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Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

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“In pursuing the mental side of endurance, Jurek uncovers the most important secrets any runner can learn.”—Amby Burfoot, creator of The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life

For nearly two decades, Scott Jurek has been a dominant force—and darling—in the grueling and growing sport of ultrarunning. Until recently he held the American 24-hour record and he was probably the most elite runners profiled in the runaway bestseller Born to Run.

In Eat and Run, Jurek opens up about his life and career as a champion athlete with a plant-based diet and inspires runners at every level. From his Midwestern childhood hunting, fishing, and cooking for his meat-and-potatoes family to his slow transition to ultrarunning and veganism, Scott’s story shows the power of an iron will and blows apart the stereotypes of what athletes should eat to fuel optimal performance. Full of stories of competition as well as science and practical advice—including his own recipes—Eat and Run will motivate readers and expand their food horizons.

“Jurek’s story and ideas should easily manage to speak to and cheer on anyone seeking to live life as fully as imaginable.”—Denver Post

“A shockingly honest, revealing, and inspiring memoir.”—Trail Runner

Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2012: Whilst many of us sit at the back of a desk for eight or nine hours a day, Scott Jurek is running. A legend among hard-core runners, Jurek has fashioned a lucrative career as an ultramarathoner. He runs, and wins, grueling races in excess of 100 miles, in a wide array of frequently inhospitable environments: Death Valley, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Mexico’s Copper Canyon. And he does it on a completely plant-based diet. In Eat and Run, Jurek tells the story of how an average Midwestern kid growing up on meat he caught or killed himself became a vegan elite athlete. Part memoir, part training guide, part vegan manifesto, Jurek’s most inspiring proposal here is that running—like such a lot of things in life—is less dependent on physical skill than it is on willpower. Runners of all levels, meat-eaters, and vegans alike will be inspired to lace up their sneaks and hit the trails. —Juliet Disparte


Photographs from Eat and Run

Click on thumbnails for larger images

The Tarahumara were known for their grace and speed. The fastest and most graceful of them all was Arnulfo Quimare, and to this day I imagine him one of my noblest competitors.
In 2005, two weeks after my seventh consecutive Western States 100 victory, I set out to conquer the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile endurance slog through Death Valley. Mile 12, 120 degrees, and I’m leading. What could go wrong?
At 48miles in, I used to be over 5 miles at the back of, considered quitting, and determined that yes, those who described the insanity of the Badwater were right.
In 2010, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman interviewed me. Before any questions, he opened his fridge and asked me to prepare a meal. I whipped up a veggie and tofu stir fry with homemade Indonesian almond sauce and quinoa.


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