Angeles Crest: A Memoir by Michael Modzelewski, hard cover, 261 pages, Adventures Unlimited (2000), ISBN: 0966062590
At the starting line of "The Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run", a reporter asked entrant Michael Modzelewski: "How long have you been training for this race?" "All my life," the runner replied without hesitation. And it's an inspiring and entertaining life that Modzelewski describes in this memoir. Along with a "timeline" description of what it's like to run 100 continuous miles through wild country, the author weaves in growing up in the value-laden Midwest; youthful rambles through Europe and the American West; and working as an adventure travel writer, seeking out the offbeat and unusual in exotic places around the world. Angeles Crest is about family: reuniting with an estranged brother as they run the ultramarathon together, supported by the love of a famous father. Infused with a protective passion for Nature, the author describes the effects of varied landscapes upon the human psyche. There are many close encounters with wildlife, including alligators in the Everglades, elephants in Africa, pumas in Patagonia, and a transformative Dream-Bear that helps explain to Modzelewski his astonishing experiences with an Angel and Extraterrestrials. Angeles Crest is a tour de force, showing a man not only tapping the depths of human potential by running 100 miles, but also in exploring the mysteries of the universe, the author finishes with answers for us all.