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Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon Paperback – Apr 1 2003


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Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon + Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons + Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Breakaway Books (April 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891369377
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891369377
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 458 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Neal Jamison is the editor of Running Through the Wall (Breakaway Books, 2003), and has written for Adventure Sports Magazine, Trail Runner, and Runner's World.

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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25 2003
Format: Paperback
In this collection of stories from over 40 ultrarunners, there is definite inspiration for every runner. For me, having never done an ultra, I was curious about the sport, but am now inspired to attempt my first. There are many great stories here from first-timers like Sophie Spiedel and Keith Knipling to veterans like Ann Trason and Ian Torrence, and ANY runner can learn something from all their experiences.
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Format: Paperback
So.......do you have friends or family that just shake their heads or roll their eyes when you mention your upcoming 100 miler? Would you really like to be able to answer the question "Why do you DO that?" Well there's no more eloquent answer to that question than is found in this collection of personal ultrarunning stories. The question isn't so much directly addressed but the joy of doing ultras comes through in the stories. How does the saying go? Don't *tell* the reader what you want them to know, *show* them. Jamison's book shows the uninitiated what we get out of what can be a rather punishing hobby.
If you've heard of ultrarunning and are curious or if you're looking for a new challenge and want to see what doing ultras is all about then this is a great book for you. It's not a how-to book but then the best way to learn how to do something is to do it - not to read a book about how to do it. These are stories written by ultrarunners of all levels and they really do a great job of getting across what it is like for ordinary people to perform extraordinary feats.
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By A Customer on May 22 2003
Format: Paperback
Neal Jamison has done a great job collecting and editing this compilation of short stories from ultra-distance athletes. If you are at all intrigued by what makes endurance athletes tick or if you are already a runner and want to hear from world class athletes and enthusiastic amateurs this is the book for you.
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By A Customer on Dec 22 2003
Format: Paperback
The stories in this book help me see why some people like to run these races. I could never imagine running even 3 miles, much less 30 or 50 or even 100! But reading these makes me feel like trying.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 38 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
"... running 100 miles distills my soul..." April 1 2005
By Mark E. Zimmermann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Neal Jamison's collection of essays by ultrarunners is delightful in its diversity. There are racers who tell of their speed, and adventurers who describe their wilderness survival experiences. There are winners. There are amazing triumphs over incredible adversities.

But most fascinating are the honest remarks by people who fell short, who "failed", and who in the process succeeded in learning something important about themselves. My favorite of all, by Keith Knipling:

"In the process of completely exhausting myself, I connect with an inner part of me ordinarily veiled by the everyday distractions of life. During that short time spent on a trail in the mountains, my life is reduced to its simplest terms. Most ultrarunners are people who find goodness and joy in difficult times, who see beyond the misery to the beauty of nature, and who truly realize the elemental and important aspects of life. Going for a run always clears my head, but running 100 miles distills my soul."
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A good book but a bit repetitive June 7 2005
By Mark Bauman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a whole, I enjoyed this book. There are stories from well known ultrarunners; but the ones I most enjoyed were from the ordinary runners - the folks I could really identify with. And there were plenty to make this effort a worthwhile read. There's not much detail regarding any one run, course, etc. Rather, it's more focused on people's personal experiences with the Ultra. As someone who is considering a first Ultra experience, I gained some good insight by reading others' experiences; I also picked up some training tips and race management type stuff that, although not the focus, was sprinkled throughout.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
So why do they do that?!?! Jan. 8 2004
By S. Brockmeier - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
So.......do you have friends or family that just shake their heads or roll their eyes when you mention your upcoming 100 miler? Would you really like to be able to answer the question "Why do you DO that?" Well there's no more eloquent answer to that question than is found in this collection of personal ultrarunning stories. The question isn't so much directly addressed but the joy of doing ultras comes through in the stories. How does the saying go? Don't *tell* the reader what you want them to know, *show* them. Jamison's book shows the uninitiated what we get out of what can be a rather punishing hobby.
If you've heard of ultrarunning and are curious or if you're looking for a new challenge and want to see what doing ultras is all about then this is a great book for you. It's not a how-to book but then the best way to learn how to do something is to do it - not to read a book about how to do it. These are stories written by ultrarunners of all levels and they really do a great job of getting across what it is like for ordinary people to perform extraordinary feats.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Make sure you have time... April 3 2007
By J. Esbech - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is just a must-read for those who are interested in ultras, whether as an active athlete or just out of curiosity. Each of the stories are very personal and full of passion as well as experience that you can both draw and enjoy.

When finishing it, I simply longed for more and wished it had been a 500 pager or more...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
lunatic fringe April 5 2007
By kthdimension - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Neal Jamison's "Running Through The Wall" is a collection of several ultrarunners' stories about how they got into the sport, what motivates them to run, and a race that they recently raced. The contributors are of varied backgrounds, skill, and accomplishments so it is almost inevitable that one of the stories will speak to you on a personal level. Most of the runners were initially incredulous that people actually RUN 50 or so miles until they themselves, of course, ran 50 or so miles. Ian Adamson sums it up best with "The main thing I came away with was that ultrarunning was for the lunatic fringe, and I wouldn't be caught dead near such an event. Little did I know that I would not only be running ultras within 15 years, but ultra distance running would become a passion, a lifestyle...a way of life for me." I am a budding ultrarunner myself (one 50 miler thus far) and I loved what this book provides: anecdotes, inspiration, motivation, and brief glimpses into the souls' of ultrarunners -- novice and veteran alike. Outstanding!


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