Heroes in Plain Clothing

You should never meet your heroes in case they disappoint you. Luckily I seem to have picked my heroes well.

Part of my transition from casual jogger to geeky runner began when reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.

The book tracks the author’s quest for injury free running, the problems with modern trainers and how an ancient tribe of Mexican’s run ridiculous distances wearing only sandals and capes.

The story is compelling and enthralling and introduced me to the concept of ultrarunning

It also introduced me to Scott Jurek.

In case you haven’t heard of him, Scott is an ultramarathon legend.

He has won some of the world’s hardest races including Badwater 135, Western States 100, the Spartathlon and he holds the USA record for distance run in 24 hours – 165 miles!

Through all this, he seems like a normal, nice guy.

He waits at the finish line to applaud other runners home and lives a clean, plant-based lifestyle.

I became a bit of a Jurek fan-boy. I spent my days watching clips on YouTube, downloading interview podcasts, buying his book Eat & Run and following him on every social medium going.

Then a couple of years ago, while looking through his twitter timeline about his various travels, I asked him whether he was ever coming to the UK.

I almost had a heart attack when he actually replied.

JUREK TWEET

He was coming over to London to start the actual race that I was training for, the Royal Parks Foundation Ultra.

Before that, he was going to be doing a signing of his book. OMG I MIGHT GET TO MEET HIM.

So nervously clutching my copy of his book, I made my way to VegFest 2013 at Earls Court.

But any anxieties I may have had were immediately dispelled when I got to the front of the queue and sat down opposite Scott to have my book signed.

Even sat down he was very tall. He was very polite and quiet and asked what I was training for.

When I told him that is was the 50k the next day, he said I should go home soon and take it easy.

I asked for an awkward picture and he duly obliged. Actually, I asked for the picture and somehow made it awkward by putting on a silly grin.

Then he signed my book and wrote a lovely message that at the same time inspired and congratulated me.

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The next day I did what he told me, dug deep and completed my first ever ultramarathon.

So ignore anyone who tells you to not to meet your heroes.

I did, he lived up to his place on a pedestal and still continues to inspire me today.

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Day 10

Total words: 2999
Total miles: 38.5 (pending afternoon run)

#writeandrun31

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