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4.6 out of 5 stars147
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on 18 January 2015
A very enjoyable read, particularly for those 'recreational' runners who are thinking of dipping a toe into Ultra running. Having said 'recreational', I have to say that Ira clearly has a job/family life more suited to committing time to running than I have! But the book is certainly inspirational as a means of maximising any available moment to training, such as his runs to/ from work or lunchtimes; options not open to myself. He also highlights the value of running with others: either workmates at lunch, club mates in the week, or social friends at the weekend. Interesting to read as I am very much in the 'lone runner, bit of peace and quiet, go at my pace' type of guy! But regardless of the differences I may have with Ira in terms of the aforementioned training pattern, this was a brilliant read demonstrating what can be achieved by the 'ordinary' guy in the street who demonstrates determination to achieve a goal. He gives valuable information without lecturing or condescending, he describes his runs with just the right amount of information so that you are interested without receiving a blow by blow account, and also highlights the notion that, once you run a certain distance, it becomes as much about the mind as the body! I fully recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject. As a footnote, Ira is well worth a follow on Twitter and regularly replies to any questions/ comments you may give. I am already looking into purchasing a pair of trainers on his recommendation! Buy the book and get inspired!
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on 20 July 2014
I picked up this book having been given it as a gift. Not being an active gal it was more out of politeness when I opened it up to have a read. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I got into it, especially as my preferred choice of book are chick lits and ones selected from a best-seller shelf at a generic supermarket.

Firstly, the book is very well written in a style that encourages you to keep going. It amazed me how quickly each chapter went by - and not because I was skipping words as I have been known to do in the past. The ease in which the book took me through it's journey enabled me to read it in two sittings. I just wanted to keep reading.

Secondly, it opened up a world unbeknown to me. When knowing that people were 'out on a run' my response was generally 'oh, OK!' but I now understand how much effort, determination and resilience is put in (along with duct tape, OS maps and some kind of gel that you eat!). Now I can nod with the knowledge of what a run entails rather then being ignorant of all that is involved. I also was able to relate to places mentioned as I live in Bristol.

Finally, it had made me think about needing to exercise more and my own state of health. Whilst I'm in no fit state to sign up for my own Green Man Challenge, the outdoors is calling and I have a summer ahead in which I really should go and explore it more. Maybe this book is my wake up call...

Overall, an enjoyable read which shows one man's personal journey, his own inspirations and achievements. Could it be yours?
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on 22 January 2016
A great inspiration, and fun to read. I chose this book because it promised a down-to-earth presentation of how to improve. The author made no claims that he was a born athlete (quite the opposite, even if he had a strong running base already), and he was open about personal motivations, progresses and setbacks, the need to combine the passion of running with a full-time job and a happy family. Lots of things I can sympathise with ... It was also a very pleasant surprise to discover we are (nearly) neighbours, so many of the runs he describes are runs I can now think of incorporating into my own training. And even the Green Man challenge will surely always remain a dream for me, it made discover a brand new exploration ground on my doorstep, for walking with the family. So, in more ways than one, this book has been inspirational.
(and I like the informal style ... I hope to one day bump into the author and congratulate him personally on his book, and his Green Man trophy :-))
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on 23 March 2016
**Fatman To Greenman From Unfit To Ultramarathon**

This story is a warm account of a middle aged guy from Bristol (my hometown) who after learning his colleague has terminal cancer decides to change his life and sets himself the huge challenge of running a 45 mile ultra called "The green man"

If you have ever found yourself like I have wondering just how much goes into preparing for a race that long then this book really lifts the lid on exactly how much training and preparation went into a race that would span 10 hours. Rainey shares his journey from being a larger man to someone who is a shadow of his former self, the book shows the mental changes and most heartwarming were the friendships made on his journey.

I personally enjoyed the book because he was speaking of places I knew and races I had completed. Bristol is a big city and Rainey really did explore most of it on foot, in the rain and other undesirable conditions, which is typical of the U.K and runners will appreciate just how hard it is to get out the door on days when it's cold wet and miserable.

Rainey speaks also as a husband and a father and makes comical references to how to balance his passion for running but also remain married! The focus of the book is not just his journey but other work friends and ruining club friends who also contributed to his success. Because let's be honest we rarely take the path less traveled alone do we, we all have a team around us in life that help and support us.

I really enjoyed the book and couldn't put it down, it was interesting, funny and very inspiring especially for someone like myself who is also undertaking this journey this year. I would recommend this book for anyone who has a dream that from the outside looks impossible but from the inside you know what needs to be done to get it to become a reality. This book shows you just how you can go from ordinary to extraordinary.

Jemma Lewis
Clevedon
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on 27 April 2014
Really enjoyed this book, had me in fits of laughter at times, but throughout the true running spirit shone through.
We are all runners at heart.
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on 11 January 2014
There are loads of this sort of book around. This one is actually worth reading. Unassuming, engaging and natural. Fair play.
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on 22 January 2014
This book is a must read for any athlete who has experienced the highs and lows of training for a big race.

It is brilliantly written and contains a great deal of subtle humour even through the darkest times
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on 14 January 2014
In Fat Man to Green Man Ira Rainey has expressed universal truths through close attention to the gritty human details of the journey from average club runner to ultra-marathon runner. The book provides an account of the course of the Green Man Challenge, which is accurate enough to help anyone who wants to follow in his footsteps and his description of his training is backed up by scientific research. However, this is no dry technical account. The quality of the writing is such that the book could grip the attention of someone who was not interested in running. This is because the book is really about mortality and what it possible to do once one has come to terms with human limitations and has decided to see what one can achieve in spite of them. This book has a humorous tone, but it shows ordinary people achieving greatness in the face of flood, injury, illness and death. It is a book about running, but it is also a book about life itself.
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on 19 December 2013
Having been brought up as a distance-runner reading books by Ron Hill, Jim Fixx, Dean Karnazes and others I found this a cracking book from beginning to end. It's extremely well-written, very funny (Ira has a nice line in self-deprecating humour) but also very sad in places.

A good test of a book like this is whether or not you really want the athlete to succeed in his goal. In this book you're right with him from page one with fingers crossed throughout. In the training diary chapters you can almost smell the damp winter air, and feel the mud oozing round your ankles. He even makes the science bits interesting with simple clarification. If this doesn't make you want to put yours shoes on and go for a run, nothing will.

I read this in practically one sitting (I think another sign of a well-written book) If you know a runner, buy this book for them. They will absolutely love it!
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on 5 January 2015
Being Bristol born and bred, I knew I would enjoy this book as it's always fun knowing the places mentioned. However, this book is way more than a guide to Bristols (and Baths) running routes. It's an inspirational book about how far you can push yourself with some solid training and a bit of self belief (even when that self belief may be slightly delusional!)

I really enjoyed it and Ira's writing style is very amusing. It hasn't convinced me to enter the green man but who knows I might in 2016!! All runners should read this book as they will recognise some of the same behaviours and challenges that running throws at us. I will be using duct tape for all toe nail and blister injuries from now on!!! Top tip.

If you are considering an ultra or just want to know more about running buy this book and if you are local to Bristol then it's e enjoy more fun.
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