by an amazing and successful ultra marathoner who is also a vegan who does yoga and practices Tao Buddhism, is pure inspiration. The book is structured by a series of vignettes about Scott's early life and from is running career. Each story provides a glimpse into the physical, psychological, and spiritual elements of Scott's development as a runner and as a person. Each story is followed up with a bit of sage advice for inspiring runners...more
Maria
20130327 ◊ I've been a fan of Scott Jurek for many years, so I was pretty excited when this book came out. It's a great story: well-written, courageous, very inspiring. My only issues with it were the descriptions of overt sexism present during some of his competitive runs. Honestly, that's the only reason why I didn't give this book five stars. As a female runner, listening to this book while out running, it was a huge slap in the face to hear some of the degrading insults offered up as "encour...more
Riannon
I really could relate to Scott Jurek, when he wrote about running for the love of running, with childlike joy at the experience. I've never run an ultra, but have completed 2 full marathons and 16 halfs. The way he wrote about running was inspiring. I could almost imagine that I was running while reading this book, and I did run quite a few more miles than usual this week, which I attribute to this book. It was nice to get a few recipes as well, some of which I plan on trying out.

My only letdow...more
Katie
A good audiobook to listen to while... well... running, this memoir of vegan ultrarunner Scott Jurek was about what I expected. As the self-described "one of the greatest ultrarunners" (ego, much?) Jurek details his history of running and ultrarunning, going back to his boyhood in Minnesota.

There's a lot of what I thought was excessive complaining about chores as a boy (I know he had to pitch in extra because his mom had M.S.--and I truly sympathized with him for that--but he made it sound almo...more
La Petite Américaine
And now a summary of this book.

"I'm Scott Jurek. I am so great. I'm vegan. I'm Scott Jurek. I am so great. I'm vegan. I'm Scott Jurek. I am so great. I'm vegan. I'm Scott Jurek. I am so great. I'm vegan. I'm Scott Jurek. I am so great. I'm vegan. I'm Scott Jurek. I am so great. I'm vegan. I'm Scott Jurek. I am so great. I'm vegan."

Look. I like Scott Jurek. We all do. He's a great runner and he just seems like a really nice guy. But you'll need the willpower of an ultra marathoner to get throug...more
Christina G
Reading this book is like getting stuck in a one-sided conversation with the most boring dude at the party. In this particular case, the offender is an ultra-marathoner who's discovered the miracles of a vegan diet. As much as I love veganism and running, turns out I can't stand the person who's most famous for living/promoting the two.

I'm actually too irritated about the time I wasted with this book to give it a lengthy review. I can't even make the vegan recipes in it because he uses such expe...more
Mikhael
Partially a vegan recipe book (recipes after every chapter, which being a vegan, I found far too complex to bother with). With that out of the way, I must say that reading Scott's journeys was highly inspiring, and being an aspiring endurance runner, reading of people having the same trouble at mile 70 that I have at mile 15 is incredibly encouraging. Books like this teach us to press on through anything, and that limits are all in our heads. Scott was clear, articulate and engaging to read. The...more
Larry Zieminski
May 28, 2012 Larry Zieminski rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Runners, Vegan athletes
"Sometimes you just do things!"

As a philosophy, it isn't bad. Scott Jurek, the great ultramarathoner, learned that little chestnut from his father while growing up. While Scott didn't like that reasoning when he was younger, he found as he grew up that it was as good an explanation as any for why he would subject himself to the rigors of ultramarathoning.

This is a good, short book that covers Scott's life up to 2010. He details his early athletic endevours (he started running to get in shape for...more
D Warner
I didn't know Jurek's story before this book, and I do enjoy stories of emergence. What Jurek adds to this genre is his connection to food--a theme that I haven't encountered in a running autobiography.

As for the story, I was engaged most of the way, particularly throughout his high school days as he recalled his transition from cross-country skiing to long distance running. Jurek really captures the innocence of taking up a new endurance sport without knowing what you're getting yourself into....more
Owen
I had recently re-read Born to Run and I thought I give this book a try. I listened to it on CD and didn't like it as much as BTR.

First - Scott Jurek is an amazing athlete, no doubt about that. I wanted to like this book, but found it just okay. Yes, I am glad I read it. Yes, he is a great athlete. But there were things that bothered me.

You hear a lot about him getting hurt and continuing to run the last XX miles to win. This reinforces the notion that he is a great runner and could endure pain....more
Kris Madaus
Scott Jurek is obviously not human, but it was interesting and inspiring to read his story. I am not vegan like he is, but I am vegetarian, so some of the recipes he offers were useful to me. What I found while I read this book is that I very much prefer running on trails rather than the road. There is something very satisfying to climb a ridgeline to the top of a peak, seeing wildlife, watching your footing, dealing with rain or wind during a run that can't compare to a road run. Hearing about...more
Christine Blachford
I’ve been making my way through several running books and, even those about running marathons, have something to them that an unfit jogger like me can understand. This one, however, it wasn’t at all relatable. This is all about ultramarathons and running for 100 miles at a time, up mountains and across deserts. It’s about pushing the body to its very limit, to try and find the breaking point, and step back just before you go too far. That’s not really my thing at all.

Scott shares his thoughts we...more
Brendan O'Meara
Scott Jurek is a plant-based eater and ultramarathon legend. I looked forward to this book as someone who eats primarily plant-based meals and enjoys a good run.

As I read this book I realized what separates mediocre memoir from great memoir. Scenes. The best ones build on scenes with dialogue and expound on the conflicts both external and internal. "Eat&Run" had few scenes. It was a treatise on running and recapping Jurek's big races.

There are moments in prose that separate the truly gifte...more
Larry Perez
Put simply, Eat & Run is one of the most powerful books I've read in a long time. Author Scott Jurek has accomplished much in his life, but this book should really be considered his crowning achievement. If I am indicative of his average reader, then he has provided the spark to profoundly reconsider the way we fuel our bodies and rethink our adopted notions of proper nutrition.

While most of us will never be able to fully grasp the physical and mental angst behind running 100 miles or more,...more
Suphatra
Eat and Run is a memoir by the famous ultramarathoner Scott Jurek. It starts with his life growing up in Minnesota with his meat-and-potatoes family, taking care of his siblings and his house while his father worked double shifts and his mother is increasingly debilitated from MS. It follows him through high school and college, where he starts to discover both his love for running and his love for plants and whole grains, and then dives into his adult life of how he won his first Western States...more
Mrs W
Jul 30, 2013 Mrs W rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Scott Jurek is a well-known vegan ultrarunner who has won a lot of looooong races and set a lot of records. In the world of athletes, even though veganism and vegetarianism are gaining more credibility, there’s still a strong misconception that a successful athlete must consume animal products. From the book’s title, Eat and Run, and Jurek’s notoriety among vegan athletes, I thought the book would be primarily about Jurek’s diet and his running (strategy, training, etc.). What it’s more about is...more
Elizabeth
I don't read many autobiographies, so I have no comparison point for this book. The language is workmanlike and a little repetitive, probably to be expected in the genre and likely beside the point.

The biggest criticism I spotted in reviews before reading Eat & Run was that the recipes were arcane and difficult. Not so. I've made a couple of them and they were tasty additions to the usual fare. Perhaps some of the ingredients are a bit odd, but veganism is quite widespread these days. I can...more
Kayla
Update: I would recommend reading this before reading Born to Run by Cristopher Mcdougall. I consider them to be companion books.

Wow! What an excellent book! I found it to be inspirational and informative. Scott Jurek tells his story starting with his childhood origins all the way up until present day. His childhood plays a role in his endurance and perseverance as an ultramarathoner. This was not a mundane, boring read. I thought it was well written and planed out.

Each chapter covered a certain...more
Christy
I am a longtime fan of Scott Jurek, who was my running hero long before I became an ultrarunner. I generally enjoy distance-running related books, and I looked forward to this book since it first came out. However, the writing was simplistic and best, difficult to follow more often than not, and I found I had to force myself to finish the book. Each chapter told a bit of a story, but they all ended abruptly, and the book did not seem cohesively put together. Each chapter included some running ad...more
Jeff
I had heard of Scott Jurek before I picked up his book. Many people had. He was a legend in ultramarathons--races in which the distance is greater than 26.2 miles. Jurek won the Western States 100, the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile race in the country--seven years in a row. In 2005, the last year he won Western States, he also won the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile race through the desert of southeastern California--two weeks later. That he's done all this is an accomplishment in and...more
Liam Gildea
Eat & Run is an insightful book that is not just promoting good form and a healthy diet, but gives an excellent example of a man who was not born the fastest or the strongest, like me, but learned to overcome many obstacles in his rise to greatness. Scott Jurek provided an amazing review of everything he did to become the incredible runner he is today. Through his training habits, yes, he developed the strength to physically compete and be competitive in ultramarathons, but what was truly as...more
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Red Readers Runners: Octubre - Noviembre 2013: Correr, Comer, Vivir 20 18 Jan 15, 2014 11:11PM  
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SCOTT JUREK is a world-renowned ultramarathon champion who trains and races on a vegan diet. He has prominently appeared in two New York Times bestsellers, Born to Run and The 4-Hour Body, and has been featured on CNN and in the New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other media. Known and admired for his earth-conscious lifestyle, Scott is also a highly sought after moti...more
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“I'm convinced that a lot of people run ultramarathons for the same reason they take mood-altering drugs. I don't mean to minimize the gifts of friendship, achievement, and closeness to nature that I've received in my running carer. But the longer and farther I ran, the more I realized that what I was often chasing was a state of mind - a place where worries that seemed monumental melted away, where the beauty and timelessness of the universe, of the present moment, came into sharp focus.” 9 likes
“Sometimes you just do things!” 8 likes
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