Good morning bookworms! I was so happy to read another nonfiction with my friend Anna @anna.andthebooks on Instagram. We had a great voice memo discussion after we both finished.
North is the story of Scott Jurek running the entire Appalachian Trail in 47 days going from the south to the north. His wife Jenny Jurek crews for him the entire time and occasionally adds her point of view in the memoir.
This memoir is gritty and honest. There is so much going on in those 47 days, navigating the trail, running 40-50 miles per day, trying to eat enough food, getting injured and trying not to get lost. But the most interesting part I found was how many people wanted to run with Scott. People were constantly popping up on him in the morning or evening wanting to run with him, and he had a hard time saying no. There was so much support for him, racing to complete the whole trail as fast as possible, but it was like he was a celebrity and everyone wanted a piece of him. I remember following along on his instagram back in 2015 and watching him progress. But some people went a lot further than that, including scaring his wife and being a bit creepy.
I was shocked by how few times Scott thought about giving up. I feel like I would be thinking about it daily. But he only had a few low moments where he wanted to stop and go home. One of those being when his wife was being harassed by someone that wanted to meet Scott. But Jenny convinced him to stay, and from that point forward she tried to schedule her days so that she had at least one friend with her crewing and wasn’t alone.
I’ve never done a race longer than a marathon, but I’ve always thought it would be cool to do a longer one. Something that took a whole weekend to complete. I think what Scott Jurek did, and everyone else who has completed the whole Appalachian Trail, is so admirable. It’s inspiring seeing how far the limits of the human spirit and body can be pushed.
If you like memoirs, and particularly ones about running or pushing the limits, I would recommend this one. I would also recommend Spirit Run by Noe Alvarez and Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. All really amazing memoirs.