“Eat & run” My unlikely journey to ultramarathon greatness

Από 03 Νοε 2012

"Eat & Run" by Scott Jurek (with Steve Friedman) ... A book to eat! One of my favourite cake I love to prepare and eat is “choco-orange”. Its unique texture melts in the mouth spreading the richness of almonds, the flavor of orange zest and the luxury of bitter chocolate and offers a long lasting taste which then gives way to a great sense of satisfaction and a hint of sadness when it is finished. Exactly the same feeling I felt in reading this book.

I heard the comment about it from a Turkish ultra marathoner friend, and, being both a passionate cooker and a runner, as soon as I could, I got it… and I loved it.

Scott Jurek is a great American ultramarathoner who dominated for many years ultra running scene:  for seven years in a row 1st place at the famous Western States 100 mile Endurance Run, three consecutive times Champion at Spartathlon, US record man at 24-Hour World Championships in Brive-la-Gaillarde, with 165.7 miles…just to mention few of the most remarkable successes. Not less remarkable the fact that he became a “vegan”, basing his nutrition on plants.

A man- and a story- unlike any other”, as Christopher McDougall (author of Born to run) writes.

The book, written in cooperation with Steve Friedman is well constructed and never obvious or heavy and flows as a pleasant glass of a good red wine.

It articulates mixing the steps of his childhood and his races experiences, and runs through the main stages of his life, how and why he became such a runner, the struggle towards “I wanted more”, as he says, and depicts the people who played a key role in his life and career.

Never “obvious  as grass”, each chapter is framed by a great quote and a nice tip about running and/or vegan recipe, providing also few historical notes about some of the most famous ultra of the world (as Western States 100 mile Endurance Run and Spartathlon) and the men that characterized them.

Nor presumptuous or arrogant in the style, not pretending to be a teacher or a professor, he put black on white all the emotions, the struggles, the feelings that have characterized his life and career.

Who has ever ran a race, no matter if an ultra, for sure will feel united and could find the description of his/her own thoughts: how the mind struggles in this kind of journeys, how it is both “empty and full of everything”, how “everything matters and nothing cares”.

For those who are going towards challenging the limits of the mind and the body, or those who want to expand the horizons of their food habits or for those who are thinking to step out and start running, for those who like to read, ink on paper, why do they love running or simply for those who want to read a unique story about the power of the will, I strongly recommend this book.

…and I could spend hours and try my best to explain the taste of my choco orange as well I could do the same about this book: some things  should be “experienced” directly with our senses.




Enjoy it!

“buon appetito”


 Alessia De Matteis

Alessia De Matteis

I'm an Italian runner, with a strong passion for sports, cooking and nutrition since I was a teenager. I was born in the south of Italy and, after spending half of my life between Bologna, where I studied, and Florence, I moved to Turkey, 4 years ago.  Even if since I was a child I kept my body on move (from skating to volleyball, from jazz and afro dance to ski and to taekwondo). I found "my way" in running 2 1/2 years ago. My first race was in Istanbul 2010, 15k, then I realized my mind was ready for a bigger challenge and in march  2011 I ran my first marathon. Apart from other 2 marathons between 2011 and 2012 (I'm going to run my 4th marathon in Istanbul next week end), and few short races (10 and 5k) and 5 half marathons, my most remarkable experience, not for the result, but for the fun I got, was in may 2012 at 48k Cortina trail, where the magic of trail and long run showed itself in its greatness.


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