Book Cover
 

North

Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail

Scott Jurek with Jenny Jurek

What an incredible story! The story of setting the FKT (fastest known time) on the Appalachian Trail - 46 days to run 2200 miles. This was a physical feat beyond what I can imagine. Perhaps more importantly, I came to realize how much of a mental triumph this was.

This is a must-read for any trail runner. If you're a hiker, or backpacker, or endurance athlete of any kind, you will almost certainly find this book engaging. Note: if you haven't read Scott Jurek's previous memoir, Eat and Run, start there. I think having a bit more background on Scott makes this read so much more fulfilling

Both Scott and Jenny write with a pleasantly surprising amount of honesty all throughout this story. They appear to not hold anything back to protect their own image or those that joined them on the journey. It was open, raw, and really made the book a rewarding read.

I could imagine a book about running 2200 miles could be a bit repetitive. There were hints of repetition, but I never lost interest, and in a way, it adds to the story. They were battling repetition in their quest, and by going through the same motions over and over as a reader, their struggle becomes a bit more visceral.

I often wonder with physical triumph writing how sensationalized it has to be to sell to our desensitized Pavlovian society. There was perhaps a hint of this, as he would often talk about the underrated difficulty of mountain X or Y. But the rawness of the other writing helped me to buy in. I also would constantly remind myself that unimaginable physical and mental difficulty of this task would magnify the reality of any obstacle. A small hill at the end of a marathon appears to be monumental for us mortals, let alone an actual mountain in a sleep-deprived state, after running for 20 hours a day, for weeks on end.

It's a truly remarkable accomplishment, engagingly written, with truth and honesty - highly recommended.