My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon
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My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,202 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Dubbed the "Mayor of Running," Bart Yasso is one of the best-known figures in the sport, but few people know why he started running competitively, how it changed his life, or how his brush with a crippling illness nearly ended his career a decade ago. With insight and humor, My Life on the Run chronicles the heatstroke and frostbite, heartache and triumphs he’s experience...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 13th 2008 by Rodale Books
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Suzanne
The whole time I've been reading this book, I've been IM-ing or texting my friend all the places where I would never want to run.

I would not like to run up (or down) Mount Kilamanjaro.

I would not like to run through a wildlife preserve in Nepal where rhinoceroses roam freely and are likely to chase you if they get the chance at all.

I would not like to run nude.

I would not like to run through Death Valley.

I would not like to run in Antarctica, particularly if my hosts tried to feed me penguin. *c...more
Hideki Kino
Feb 28, 2012 Hideki Kino rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Runners
Recommended to Hideki by: Bart Yasso
Shelves: running-books
Bart Yasso's "My Life on The Run" is a fun read!

It is a shame that it took me so long to finish this book. I bought it in 2008, at the Philadelphia Marathon Expo (Marathon #3 for me). I finished it the morning of Marathon #89 (Maple Leaf Indoor Marathon), 3 years and 3 months later. In the meantime, I have seen and chatted with author Bart a number of times, and he even signed the book 3 times.

I enjoyed reading about how Bart was able to turn his life around from being a substance abuser to beco...more
Robert
This was really fun, especially for someone who runs a lot.

I was recently training for my second NYC marathon (which went well, thank you), and went to the Marathon Expo a couple of days before the race to pick up my racing number. They also had a lot of booths, including one for Runner's World, one of my favorite magazines.

This book was written by the man that some people call "the Mayor of Running." The stories are interesting, wacky, and fun. Some of the races seem completely insane to me, in...more
Kelly Mogilefsky
This book tells the interesting story of a most interesting runner. Bart Yasso's life and the role running has played in it could easily inspire anyone to achieve, and clearly it has inspired many all over the globe.

What impresses me most about Yasso, and, indeed, about most runners, is their openness. It is what makes running possible for a snail like me....Even for a guy who would always be at the head of the pack, Yasso believes that there is a place for everyone in the race. The book reflec...more
Lisa Topp
Mar 19, 2010 Lisa Topp rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all runners
Recommended to Lisa by: Laura
I had to give this book five stars for pure entertainment value. I often interrupted my poor husband's reading to read excerpts that made me laugh out loud. Several times I was shaking my head, marveling at the 'no fear' lifestyle that Yasso embraced. Although not many runners will accomplish what Yasso did in his lifetime, through his stories and love of all things running, he expresses the message that all runners are part of the bigger running community, no matter how far or how fast they may...more
Angela
This was a fun book to read. Bart Yasso, editor of Runner's World, and creator of the Yasso 800- the training tool I used to get me to Boston. He's a life long runner, so dedicated to the sport just because he loves it. He tells his story of how he got into running, how it saved his life from one full of drugs and booze. It gave him purpose, led him to his great job and his wife. He's lived a unique life, lives with a terminal illness and has traveled to crazy places and run races all over the w...more
Josh
Jun 15, 2014 Josh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: health
Bart is one of the oldest members of the modern running era. He helped influence running in the United States and the world through his contributions at Running Magazine and his willingness to do anything to promote the sport of running. The book is not a how to run book, although it does contain a few training programs, so much as it is a runner’s story book. He shares tales from his pre-running life (when he was an alcoholic) and his life on the run (which took him all over the globe to partic...more
Elaine
A fun read! Yasso somehow manages to write about some amazing athletic feats without once sounding pompous or superior. In fact, he makes every event sound accessible to the average person, regardless of age or gender. I guess he's fulfilling his lifetime goal of bringing running to the masses.
Lisa
GREAT read and totally inspiring! Yasso reminded me that running should be FUN above all else. He's been on some crazy adventures and got the stories to prove it. What an inspiration! I'm almost ready to sign up for a marathon...

Last 1/3 to 1/4 of the book has training plans for racing.
Pam
I worked with Bart at Runner's World so I knew some of this story, but not all the details. His story was a flashback of sorts for me to another time in my life when I, too, worked for Runner's World.
Longfellow
I should start by confessing that I may search for years without finding a book on running that measures up to McDougall’s Born to Run.

While I enjoyed Yasso’s book and read it fairly eagerly over just a couple of days, I do have one gripe: I found it a bit desultory (I just learned this word yesterday. It means “lacking in consistency, method, purpose, or visible order; digressing from the main subject.”) Of course, except for one chapter about biking across the States in twenty days, all of th...more
David
chatty book about the runner's world columnist's athletic adventures (biking across country twice, running arctic and antarctic marathons, the Badwater ultra across Death Valley, etc.) and the effect of running on his personal life and recovery from addiction and a difficult childhood. His time in the sport is basically same as mine, and at our best we were about equally fast, so a lot of it was relatable even though I haven't traveled nearly as much. He's clearly enjoyed the heck out of the spo...more
Dhitri
This book made me feel like I was sitting in a pre-race pasta party, watching Bart Yasso give a slideshow of his running adventures around the world (as he often does). As I listen to his incredible stories of his courage and perseverance when battling addiction and Lyme disease, dedication and, to some part, recklessness, to running and to hi work, I imagine I'd find my legs twitching, itching to leap out of my chair and just run. Not for a finisher's medal or a personal best, but to affirm lif...more
Rachel
My Life on the Run highlights Bart Yasso's journey in running. The book starts with his first forays into running as a way to win his father's praise, quit his alcoholism and drug addiction, and beat his brother. The story ends with his recognition as one of the most influential and powerful voices in US running.

Bart Yasso's name is well-known in the running world--if for nothing else for his Yasso 800 exercise. I've seen his name countless times in reference to the Yasso 800 and in Runner's Wor...more
Aj
I wish I could give this 4.5 stars....I really liked it and I was sad for it to end. Bart is a great storyteller and weaves motivation into his stories seamlessly. He writes about how running saved him from a life of alcoholism and other substance abuse, although I would have liked a little more detail about his early days and struggles, as it seems he was nearly a natural runner from the get-go. At times the timeline of his life was not as clear as I would have liked and I felt he was a bit of...more
Becky
Yasso compiles a not-so-chronological collection of his running career and his tips and inspiration for all types of runners. It was interesting to read how he transformed himself from an alcoholic drug user to an elite runner who has participated in races all over the world.

Part two departs from memoir and shifts into practical application for runners. There are guides for athletes of any ability for any type of distance and also race recommendations.

While the writing style is not especially s...more
Sten Bolander
Borrowed from my sister-in-law, who keeps encouraging me to run...again. This book does the trick. How can one not want to get out there and pound the pavement or the trails after reading this book.

Bart is the ultimate encourager and ambassador for the running community. His experiences are captured with such wit. An easy read. Great training programs in the back for those who would like some direction. A must read for those who want to get or keep running consistently. I have done my share of...more
Eugene S.
My life on the run
by Bart Yasso
288 pages

Bart Yasso is a fast runner. But before that he would always get drunk. His life was ruined that time. Then Bart started to run. This made his life better. Bart ran at least one marathon on each of the seven continents. Suddenly, people could finally see that Bart was a fast runner. This is how Bart became famous. But Bart had some hard times too. His brother George died. Bart liked having George around with him. This was a sad part of Bart's life. This...more
Aaron Maurer
This was a great read. I bought this book after listening to him speak at the pasta dinner for the Quad Cities Marathon. He shared some of the stories from the book and I just had to read about his other adventures.

You are not going to gain a lot of knowledge about running strategies from this book. What you will gain is an appreciation for the running world and how cool the world really is. He has been all over and has been able to witness the true essence of the human spirit.

The back of the bo...more
Rachel
This guy is a confident running superstar. He's run some of the toughest races around and has made a career out of running by promoting a running magazine. One of these races was from the lowest point of Death Valley (California) below sea level to the peaks of mountains thousands of feet high. He is inspiring in how running can keep one young and motivated throughout life. It was also fun and inspiring to read about running in different locations, including Antarctica! He is also always searchi...more
susan
This was a FUN book to read. It was also a great reminder that running is exactly what you make of it...either another form of exercise or a great adventure that takes you to new places, rewards you with new experiences and shows you the good that can be found in so many people.
Michele
This is officially one of my favorite books EVER! Bart Yasso seriously has the best job ever. He gets paid to go around to all sorts of different, interesting, and often crazy races. In this book, he describes his experiences getting into the sport of running, a bunch of the characters he has met along the way, and most of all, some of the crazy and/or extreme races he has done. There is no bragging in his story-telling, but he is able to project an inspiring feeling to the reader. He has an ama...more
Shaun
This was a fun book, detailing the running adventures of Bart Yasso. He's worked for Runner's World for 20+ years in the capacity of running ambassador. How do you get a job like that? He's run races and marathons on every continent and done many interesting things regarding running. It was fun to hear of his experiences including his one race at a nudist community. He honeymooned in Italy with his wife and they ran races all over Italy. It gave me some good ideas of running adventures to pursue...more
Heather
I purchased this book at my first Half Marathon in August of 2008. While I didn't get to meet the author, Bart wrote inside my copy: "A Marathon is like life - it's not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters."

Barts book tells stories of "how good it was" for him. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about all of his adventures. I was litterally laughing out loud at some point. He has inspired my husband and I to incorporate running into our love of travel.

I also like the training recommen...more
Dan
Bart Yasso, the Mayor of Running, has spent most of his adult life racing and promoting the sport. This book is full of his most memorable experiences. The chapters are fairly short but are packed with wit and wisdom. Favorites include the Antarctica Marathon, the Bare Buns Run, and his bike trip across America. Bart takes his readers along for the ride throughout the world and through his life as running helps us all become better people. This book inspires you to run, no matter what your skill...more
Kim
Yasso's adventures were entertaining to read about. His life story is full of inspiration and humor. Stories about marathons in far off locations or getting through tough injuries is the stuff I love to read about in running books. However, I did get a little annoyed at of Yasso's fan-boy comments about Runner's World, Rodale (Runner's World's magazine publisher), and some of RW's staff he works with. I know that his job working for the magazine is a big part of his life, but at times it felt li...more
Geoff
Bart Yasso is considered by many to be the ambassador of running. In this book, he shares some of the more interesting stores from his life on the run. It's an entertaining read because it's unlikely I'll ever run in Madagascar, Antarctica, Badwater, or any of the other locations that Yasso shares. Thankfully, I doubt I'll ever have to suffer through chronic lyme disease either.

This is a good book runners. In addition to the stories, Yasso shares many of his training techniques and training sch...more
Celeste
I bought this book because I'm training for my first marathon later this year and thought it would be inspiring during low moments.

It definitely was inspiring. Yasso covers his ups and downs in life and running with honesty that's refreshing. And there seems to be very little bragging. His tone is almost completely humble, and clearly shares his desire to spread his love of running. This book might not have the same impact on non-runners, but its adventurous spirit touches us all.

It wasn't the...more
Beth
Really enjoyed this inside look at "the mayor of running". :) Not sure the training plans are for me, but overall loved it!
Andrea
I read this book over two days. Is it remarkable? No. However, it's not intended as literature. Bart Yasso's life has been an interesting one, spent primarily in the world of running. He speaks openly of his younger years as an underachiever and alcohol/pot addict, and how running helped him find his place in the world. That is not to say that this book is pretentious and preachy. Far from it, Yasso's success comes from his willingness and desire to work (and run) with people. The stories he rec...more
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