Run or Die

Jornet, Kilian. Run or Die. Translated by Peter Bush. Boulder, Colorado: Velo, 2013

There is no denying Kilian Jornet is tough…and maybe just a little crazy. At 18, as a burgeoning athlete, he had an injury so severe he had to have a metal plate surgically implanted around his kneecap, and still he was determined to train. In the third chapter he describes running the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail. In the very next chapter…well, I’ll let him tell you”…It was the idea I could run across the Pyrenees in seven days” (p 75). See? Told you. Nuts. Just so you know, he ran just under 87 miles that first day. But, what is really cool of Jornet’s character (besides the crazy ambition) is his appreciation for the world around him as he runs. He is constantly taking note of the snow-capped mountains, the way sunlight dances on water. He really drinks it in as he runs.

Quotes to inspire, “A day comes in life when you have to decide which train to take, and once you are aboard, there is no point in thinking what might have happened if you had caught a different one” (p 14). Amen to that! Here’s another, “A race is a life that is born when you get up in the morning and dies when you cross the finish line” (p 30). I like the finality of that. You do it. You finish it. You’re done. Last one, “Everyone can be king of his own castle, but outside he is vulnerable and can lose his way” (p 124). Too true.

Reason read: training to run. Yes, I went off the plan…just a little.

Book trivia: I am super excited Kilian included a photograph of his 165-mile run along the Tahoe Rim Trail. I needed to see just one of the spectacular views he described.

Author fact: In addition to being an ultrarunner, Kilian is a ski mountaineer.  In other words, he hurls himself down mountains on skis.



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