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North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  5,893 ratings  ·  581 reviews

‘An ultramarathon legend’ Men’s Health

‘One of the greatest runners of all time’ Runner's World

Scott Jurek is one of the greatest ultramarathon runners of all time and a living legend. North tells the story of his biggest challenge, undertaken at the end of a career full of glittering achievements: breaking the speed record for the Appalachian Trail, the famous path

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Kindle Edition, 285 pages
Published April 12th 2018 by Cornerstone Digital
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  5,893 ratings  ·  581 reviews


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Kendall
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sabine
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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Francis Tapon
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
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Stephanie
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018, arc
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
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Perttu
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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David Huff
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Anna
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
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Deana
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
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Donna
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
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Mitch Morris
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Eileen
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jared Townley
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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".
Heather Fineisen
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Matt
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kim Maltempo
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Deena
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, running
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 ...more
Chris
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
cat
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Camille Lindow
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Bennjamin
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Rach
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Katie
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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Kayla
I enjoyed reading this book. It was great to read not only from Scott's point of view but also Jenny's. She certainly had her hands full crewing for Scott during his entire fastest known time (FKT) attempt.

It was interesting to read about the creepy people they ran into in the southern states that the AT goes through. Some of their descriptions kind of burst my idolization bubble about the AT. When I read Awol on the Appalachian Trail, I did not pick up on that aspect as much. I guess there are
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Steve
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I am a huge Scott Jurek fan so this is very biased yet an honest review of this book.

I had the opportunity to meet Scott and his wife Jenny in Austin for this book tour, so I got some spoilers and additional first count stories of this amazing journey. While being a runner might help you better understand the pains and stress of running the Appalachian Trail, Scott and Jenny made it relatable to everybody, as long as you are a human being :) The cast of characters, the highs and
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Wendy
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ultramarathoner and vegan Scott Jurek attempts to break the AT record, running from the south end to the north. His wife is his crew, but he gets a little help from a lot of friends. It takes a village to run the AT. I was fascinated at his determination to complete the journey, running over 50 miles per day most days. He also had a lot of fans meeting him and running with him at various points on his journey. I was shocked by that--I'd never presume to run with someone attempting to break a ...more
Claudia Turner
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is more than a story about an ultra-runner trying to set the record for running the whole Appalachian Trail north, it’s also a story about a partnership and the couple’s struggle to have a family. It’s a story about faith, in one’s self and others, and grit. It’s a true adventure story- for life. Scott Jurek, I’m so glad you and Jenny put this into words. There’s a zen, a thoughtfulness and humility he has now with age and wisdom and it was a joy to be able to follow along on this journey ...more
Neil Gaudet
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick and easy read not only because of its brevity but because it pulls you along at a pace that would dwarf Scott’s actual journey. To be honest you know how this book will end with the first ten minutes of reading. There are few surprises. It’s not the finale (though that’s wonderful) but the cast of characters along the way that turn the pages. I loved his last book more than this one but the dance and relationship between him and his wife make this one better than it would have otherwise ...more
Hope
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Man, what a journey. I did not follow this quest when it went down in 2015, so every bit of information was new to me. I was on the edge of my seat, anxious to see how it turned out. I really enjoy how well Scott meshed the history and stories of the AT with the day by day grind. I thought having Jenny's perspective added so much to the story, as it allowed you to see the full scope of what this journey was like and the toll it took. The picture inserts were great and I loved all the Game of ...more
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Play Book Tag: North by Scott Jurek 4 stars 1 13 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 ...more
“In the case of pain, perhaps the one we know hurts us less than the one we fear.” 1 likes
“Perspective can be both humbling and inspiring.” 1 likes
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