Run Away with Me, Scott Jurek!
Ultrarunner Scott Jurek came to town last night. I was so beside myself I could hardly stand it. I felt like a teenager again.
I may run ridiculous distances, toss back an occasional beer with the guys, and pee in the woods when I have to, but I am, first and foremost, a girl. All I wanted last night was to have my photo taken with Scott Jurek.
Of course I wanted to hear what he had to say, and was sad I didn’t make it home in time to change clothes to run with him and the group. But like the Celebrity Runner Groupie I have apparently become, the photo was paramount.
First things first: What a nice guy! The number one comment I heard from all my friends who met him that night was how nice and down-to-earth he is. He seems to have an inner happiness and enthusiasm for life that is infectious. He’s the kind of guy you would want to spend a lot of time with — like on a 100+ mile trail run, perhaps — and you can tell he genuinely likes being around people and having fun with them. He is unpretentious, humble, and willing to share what’s he’s learned about ultrarunning.
I am starstruck.
Some things I learned from Scott:
1. Favorite races: Hardrock 100 and Spartathalon. That’s 100 as in 100 miles long, and the Spartathlon as in 153 miles from Athens to Sparta. Hardrock is considered to be one of the toughest races in the country, with 33,000 feet of climb at an average elevation of over 11,000 feet (thank you, Wikipedia). I guess I’ve got some training to do. (Note: this question was personally asked by me — I was sitting on the front row with little hearts and angels floating around my head so I wasn’t hard to miss — and he looked into my eyes the entire time he spoke to me. I’m not even sure how I remember his answer. Read it and weep, ladies. And yes, I know he recently got married, so hush.)
2. He’s run Badwater twice and does not want to run it again. I cannot for the life of me imagine why. The Badwater Ultra is a 135 mile road race through Death Valley in mid-July, starting 282 feet below sea level and ending at an elevation of 8360 feet at Mount Whitney (thanks, again, Wikipedia). I ran a marathon in Death Valley one February. Just sayin.’ But it’s nothing compared to the Badwater Ultra.
3. Eat real food early in an ultra, and eat often. Save the GUs and energy gels for later in the race. Real food for him is tortillas filled with beans, or rice balls, for instance. Vegetarian dolmas work for me, if you’re wondering.
4. He looks forward to being a middle of the pack runner one day, but for the time being wants to remain competitive. He says winning is fun. I’ll take his word for it. I believe he said that Leadville is his next race.
5. He’s a humanitarian and will be taking a team of runners to Ethiopia to help fight blindness there. There are still a few places left if you’d like to accompany him. You can find more details on his blog. (And yes, you know I want to go.)
6. To train for a trail race with lots of hills or elevation, he recommends lots of strength training (2-3 times per week) and core work, squats, lunges, downhill repeats, and running down the stairs of tall buildings (if you live in a large city, of course).
7. He had just come from a memorial event for Caballo Blanco, aka Micah True, in Copper Canyon with the Tarahumara. He told us about searching for Micah when he went missing, expecting to see him come running out from somewhere at any moment, but knowing if he had to go it would be a perfect place and way for him to leave. He also said that doctors believe running may actually have extended his life an additional ten years or so, based on his family background. Nice to hear after my post last week about long distance running and damage to the heart.
8. The actor Peter Sarsgaard is working on a movie version of the book Born to Run. Scott says he doesn’t know who will play him in the movie, but that Sarsgaard, a runner himself, has said he wants real runners in the movie. He has hinted at Scott playing himself, but Scott’s not sure if he’s kidding or not. Cast him, Peter!
Scott spoke for almost an hour, and gave lots more information, but it was all just a little too much by the end. Remember, I was starstruck. And I was sitting on the front row.
If you haven’t read it yet, his book Eat and Run is fantastic. Read it. And then get out and run.
* Thank you, Luke’s Locker, for bringing Scott Jurek to Dallas, and thank you, Scott, for coming to visit! Please come back soon so I can run with you next time!
Ha ha, what a great post. I’m a little jealous even. I felt a little starstruck myself when I saw your first photo! Scott does seem to embody what is great, lovely, and fulfilling about running. He’s a pretty amazing guy. I’ve got Eat and Run on my Christmas reading list.
He really is a great guy. You will love Eat and Run. My boyfriend is going to kill me when he reads this blog post! He’s so sick of hearing about last night.
Perhaps for the not-as-distanced kind of runner it was a had-to-be-there kind of excitement? I think the post was great!
Yes, it was. Everyone was starstruck, not just me. We were blinded by friendliness and niceness — and his amazing achievements. I’m glad you liked the post. Go hear him speak if he ever heads north.
I’ve heard and read that before about Scott. How approachable, supportive and -of course- accomplished he is. Great inspiration.
Great post! I’m a big fan, and have read his biography and Born to Run. Glad to hear what a humble guy he is!
Imagine humble, and then subtract another 50 points. All kidding aside, it really was a pleasure getting to meet him (and having my photo taken with him).
Congrats on meeting a groundbreaking athlete in your sport. Inspiring.
It really was very inspiring, and almost like meeting the Pope or something! Scott Jurek, the Running Pope! (All apologies to Catholics around the world. No offense intended.)
He IS the nicest person in the world! I’m probably more than a little jealous that you got your picture with him – I only got him to sign my book. The Spartathalon is my goal ultra now, thanks to his book.
I’m so intrigued with the Spartathlon myself, but right now I have NO desire to EVER run 100+ miles. I’m good with 50, and I haven’t even run that yet. You didn’t get your photo with him because you didn’t stalk him coming out of the dressing room, push all the other
bimbettesladies out of the way, and thrust your camera into your starstruck friend’s husband’s hands commanding him to take a picture. At least Scott will never forget that crazy lady in Dallas!
Color me JEALOUS!!!!
I had a few friends to went to that over at Luke’s in Dallas! So fun! Sad to miss!! 🙂
It was a blast. Sorry you had to miss it. Everyone needs a little Scott Jurek in their lives.
I met him last night, too. He is such a cutie! Love him. Thanks for your funny post. 😉
Were you the fellow Cougar who was standing next to me? I had a great conversation with someone who was just as bad as I was. I have no idea how I turned into such a sexist pig overnight. We need more guys with man crushes commenting on here so I don’t look like a total Mrs. Robinson.
Great seeing a whole different side of you yesterday, Angela 😉 Not sure if you followed Scott home or not, but I can’t say I’d surprised to hear that you did……
I draw the line at following men home, Ritu — even Scott. Though if “home” is Boulder, CO, I could make an exception. I could at least run the trails out there.
I’m sooo jealous!!! It’s rare for me to get star struck. It’s not my style to remember famous people. But after reading Eat and Run I was so inspired that I remember who Scott Jurek is. I would have had eyes as big as Hari’s too … LOL
LOL Andrew! Maybe he will make a trip to your part of Australia as part of his book tour next year. If he does, be sure to go see him. I’m not usually impressed by celebrity at all, but I was that night!
What a fun opportunity to meet Scott Jurek!
It was such a fun evening. I only wish I had had time to join them for the group run beforehand.
Great post. I haven’t to be honest and say that I don’t know who Scott Jurek is (heresy I know) but I am English – like that is an excuse! Anyway having read your blog I now feel like I know him and I wantt or read his book. Thank you for introducing him to me!
I’m glad I could enlighten you! Short answer to who he is: one of the best ultrarunners in the world. His book is a great read. You can also google him to find out more, and there are a lot of YouTube videos, too.