By Audrey Andrews | March 24th, 2021
North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail by Scott Jurek is a classic read for ultrarunners. Jurek already authored the popular Eat & Run about veganism and running, and his ultra race wins and FKTs long ago put him on the map. Jurek was also featured in Born to Run, a book that exploded ultrarunning in the running world.
North, which is also authored by Jenny Jurek, ultramarathoner and wife of Scott Jurek, is a memoir of Jurek’s successful 2015 attempt of a speed record on the Appalachian Trail. While his record was broken in 2018 by Karel Sabbe, Jurek’s performance simply built on his ultrarunning accomplishments.
I enjoyed North more than I expected. While the book is not well-written, it would be difficult for any runner not to become emotionally involved with Jurek’s story. The stress the body and mind must endure to cover the Appalachian Trail in 46 days in unfathomable to most, and hearing the story of someone who accomplished just this is simply remarkable.
In an effort at transparency, I gave North three starts on Goodreads. While the story itself is easily a four, the writing is a two. I know that the goal of this book is not literary masterpiece, but I still appreciate a well-written piece. Thus, I would not recommend North to non-runners. However, any runner who has not read North should pick it up immediately. The book is a fun and inspirational read.