Synopses & Reviews
is Rich Roll’s incredible-but-true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations ever.
One cool evening in October 2006, the night before he was to turn forty, Rich experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight at the time and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he could see where his current sedentary lifestyle was taking him.
Most of us, when granted such a moment of clarity, look the other way—but not Rich.
Plunging into a new way of eating that made processed foods off-limits and that prioritized plant nutrition, and vowing to train daily, Rich morphed—in a matter of mere months—from out-of-shape midlifer to endurance machine. When one morning ninety days into his physical overhaul, Rich left the house to embark on a light jog and found himself running a near marathon, he knew he had to scale up his goals.
How many of us take up a sport at age forty and compete for the title of the world’s best within two years? Finding Ultra recounts Rich’s remarkable journey to the starting line of the elite Ultraman competition, which pits the world’s fittest humans against each other in a 320-mile ordeal of swimming, biking, and running. And following that test, Rich conquered an even greater one: the Epic5—five Ironman-distance triathlons, each on a different Hawaiian island, all completed in less than a week.
But Finding Ultra is much more than an edge-of-the-seat look at a series of jaw-dropping athletic feats—and much more than a practical training manual for those who would attempt a similar transformation. Yes, Rich’s account rivets—and, yes, it instructs, providing information that will be invaluable to anyone who wants to change their physique. But this book is most notable as a powerful testament to human resiliency, for as we learn early on, Rich’s childhood posed numerous physical and social challenges, and his early adulthood featured a fierce battle with alcoholism.
Ultimately, Finding Ultra is a beautifully written portrait of what willpower can accomplish. It challenges all of us to rethink what we’re capable of and urges us, implicitly and explicitly, to “go for it.”
andldquo;Beresini uncovers the growing sportand#39;s most compelling characters and provides the most authoritative insidersand#39; guide to date.andrdquo; --Outside Magazine
andquot;Beresini chronicles her personal journey as she prepares for her race, detailing the regimen and questioning, in an engaging, self-deprecating style, what such a sadistic undertaking says about the participantsandrsquo; sanity. A fascinating insiderandrsquo;s view of endurance racingandrsquo;s latest craze.andquot; --Booklist
andquot;Funny, fast-pacedandquot; --American Way Magazine
andquot;Obstacle course racing has taken the endurance world by storm and in OFF COURSE Erin Beresini gives us an insider perspective into the conflict and appeal of these masochistic suffer-fests, culminating in her quest to complete the granddaddy of them all, the Spartan Ultra Beast. A must read for anyone currently competing in, or considering taking on, one of these newfangled racing events.andquot; --Dean Karnazes, bestselling author of Ultramarathon Man and 50/50
andquot;Erin Beresini has gone gonzo. In OFF COURSE, she puts herself to the ultimate test in an obstacle racerandrsquo;s world of alphas and ultras, and Tough Mudders. Her narrative has humor and heart, and a carnival of characters. Her sharp reporting puts the reader there. By the end of her riotous narrative, I had to wipe mud from my glasses at least twenty-six times.andquot; --Gary M. Pomerantz, author of Their Lifeandrsquo;s Work: The Brotherhood of the 1970andrsquo;s Pittsburgh Steelers, Then and Now
A moving memoir about a man who at the lowest point in his life decides to turn everything around, signing up for his first marathon and—one foot after another—begins a life-altering adventure.
When journalist Robert Andrew Powell finished his first marathon, he cried, cradled in his father's arms. Long-distance runners understand where those tears come from, even if there are others who will never grasp what drives someone to run 26.2 consecutive miles in a grueling mental and physical test. Powell's emotional reaction to completing the race wasn't just about the run, though. It was also about the joy and relief of coming back up after hitting rock bottom.
Running Away is the story of how one decision can alter the course of a life. Knocked down by a divorce and inspired by his father, Powell decided to change his mindset and circumstances. He moved to Boulder and began running in earnest for the first time in his life. Over the 26.2 chapters that follow, Powell grapples with his past, gaining insight and hard-won discipline that give him hope for the future.
From a young journalist and seasoned athlete, a funny, fist-pumping ride through the wacky world of obstacle course racing (Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, etc)
Aand#12288;fun, funny, fist-pumpingand#12288;romp through the thriving new fitness culture of obstacle course racingand#12288; Obstacle course racing is the fastest-growing sport in U.S. history. Every week, thousands of marathoners, CrossFitters, and casual weekend warriors shell out money to run through mud and fire, crawl under barbed wire, scramble over ten-foot walls, and dodge baton-wielding gladiators. Some even sprint through electrically charged wires only to suffer muscle-seizing shocks and faceplant in the muck. Inand#12288;Off Course, Outsideand#12288;journalist and endurance athlete Erin Beresini dives straight into this strange world to reveal a new subculture of military-inspired amateur competition and the industry thatand#8217;s rapidly growing to support it. Having reached a crossroads in her own athletic pursuits, Beresini embarked on aand#12288;journey to train and compete in several obstacle races herself, culminating in the worldand#8217;s first marathon-length event, the grueling Spartan Ultra Beast. Along the way, she met a wild cast of characters, from frat boys to housewives, fitness buffs to financiers to fanatics, and uncovered the sport's biggest scandals, lawsuits, and rivalries.and#12288; As Beresini inches ever closer to her goal and#8212; and gets pretty buff in the process and#8212; she also illuminates the history, psychology, science, and sociology of this new sport thatand#8217;s taking the endurance world by storm.
About the Author
Rich Roll has been featured on CNN and has been named “one of the world’s 25 fittest men” by Men’s Fitness magazine. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Cornell Law School. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and four children and, when he isn’t training or competing, manages the entertainment boutique Independent Law Group, LLP.
Table of Contents
and#160;and#160;and#160;1.and#160;and#160;and#160;If Itand#8217;s Brokeand#8195;
and#160;and#160;and#160;2.and#160;and#160;and#160;The Mud Kingsand#8195;17
and#160;and#160;and#160;3.and#160;and#160;and#160;Mouse vs Mudderand#8195;35
and#160;and#160;and#160;5.and#160;and#160;and#160;Throwing a CrossFitand#8195;75
and#160;and#160;and#160;6.and#160;and#160;and#160;Hobie Call and the $100,000 Prizeand#8195;105
and#160;and#160;and#160;7.and#160;and#160;and#160;Unleashing the Ultra Beastand#8195;123
and#160;and#160;and#160;8.and#160;and#160;and#160;In the Army Nowand#8195;135
and#160;and#160;and#160;11.and#160;and#160;and#160;This Is the Endand#8195;195