A day in the Lakes with SCOTT JUREK

Scott Jurek ©iancorless.com

It started like this, ‘Pardon for the last minute message, but I just found out I will have this Friday free when I arrive in London. Are you available to do a run? Is there something we could do in the mountains-trails within striking distance of London. I fly into Heathrow at 7am Friday.’ Scott Jurek

Now Scott and myself had discussed running together at some point in time, however, this message came as a bolt out of the blue. Ironically, I received this email as I was leaving Colorado after covering the UROC race in Vail. Scott lives in Boulder, so, we were actually only 90-mins away from each other!

I initially looked for trails close to London but Scott insisted, he wanted to come to the Lakes. So committed was he and Jenny that he changed his flights and arrived in Heathrow at 0500 on Friday after a 9-hour flight. They travelled across London and then jumped on a train to arrive midday in Windermere.

I was well aware that this was Scott’s first ever trip to the UK, so, it was important to provdie an opportunity for people to join us. I offered the chance for 8 people to join us. Quite simply, email in and names would be selected out of hat.

I contacted The Climbers Shop in Ambleside and they offered a venue for us to meet and they also provided the facilities for a ‘meet and greet’ with Scott later in the day at 5pm.

Needless to say it was a memorable day for all involved and Scott loved the Lakes, the views, the trails and the terrain.

Will he be back…?

Nothing is 100% but don’t rule out a return trip for an attempt on some ’rounds’ and you never know, the UTLD may just be on his bucket list before he retires.

I’d like to thank Scott Jurek and his wife, Jenny for a memorable day and being so committed to run with some serious jet lag and fatigue.

Marc Laithwaite, RD for the Lakeland 100 and 50 who gave up his day to join us. Not a difficult decision I imagine.

I’d like to thank The Climbers Shop for great last minute help and cooperation with a venue. The 8 runners who joined us for a memorable run on the trails and all those who came to the shop for autographs and photographs later in the day.

Images available for personal and commercial use HERE

Scott Jurek in the English Lakes

Scott Jurek - iancorless.com ©scottjurek

Image ©BenMoon scottjurek.com

 

Scott Jurek, arguably one of the most dominant ultra marathon runners of our time will come to the English Lakes on Friday 04th October.

Scott Jurek, seven times winner of the iconic Western States 100-mile run, winner of the Hardrock 100 in 2007, winner of the Badwater Ultramartathon in 2005/06, winner of Spartathlon 2006/07 and 08, previous US record holder for the 24-hour running a distance of 165.7 miles in Brive La Gaillarde in 2010 and most recently author of the book, Eat & Run will come to the English Lakes on Friday the 4th October as part of a whistle stop journey to the UK.

Scott will be attending the London Vegfest on the 5th/6th October at London Olympia (here) and will be at the Bloomsbury Institute on Monday 7th October (here) in the continued worldwide promotion of his book, Eat and Run. Despite an extremely busy schedule, Scott has found the time to coordinate a run and impromptu meet and greet with Ian Corless (photographer/writer at iancorless.com and host/creative director of ultra running podcast, Talk Ultra) in the English Lakes.

Ian has interviewed Scott multiple times and they have often discussed the possibilty to run and enjoy the best of the UK’s trails and mountains. ‘It’s a conversation Scott and I have had several times. He told me the last time we chatted that one day he would make the trip and run in the Lakes. Of course, I never thought it would happen’ Ian explained.

‘It has been extremely short notice, ironically, I was in Colorado when I got Scott’s message. He was literally just ninety minutes away. He expressed interest to run on Friday and so I went to work immediately’ explained Ian, ‘Originally we looked at London possibilities due to time pressures but Scott came back to me and inisisted that it was the Lakes that he wanted to come to. In some respects, this was better for me. I know the Lakeland 100 and 50 routes very well so I contacted Marc Laithwaite, the Lakeland 100/50 race director and a plan was put into place’.

Scott is a legend of ultra running and as such demand to run with him is expected to be high. Therefore Ian is providing the option for eight people to join Scott, Jenny his wife, Marc and of course Ian on the trails this Friday with an estimated start time of 1:00pm. Location and details to be provided via email.

If you’d like to be in with a chance to join the run, you need to email talkultra@gmail.com before midday Thursday 03rd October providing your name, email address and telephone number.

To avoid disappointment and to maximize the opportunity of Scott coming to the North West, Ian has contacted The Climbers Shop, Ambleside and they will host a meet and greet opportunity at 5pm, Friday 4th October. This will be an open event allowing everyone the opportunity to get a photograph, autograph or maybe even get a copy of Eat and Run signed.

Ian went on to say, ‘I was well aware of the interest and demand that Scott would  bring and of course, just eight peoiple joining us on the trails leaves many people disapponted. So I contacted The Climbers Shop and they have kindly stepped in at the elevnth hour and are providing a venue for everyone to meet’.

The Climbers Shop is located in the centre of Ambleside on Compston Road, LA22 9D2.

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Scott Jurek – Leadville 100 pre race interview

Image taken from scottjurek.com ©scottjurek

Image taken from scottjurek.com ©scottjurek

Scott Jurek, Leadville 100 2013, pre race interview

It has been some years since Scott Jurek lined up on a 100-mile start line, but he is back! After some time away from competitive running, Scott has recently got married, wrote a book and successfully promoted that book all over the world. He will be 40 in October and although he admits that he may not race competitively for too much longer, he does say he has some good racing left in him…

IC – I am joined by Scott Jurek just days ahead of Leadville 100. Welcome back Scott.

SJ – Thanks Ian it is great to be here.

IC – Scott Jurek lining up on a 100-mile start line causes some interest and we are all wondering what is tempting you back. What is bringing you back to a 100-mile start line again?

SJ – I always had it in the back of my mind to come back to Leadville after I ran here in 2004 as part of the ‘Grand Slam’. Now that I live in Colorado it made perfect sense to run the home course so to speak. I am looking forward to getting back in the swing. I have been very busy for a few years with my book and I had a ton of effort prior to its release to get that done. It has been fun training hard and getting up high again. Leadville is a great race. It has lots of excitement around it. I have done Western States so many times that it made sense to come back to a race that I had not been at for almost a decade.

IC – Is Leadville the start of something new or is this is a one-off?

SJ – Laughs, new as in racing 100’s again?

IC – Exactly.

SJ – I have mentioned before that I will retire. I turn 40 in October. I have a few more goals and I know many people would love to see Scott Jurek race forever. I love to race, I love the sport, and you know it is almost twenty years now since I started. At some point, maybe next year I will wind things down. I have goals, particularly the 24-hour, I want the American record back and I am interested in the world record. We have so many great races now that it is hard to know what to do. I have a few more in me and I want to give it a go!

IC – You mentioned twenty years in the sport. We look back at your career, nobody questions your ability, multiple wins at Western States, in many ways you have created the community and the sport, not single-handed, other people obviously were influential. Do you feel the sport has moved on, although 40 is not old do you feel that at 40 you can’t be competitive anymore?

SJ – It’s a great question. Look at Western States this year! Mike Morton came back after a long hiatus and he was up at the front, he is in his 40’s. He had an incredible race. I believe that we only have so many great races and great years. I want to continue to have a great taste for the sport. I don’t want to burnt out. I want to be involved, help out and run for fun as a mid-packer. From a competition point of view, I would be lying, particularly if you look at research that it is hard to be at the top of the game. My body feels great but mentally it is hard to get out of the door sometimes. Day after day, month after month, particularly if you want to win. You come to a point, maybe it’s physical or mental, but we know muscles and nerves don’t react as quick, so, it’s definitely one of those things. I don’t limit myself but it does get harder, Scott Jurek is getting older and the field is getting younger and younger. I started in my 20’s; it is different to starting in your 30’s.

IC – Yes, you must look back now over you’re career and think to yourself that you are in a great place. You were setting the standard, you have seen the sport grow and expand. Ultra has never been stronger. We have never had so many races. We have never witnessed so many new CR’s. It must be satisfying?

SJ – It’s great. I came into the sport and I remember the old timers saying, ‘things are changing, we need to keep it the same’. I think like anything we have evolution and change, it’s a great thing for the sport. Of course we have some issues. Races are harder to get into. Twenty years ago you could enter Leadville at the last minute, not now! We have drawbacks but we have so many benefits. People are inspired and have great life experiences. We need to share what we have. Obviously we hold on to tradition and the simple aspects of the sport that make it special. More changes will come; prize money, competition and hopefully we will see more drug testing. At the core the sport will remain the same. I want to be involved in that even if I am not racing at the top level. It is something I have life experience with and I want to make sure that is passed on.

IC – I posted on Facebook asking, were people excited Scott Jurek was racing at Leadville. Of course we had great comments and support. Funnily enough, within twenty-four hours I found out that Ann Trason was toeing a 100-mile start line in September, so there is hope you may continue… we never thought Ann would run again.

SJ – I have known Ann for years particularly in her peak. She retired through injury. I think from what I have heard that Ann has a great attitude. She was even pacing at Western States this year randomly. That is a true champion. I am not sure what her goals are. Will she race or is she racing for fun? She may want to be part of the community. She was a competitive force. It’s just great to see her back out in the community. She also race directed for a few years. It’s a great sign; it is what the sport is about. It is about giving back. We all love to see champs come back and win but maybe Ann does not have that desire, it’s just super to see her back.

IC – One thing I did say when I posted was that as far as I was concerned, it didn’t matter if Ann was first or last. What was important was that she was back racing. That was all that counted. You mentioned that you personally don’t want to stop running and that you are more than happy to be a mid-packer. Do you think that Scott Jurek can ever be a mid-packer?

SJ – Definitely. I have gone to races and paced, I have helped at races. I have run an event for the fun; I have run with my wife. For me I have the right approach to it. It is hard sometimes to be a top athlete and not be pushing for the win. It is healthy for me though. It is nice to cruise along, hang out at feed stations and have fun. I am at the point that I can turn off the competitive juices as and when I want to. I am looking forward to doing the events that I haven’t been able to do. I want to do lower key events and that includes International races. It’s a good place to be and it is a good lesson for all, it is not always about goals and PR’s.

Image taken from scottjurek.com ©scottjurek

Image taken from scottjurek.com ©scottjurek

IC – Absolutely.

SJ – You can get bogged down. Just go out and embrace the experience. That is why we do it isn’t it? Experiences are what count.

IC – You mention competitive juices and Leadville 100 is about to take place. An out and back course in the Colorado Rockies with plenty of altitude and Hope Pass the highest point. Are you going into this to win?

SJ – You bet! I am here to do whatever it takes to run my best time and ideally win this race. I have put in the training. I am mentally prepared. My goal is to win… Ryan Sandes is here from South Africa, he and I ran together a few weeks back. Nick Clark and Ian Sharman are doing the Grand Slam; they may be a little tired. Nick is a Colorado guy, used to altitude and is tough. Mike Aish dropped last year but he may put it right this year. Leadville has no qualifier, you can literally have never run a 10k and sign up. This can throw up some surprises. Someone may turn up and pull it off. It is an exciting race. Many people don’t realize it is our biggest race, 1200 people will toe the line on Saturday. It has loads of excitement and fun because of the out and back; 50 out, 50 back.

Image taken from scottjurek.com ©scottjurek

Image taken from scottjurek.com ©scottjurek

IC – Of course you will get to see how the race unfolds on the out and back too. In the past you have paced Anton Krupicka at Leadville, earlier this year you paced Seb Chaigneau at Hardrock 100. Who will pace you at Leadville?

(Laughs)

SJ – Well my old buddy Justin will pace, he has paced and crewed for me at Badwater, and Spartathlon he has seen me in some high moments and some low moments. It’s great to have him back. I have a surprise pacer; I wont release that info just yet. It’s a secret. You’ll see at Hope Pass. I went old school with my pacers, guys who have been around for a few years…

IC – Is Ann Trason going to pop up and pace?

(Laughter)

SJ – I will give you a clue, not Ann Trason! You have to remember at Leadville you can ‘mule’. Pacers can carry bottles and food and whatever may be required. It is in recognition of the miners who used to use mules. So, a pacer may be carrying three bottles. It’s kind of unique. It makes it harder for the pacer…

IC – Sounds like you have got it easy Scott. The pacer has the tough job.

(Laughter)

SJ – Maybe in some respects but they only need to do 25 miles.

IC – Awesome. I am going to let you go. I am taking up precious recovery time getting ready for the race. We will catch up with you after the race and get the lowdown on the action. Obviously on behalf of everyone I would like to wish you all the best. It’s great to see you back on a 100-mile start again.

SJ – I am looking forward to it. It’s gonna be fun and we will catch up after!

LINKS:

Scott Jurek website HERE 

Brooks HERE

Eat and Run HERE

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