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on 8 March 2017
Found this true story inspirational. It fascinated me and kept me turning pages until the end. Definitely worth a read
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on 5 May 2017
A brilliantly funny and yet sad insight to the world of an ultramarathon beginner. A must read for anyone wanting to run.
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on 5 March 2017
OK read, but not Feet in the Clouds
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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 21 October 2014
Whilst I really liked the writer and his style, I was disappointed to find very little story in this book. Unlike other inspirational running books the author mentions (e.g. Ultramarathon Man) this is simply a book about a guy who goes from running marathons to a slightly longer distance.. With extensive details of quite dull training runs inbetween and obsessive mapping of his reasonably underwhelming 40ish mile course. Having said that I did find the book very easy to read!
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on 29 August 2017
Excellent book.
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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 26 October 2014
I hazard a guess and say that this mess of a book has been self-published. It certainly doesn't appear as though a professional editor has been near it. So badly written, self-indulgent and with a sense of "humour" that made me groan most of the time.
There are so many great books on running out there, stay clear of this one.
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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 27 June 2014
Duped by the blurb. Don't think for a minute that the author has in anyway been transformed from a fat lazy couch potato into a superfit ultra marathon runner. Prior to taking on the "challenge" he had run numerous marathons including one only a year or so earlier in under 3 hours 45. So it is somewhat misleading and cynical to market the book as "unfit to ultramarathon" , not quite sure how unfit Mr Rainey was at the start of this process. From the fancy pants tests he undergoes at the start it seems not unfit at all. Perhaps the sub title would have been more accurate if it had been " fitter than most people to ultramarathon", not quite as catchy.

Perhaps his training partner who had only been running for 2 years, in contrast to Mr Raineys 11 years, would have been a more appropriate person to document his experience, he did complete the race in a faster time as well !

In truth, a very disappointing read. However, if you have a thirst for knowledge about little training runs to go on in the Bristol area, which pads out most of this dirge, then this could be just the book for you.
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