An interview with legendary ultramarathoner Scott Jurek by Nell Alk. Photo #1 by Ben Moon. Book cover photo by Justin Bastien (jacket design by Martha Kennedy). Photo #3 by Jenny Uehisa. Photo #4 by Luis Escobar.
For nearly two decades, Scott Jurek has been calmly dominating the ultramarathon circuit. He’s won nearly every major race, including seven straight victories at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, and set a new U.S. all-surface record by running 165.7 miles in a single day.
It’s hard to believe there was a time when he was mercilessly teased as “Pee-wee.” Born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, Jurek grew up hunting and fishing, subsisting on the standard American diet in a meat-and-potatoes-heavy home. He wasn’t inclined towards most sports, but in high school began running to train for cross-country ski season. With an assist from his friend Dusty Olson, Jurek developed not only a knack for long-distance running, but also a passion for it, a dedication and drive that would take him farther—literally—than he ever dreamed. Along the line he figured out that a vegan diet fueled his body best and the rest, as they say, is history.
His debut book, Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness, brings readers up to speed on his background and how he scaled life to such great heights. In addition to this inspirational story, which also includes some mouth-watering recipes and is now on bookstore shelves, Jurek featured heavily in another book, Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. This is significant not only because it chronicles Jurek’s running alongside the elusive Tarahumara Indians in Mexico, but also because this tale is set to be told through film, at the helm of actor Peter Sarsgaard.
The day before Eat & Run’s release, on a morning when Jurek would run the entire periphery of Manhattan and barely blink an eye, we spoke with the 38-years-young champion about his first book, the reasons he recommends a vegan diet, and that very exciting film project with Mr. Sarsgaard. Read More…