Scott Jurek. Doesn’t give up, a vegan, an ultaramarathon runner, and a cook!
Since around 2000s Scott has been the boss of the wold’s most punishing races. Like the Badwater Ultramarathon and the Spartathlon. By boss, I mean he was first.
Many races he won multiple times. Say, in the Western States Endurance Run he was first 7 consecutive times!
I’m not familiar with competitive trails, so read about some.
Let’s take the Badwater, for example. It takes place in the hottest place in US. The Death Valley :0 . Like it’s not enough, the race is held during July. It’s the hottest month. The record heat here was 56.7 °C (134 °F). That’s the hottest atmospheric temperature ever recorded on Earth! You start at the country’s most lowest point and finish at the base of the highest. It’s 217 km (135 mi) in length.
The Sparthlon… Originating from the deep past, it doesn’t involve mountains or mosquitoes. Nor it bakes you alive. It’s just if you fail to make to one of the control points in time, you are out. Is goes from Athens to Sparta. Covers 246 km (153 mi).
Victories after victories. A sprained ankle or occasional nausea doesn’t stop this human. Maybe only slightly slows him down. For this reason, Scott has also been called “a machine”.
Besting a 4-year old record in the Appalachian Trail
Scott’s most recent achievement was the Appalachian Trail. It’s claimed to be the longest hiking trail existing. Around 3500 km (2,200 mi). In 2015, Jurek tackled it in 46 days, 8 hours, and 7 minutes, setting a new record.
During that month he lost 20 pounds. That’s despite the efforts of his wife and supporters. They fed him well. But it was not easy. He had to consume 4 times as more calories. Fueling 18-hour-on-the-trail days needs a lot of planning I guess.
Most of his calories were coming from Clif energy gels and bars. Plus, again, any food he received from his wife and friends. Actually any food as long as it was plant-based. Like pasta, sandwiches, ice-cream, pizza. Locals also brought him fruits and all sorts of meat substitutes. I get an impression that the main goal was to get as much calories as possible into him.
Did he sleep? Yeah, for a bit, in his wife’s van (she followed him).
For people who are not too familiar with a world of running, this all might sounds way beyond normal.
His food choices
Scott’s food choices are probably different than those of majority of his running buddies. He says that his vegan way of eating contributes to his running success. Eating plants gives him neat things like faster recovery times and better endurance.
If we study his early life, we will see that as a kid he spent a lot of time in nature, which ultimately led him to love trail running. Regarding his competitive spirit… He started taking over the first-place trophies while in college.
Although Scott is a herbivore, he surely loves food. And cooking too. Especially, Swedish pancakes. He even used his cooking abilities to charm his wife!
I’ll finish with Jurek’s philosophy:
[running is] the vehicle I have used to explore my potential and a tool I use to better understand the world around me