Book Review – Running Through The Wall
Name of the book – Running Through The Wall – Personal Encounter With the Ultramarathon.
Compilation by – Neal Jamison.
ISBN – 1-891369-37-7.
Genre – Sports, ultramarathon.
Number of pages – 304.
Price – $14.
About the author
Neal Jamison was a reluctant runner. He ran quarter mile for the track team in middle school and simply hated long practice runs. When he reached college, he ran to shed some weight and soon found himself running a marathon, in which he bonked hard.
When he later moved for work to Hawaii, he started running again with his girlfriend who persuaded him to run ultras. He was hooked after his first.
He got the idea of this book after he read Kara Douglass’s book, Becoming an Ironman : Personal Encounters with the Ultimate Endurance Event. He thought of compiling stories similarly but on ultramarathon.
About the book
The book is a compilation of stories of ultra runners or rather a compilation of race reports of ultramarathons. However, apart from being just reports, the stories touch upon the very lives of the runners as to why they started to run these unforgiving distances for little or nothing.
The stories are written by few well known athletes like Ann Trason, Tim Twietmeyer, Dr David Horton and Ian Torrence. And by those who are not so well known. There are a total of 39 stories from runners from different walks of life and with different capabilities.
After the Ultramarathon Man, this book gave me an extra push towards determining my resolve to run an ultra. This book is a mixed bag of stories of runners of different age groups, different abilities and background.
I found it so engrossing that I even read it while sitting on the loo in the morning before going out to run and while commuting to work. I just couldn’t put it down. This book is for any kind of runner, not necessarily for marathoners or ultra runners. Everybody needs a dose of motivation and this book hits the nail right at the head.
The emotional and spiritual connection of the people with the extra long distances gives a sort of high. The stories of brutal pain, hard work, blisters and fatigue will make you run out of the front door to do some monster miles.
The best part about the book is that it is not only about success stories. There are stories of runners barely crossing the finish line or even of DNF. That makes it real. The sport of ultra is not all glory but is sometimes gory.
Final verdict – If you are a marathoner and is looking for more, then ultramarathon is for you. And if the distance is intimidating you, then read this book. You will find the much required courage.