Friday, 26 March 2021

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness  by Scott Jurek with Steve Friedman
Published by Bloomsbury in June 2012.

A Book About a Vegan and included in my Vegan Bookshop.

How I got this book:
Bought the ebook from Amazon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Run until you can't run anymore. Then run some more. Find a new source of energy and will. Then run even faster.' The words of Scott Jurek, a dominant force - and darling - in the gruelling and growing sport of ultrarunning for more than a decade. In 1999, as a complete unknown, he took the lead in the Western States Endurance Run, a 100-mile jaunt over the Gold Rush trails of America's Sierra Nevada. He went on to win that race seven years in a row. Jurek was also one of the elite runners who travelled to Mexico to run with the Tarahumara Indians, as profiled in the international bestseller Born to Run. His accomplishments are nothing short of extraordinary.

In Eat and Run, Jurek opens up about his life and career as an elite athlete, and about the vegan diet that is key to his success. From his Midwestern childhood of hunting and fishing to his slow transition to ultrarunning and veganism, to his epic, record-breaking races, Jurek's story shows the power of an iron will and the importance of thinking of food as fuel. 

Full of stories of endurance and competition as well as practical advice and some of his original recipes, Eat and Run will motivate people to go the distance, whether that means getting out for a first run, expanding your food horizons, or simply exploring the limits of human potential.

I first heard about Scott Jurek by reading Chris McDougall's now-famous book, Born To Run, a decade ago during the years when I was a runner myself, abeit a much slower one whose personal best distance was a half marathon. After knackering my calf muscles, I drifted away from anything to do with running so was surprised to see Jurek's name reappearing recently in connection with veganism. If I had known about his plantbased diet back then, I hadn't remembered, but I did recall how inspirational he had been in getting me moving so I wondered if Eat And Run would be a similar motivator for my vegan journey. Not that I really need motivation there. I'm yet to experience a single day when I regret becoming vegan!

Eat and Run tells Jurek's life story from childhood until 2010 with each chapter focused towards a particular ultramarathon that he ran in. I liked this structure which is mostly chronological, but with asides where necessary. The book is very readable in style and tone and I devoured it in just two days. Jurek includes his own vegan recipes at the end of each chapter and I appreciated how he takes time to explain his plantbased food discoveries alongside his running achievements (and disasters). I haven't yet tried any of the recipes, but have listed ingredients for a selection of the simpler ones ready for my next shop. The recipes do understandably have a strong American bias, ingredients-wise, but I can substitute European-grown foods in several cases.

I finished Eat And Run feeling wonderfully energised and promptly took myself off for a good walk around the local fields for an hour. I don't think the book will tempt me to risk running again any time soon, but I am glad that Jurek's enthusiasm for exercise and movement came through to me so effectively. I've been too sedentary, and gradually getting even more so, through lockdown. Hopefully Eat And Run's motivational vibes can help me turn that around.

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Scott Jurek / Sports books / Books from America


  1. Lockdown as been awful for anyone who likes to move around. I've gained so much weight and it's terrible! I can't wait to be able to move around freely again!

    1. Move around freely without fear. The state I live in as no restrictions anymore other than masks in certain stores. So I CAN move around freely but until I get the vaccine for myself and my little one... I won't. Wanted to clarify lol