“Never limit where running can take you”
Those were the words carefully inscribed on the inside cover of my copy of My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon.
If ever there was a man who embodied this philosopy, that man is Bart Yasso.
Runner’s World’s Chief Running Officer, Bart’s running career has spanned more than three decades. His running has carried him through over 1,000 races across all seven continents. It has even earned him a place in running history as the founder of one of the most simultaneously loved and hated workouts, the Yasso 800′s.
“Never limit where running can take you” indeed.
“When I started running, I started dreaming”
“Enjoy the race tomorrow,” Bart said, handing me the now autographed copy of his 2008 autobiography.
There I stood, in front of this slight, gaunt man – a man whose legs had borne him over more miles, across more varied terrain, and through more incredible adventure than most human beings could ever imagine. The lessons of all those miles were written in his humble, welcoming smile as he handed me the book.
I worried for a moment that my only interaction with this running legend would be the timid “thank you” I had managed to eke out moments earlier. Then, just as I started to turn and walk away, I summoned to courage to utter, “Would you mind if we took a quick picture?”
“Running isn’t about how far you go, but how far you’ve come”
Perhaps no runner has been more essential to the expansion of the sport than Bart Yasso. Yet for all the good that he has done for running, in his typical humble fashion, Bart is the first to admit that running has done more good for him.
My Life on the Run takes you for a journey from Bart’s inauspicious beginnings as a young man who “only got high once in [his] life: from 1970 – 1977,” to his current status as the world renowned mayor of running.
The book wends its way through the desert, over mountains, and across the frozen Antarctic. Bart guides you through confrontations with Rhinocerous, ornery burros, and skua – antarctic birds with a penchant for slapping and, it would seem, impeccable aim. He leads you on a journey through nudist resorts, his marriage to ultrarunner Laura Kulsik, and his struggle with a debilitating Lyme infection. And he does it all with humor and aplomb.
My Life on the Run is the type of book that makes you want to be a better runner, and a better person. I only wish the tales of his journeys hadn’t ended so soon. But, I suppose I’ll simply have to bide my time until the next volume.
But wait! There’s more!
I recently reached out to his mayorship on behalf of the Midpack Runner readership. Bart has generously offered up two signed copies of My Life On The Run – one copy each for a lucky male and female Midpack Reader.
So where has running taken you? Leave me a comment telling me about the craziest, most unique race you’ve ever run (or would like to run). Then subscribe via RSS or email so you don’t miss the details on how to win your signed copy of My Life on the Run when they’re announced later this week.