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North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  8,303 ratings  ·  771 reviews
From the author of the bestseller Eat and Run, a thrilling memoir about his grueling, exhilarating, and immensely inspiring 46-day run to break the speed record for the Appalachian Trail.

Scott Jurek is one of the world's best known and most beloved ultrarunners. Renowned for his remarkable endurance and speed, accomplished on a vegan diet, he's finished first in nearly al
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published April 10th 2018 by Little, Brown Spark
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Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Perhaps I'm not ultra runner material. A new version of an old joke . . .

Question: So you go to a party, how do you find the vegan ultra runner dude at the party?

Answer: Oh, don't worry. He'll find you.

Scott Jurek's book copy bills him as "one of the greatest runners of all time" and "a PASSIONATE vegan" (as if there were some other kind). While I enjoyed his tale of breaking the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Appalachian Trial, I could not for a minute imagine enjoying his company on the tra
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running-ultra, 2018
A very raw look behind the curtain of how much a body can and has to endure on these attempts of a Fastest Known Time on the long distance trails.

This book made me drop my rose tinted glasses that made me think what a wonderful but challenging effort this was. Judging by what a trained and experienced athlete he is and how many ultras he has done already I would have never assumed how hard this actually was on Scott Jurek and his wife.

A very inspiring journey.
Nate Hawthorne
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great read. I remember tracking Scott when he made this attempt. It is a great view behind the curtain to see what inspired the trip. You know you are not in the same league when he talks about running through injury and still clocking 30 plus miles a day. Fun to get a glimpse inside the mind of an elite athlete.
Kaspars Koo
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Scott, thank you for bringing us with you to this adventure and those places. Sometimes happy places, but mostly dark places.
I loved that the book was written from 2 perspectives - Scott's and his wife's who was crewing for him. It was interesting not only because it gave 2 perspectives of the event, but also because crewing for such an event comes with its own set of challenges. And they both saw the Appalachian Trail from their own perspective.
I also loved how true was the book. I had an oppor
Francis Tapon
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
“Imagine running 84 marathons. Consecutively.”

That’s what running legend Scott Jurek asks you to do in his newest book, North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail.

It comes out April 10, 2018.

Warning: if you know nothing about Jurek and Appalachian Trail records, then there are spoilers in this review.

In 2011, Jennifer Pharr Davis thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes. That’s an average of 76 km (47 miles) per day.

North is about how (and why) Scott
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was looking forward to reading this book because I liked Scott Jurek's first book and I remembered following his attempt to break a speed record on the Applachian Trail a couple of years ago. Unfortunately this book is not very good and I was disappointed by it. It's actually by both Jurek and his wife (although I notice Goodreads lists only him as the author) as she was his support crew for his attempt at Fastest Known Time for northbound on the AT. Most of the chapters have a section by him ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, read-in-2018
Thanks to Little, Brown for sending me a copy to review!

The Appalachian Trail is some 2200 miles (favorite fun fact from this book: that's half the circumferance of Pluto), and this is the story of how Scott Jurek ran the whole darn thing in 46 days - breaking the fastest known record. That means an average of 50 miles of trail every day, a mentally and physically punishing challenge for even the strongest ultra-athlete.

I've hiked sections of the AT, so I really enjoyed being able to follow his
This is a painful journey (literally for the authors and vicariously for the reader). For myself although I do wish to take a long trail at some point in my life I definitely do not want to go anywhere close to this fast, but it was a valiant goal and a rather astonishing achievement considering the problems he encountered near the beginning and the toll the trip was taking on his body by the end. I understand better now why a woman held the record previous to this attempt.
Popsugar 2018: a book
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
A fascinating story of Scott Jurek running almost consecutive 2200 miles. The journey is filled with ups and downs; introspection and retrospection; injuries and desperation.

I highly recommend this book to anybody who takes any interest in running - even of the regular kind, not of the superhuman, ultrarunning variety which Scott does. An additional recommendation goes to the audiobook edition which is read by Scott and Jenny themselves. The story really comes alive. I listened to most of the bo
David Huff
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are goals, there are audacious goals … and then there are the “OMG, you’ve got to be kidding me!” kind of goals.

“North”, by Scott and Jenny Jurek, is a fantastic account of the adventurous achievement of one of those third-level (OMG) goals.

Scott Jurek, a phenomenal distance runner, could well be called the Michael Phelps of the ultramarathon world. He has had many notable victories, and records, in most all the well-known ultramarathons. These are races, by the way, that typically cover
May 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read Scott Jurek's first book and gave it an enthusiastic 5 stars. I loved his story. He had such a strong determination. He was led to something he truly loved and shared that in a great first book. So when he came out with this second book, I was so excited to read it.

I'm disappointed that I'm disappointed. This one didn't work for me. I listened to the audio and I think therein lies the problem. I usually like when authors narrate their own memoirs, but it did NOT work for me here. His wif
Connie Johnson
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Occasionally I have dreams of challenging myself by hiking the Appalachian or Pacific Crest Trails. And then I read a book like this and I’m just inspired, while also realizing that maybe its not for me. Enjoyed the epilogue, too.
For a lot of my life, I've thought it would be awesome to take the summer off and walk the Appalachian trail. But I have to admit, I've never even walked on part of it, to the best of my knowledge. I've had acquaintances who have done it, and my cousin attempted but had to call it quits because he bought new boots for the adventure, which turned out to be a mistake. It just sounds like such an amazing way to see our country.

But, as I've learned more and more about the Appalachian Trail and the P
May 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
I suppose fans of Scott rated this higher, but I couldn't get past his self-aggrandizement and criticisms of others (sometimes by using their real names!). I do admire his perseverance ... what an accomplishment, but the book was uneven. The first half wasn't much a travelogue (I guess he had to distinguish it from "A Walk in the Woods") as he let us in on his mid-life crisis. Then the second half was about all his aches and pains ... so we never found out if he figured out what he wanted to do ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2018
Evidence of the reality that I will read *anything* that is about thru hiking the AT or the PCT. In reality this one was about thru running the trail and it was that fact (and the fact that Scott and party didn't actually sleep on the trail) that made this book a blah read for me. Not enough trail magic and enjoyment! Oh well. ...more
Mitch Morris
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Before getting into my scrambled thoughts about this book, I have to acknowledge that it would have been nearly impossible for someone to write a book about running the Appalachian Trail that I would dislike. Especially from my current vantage point along the trail’s route through CT, and my current status as a runner wondering what’s next for me in my career, I am at a point both literally and figuratively at which I would be near impossible not to be charmed by a book like this.

But as to my th
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars (liked it)

A simply-written and enjoyable memoir from a couple (told in alternating P.O.V.'s) that provides a glimpse into the world of ultra-marathoning and, in this case, an ambitious plan to break a record running the Appalchian Trail that spans over 2,000 miles.  Scott Jurek, an ultra-runner with an outgoing yet spiritual persona along with his wife, Jenny, also a runner with more of an introverted and practical outlook, together join forces for a daunting adventure where Scott att
Heather Fineisen
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-bought
Scott Jurek, famous ultra runner, tackles the Appalachian Trail in an attempt to break the record for fastest completion. Told in chapters by day, alternating within each chapter with Scott and then his wife's voice. The format of the narrative makes you feel you are right there with them. A fascinating look at an extreme sport and the toll it takes mentally and physically. With a cast of colorful characters helping him along the way including his crew, friends, and strangers, the Jureks dig dee ...more
Jared Townley
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
After reading this, I find myself wanting to run to the wilderness to enjoy time in nature. I also find myself wanting to run an ultra marathon. Hearing about the places that I hiked in 2016 and reliving my experience at a MUCH faster pace made for a great read and another method for me to process my time going "North". ...more
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My whole family loved this book! We listened to the first two-thirds during a summer Yellowstone road trip, but we didn't finish it. We made a pact to finish it another time during a drive together. Nothing like leaving the tension of a real-life "hero's journey" tale to linger for several months ;)

This is just a great story. It's about ultra-running, but it could be about any other impossible task and it would still be a great story. It's a rich memoir about Jurek's attempt at the south-to-nort
Kim Maltempo
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. It was well written, raw, humorous at times, and sad, but always real. I loved that both Scott and Jenny took turns writing so you got to see both sides of the story - from the runner's perspective to the crew perspective. Plus, the Jurek's let you into their lives, the good, bad, and ugly, opening up about fights, miscarriages and health issues, financial woes, and their relentless pushing of one another toward greatness. I am i ...more
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: running, memoir
As a long-time fan of Scott Jurek and a longer-time fan of the Appalachian Trail, an ultrarunner, lover of nature, and a vegan, this book was right up my alley and so good for my soul. Completing a thru-hike of the AT has been a life goal of mine for many years. Having hiked and run many miles on it, it is a special place to me and I enjoyed reading about Jurek's quest for the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the trail immensely. I can't begin to imagine averaging 47 miles a day for 46 days (or crewi ...more
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Scott Jurek is a talented writer and he also runs. Sure, he's been on top of the ultra-runner world for years, mastering any challenge thrown at him. What is surprising is that he can do all of that and tell a good story. I really enjoyed his last book, Eat and Run, about his life up through his "retirement" from ultra-running. By contrast, North is focused on his attempt to achieve the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on completing the whole 2000+ miles of the Appalachian Trail. His journey would be in ...more
Rick Wilson
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think this is one of the better books on what it's like to be on the Appalachian Trail. I haven't hiked it. Presently, the AT is a goal for when I'm done with school. Bryson's "Walk" was great, but it bugged me he didn't do the whole thing. This book seems raw and truthful in a way that I really liked.

Scott talks about seeking an experience that "cracks him open" a few times. I think this is the first time I've heard someone describe that feeling. I've been on a handful of week long 100+ mile
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Jenny and Scott Jurek do a great job of telling a cohesive narrative from both of their perspectives. This is an excellent read for those who love running, hiking, and being in the great outdoors. I would love to see a young readers adaptation of the story for middle grade or YA readers.
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Book #4 of 2020: "North", by Scott Jurek & Jenny Jurek. El venado - the stag. Holder of almost an unfathomable list of records, wins, and accomplishments decides in 2015 he has "peaked" after bailing from several races and attempts. He sets his sights on a FKT (Fastest Known Time). Rather than head to a trail that he knows well like the Pacific Crest, he eyes the original, legendary trail through the world's oldest mountain range - The AT - Appalachian Trail. 2,189 miles of rocks, roots, a milli ...more
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book about adventure and pushing one’s body to the limits, but also about collaboration, family, friendship, and finding your passion again. I loved that this story is told from both Scott’s perspective on the Appalachian Trail and his wife Jenny’s perspective as his full time crew. The journey was exhausting both mentally and physically for both of them, and I feel like they both learned a lot in those 46 days. I love the way they constantly support one another and refuse to let the other giv ...more
Nov 18, 2020 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason Keane
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very open, modest account of a fastest known time attempt of a 2,190 mile long trail by a group of pioneers from the ultra running community. The attempt would require scott to run almost 2 marathons a day for over 45 days. The book is written partly from Scott's perspective and partly from his wife JLus perspective, and reads like a novel. Having known little about the appalachian trail prior to reading, I now have it on my bucket list, perhaps not to run the entire thing but at least to hike ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it
A memoir about setting the FKT (fastest known time) for run/walking the Appalachian Trail (AT). Jurek is a record-holding, race-winning ultrarunner and a vegan.

Jurek chooses to go south to north (hence the book's title). He has to do it in 46 days which is something like 40-50 miles a day or more depending on how you break it down. Basically--it puts "a mere marathon" to shame (and even that is too extreme for me, and most people).

His attempt highlights all the course support you really need to
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Play Book Tag: North by Scott Jurek 4 stars 1 14 Aug 14, 2019 08:14AM  

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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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