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Running And Stuff: A Book by James Adams

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James' wonderful book about his adventures in ultrarunning, available in hard copy.

I decided to write the introduction to this book myself. I could not trust even my closest friends to do the job for me. I was worried that they might try to sell you a lie. I feared that they might come up with some words like “James is an above average runner” or worse still, “James is actually quite good at this running thing”. I am not.

But I have run across America, 3200 miles in ten weeks during the worst heat wave in living memory. Not many people have done that. I have run in many amazing places over really long distances. Ernest Hemmingway said “there is no skill to writing, you just have to sit at the typewriter and bleed”. That has been my approach to both my running and my writing. I am not sure Churchill had ultra running in mind when he famously quoted his qualifications but that is all I have to offer you here: no skill or talent just blood, sweat, toil and tears smeared over 350 pages and six years.

This is not a treatise on how to achieve ultra marathon awesomeness. It is an honest account of what ultra marathon running does to a person. I sincerely hope you don’t finish reading this book with the opinion that I am any good at this. I hope you don’t describe me as being “super human “ or “crazy” or other terms I have grown used to over the years. Instead, my goal is that you might complete the fourth line of this series of logical statements in a similar way to the way that I did at the start of this journey:

1. James is a pretty regular guy
2. He’s done some amazing stuff
3.I’m a pretty regular guy/girl
4. -

REVIEWS

"I love James' book - it is absolutely enthralling and a honest account of what it takes to do extraordinary things (in James' case in running ultra distances - but the principles of self belief, determination, humbleness and positivity are applicable to so many areas of life). James recently read an excerpt from his book at the launch of Like the Wind magazine and the room full of hardened, experienced and most probably cynical runners were left speechless and open-mouthed in admiration. This is a really great book - well written, moving, funny and inspiring. Buy it because you won't be disappointed." - Simon Freeman - Owner of Freestak

"Running and Stuff is the story of one man's 3,200 mile run across the USA. Most ordinary people would consider this to be impossible, but James is no ordinary guy... Actually, he kind of is. And that's the point. I have followed James' exploits through his blog over the past few years, and always thoroughly enjoy his hilarious warts and all take on the whacky world of ultra running. Throughout this book you will laugh, you'll cry (and you might even gag a little bit), as James takes you with him on his journey from 'ordinary guy who never dreamt that he could run across a continent' to 'ordinary guy who did'. If you like running, comedy, and graphic portrayals of bodily functions, then this is the book for you!" - Sam Robson - Regular Centurion Runner 

"I recently purchased and finished reading James Adams book “Running and Stuff”. In this book James tells is about his introduction to long distance running from his early running to his first Ultra Marathon event (The Tring 2 Town). We then follow his exploits over the next few years as he undertakes bigger, longer and more difficult (except the Marathon Des Sables perhaps!) challenges. Each chapter dedicated to a different race and I really enjoyed visualising the environment and atmosphere of each event as he describes his own experiences in tackling each of these races. The book eventually culminates in the re-telling of his epic LANY (Los Angeles to New York) 3,200 mile run over the summer of 2011. Those people who follow James’s blog will be familiar with his open, honest and humorous style of writing. Nothing is glossed over as he recounts the physical pain and emotional turmoil he experiences during some of those low moments along with recounting those occasional moments of satisfaction. James has completed some incredible challenges and yet is quite humble about his achievements. His race reports, stories and anecdotes were easy to relate to, witty, highly entertaining and I found myself leaping from chapter to chapter in a rush to finish the book. Anyone who has an interest in long distance running or anyone who wants to hear a true to life account of an ordinary guys experiences undertaking some amazing challenges should pick up this book, it’s a fabulously entertaining read." - Paul Ali

"I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I have even made my wife read it. James has skilfully put into words the reality of ultra running. For me it's a well written book, I love the honesty in it, there is no over dramatisation or fluffy rubbish that usually litters these type of books. A no none sense book about ultra running and should be a must read for any ultra runner." - Craig Holgate