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4.6 out of 5 stars
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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 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 5 July 2016
Very funny and a great read for runners. I read it (electronic) cover to cover in a day as wanted to find out how Ira fared in his ultimate goal - of running the 45 Green Man Ultra around Bristol. Any runner will enjoy the humour of early mornings in the rain, avoiding bulls and the travails of sore feet. I tweeted Ira after finishing the book to let him know how much I enjoyed it, and within 5 minutes he was trying to talk me into Ultra running. Thanks Ira for a great read
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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
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on 12 March 2014
If you are training for a running race this will show you what you can be capable of. This is an honest, humorous entertaining account of what it is to push your self.

He is heavy (circa 17 stone) at 6 foot high, his story covers his training diary as he ups the mileage and drops the weight for his first ultra marathon.

I'm training for my second and third half marathon and have found his experiences very useful.

Everyone is different but we all have potential, this will give you a detailed insight into what is required as you attempt your next/ first 5k and beyond.
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on 4 August 2016
Absolutely loved this book. It was truly inspirational. The fact that an ordinary person with no real athletic background could actually achieve that much is incredible. It makes me feel I stand a chance of going further in running without being an elite. From my point of view Ira became almost elite in his achievement by the end of the book due to great determination and drive. The fact he also suffered some illness and injury, makes him seem mortal like the rest of us! Up to that point I was beginning to think of him as a Super Human!!

The book was very readable and made you interested in all the characters he described.I have never done Ultra Running, but it gave a great introduction to it. From being something I thought I would never consider, it has made me think it could be on the cards one day! The detailed and colourful descriptions of the routes he ran made visualisation of them easy, and the unexpected photos at the end were a lovely bonus which showed me if my visualisations had been correct! I really wanted Ira to succeed in his goals. He is an extremely likeable person and the sentiments he shared with us about the other characters in the book were genuinely touching. I laughed as well as shedding a tear!

Now when I am out training I think of him, and feel the Marathon and a good time is within my reach! Thank you Ira!
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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 6 March 2014
This is a great read and a lovely story. It's a treat to read about a real runner not some superhuman athlete and Ira's story is as compelling as it is "ordinary." Well written with a nice line in self depreciating humour the book flies along (dare I say it quicker than some of the runs!) and it's over all too soon. A great book to make you motivated to slip non the running shoes and hit the trails!
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on 19 January 2014
I confess up front, I've met Ira. He kindly offered to give me some tips and hints on my first attempt at The Green Man over a coffee back at the tail end of 2013. Not only are he and Rudi (his friend and fellow runner) great company but both are immensely supportive and knowledgeable.
However the book stands on its own two feet as a great tale of running and personal progress. It charts Ira's decision to challenge himself by completing an ultra, his training, his success and failures, plus of course his eventual triumph and what came afterwards.
If you're going to buy a book on running today, then this is the one for you. Promise.
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on 7 April 2015
Very easy to read and a great insight into Ira's life when he was training for an Ultra. It includes battling his weight to getting the fitness to complete such a feat. If your a runner and your unsure if you could do an ultrA you have to read this. It will give you the belief!
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