The Ultimate Challenge: Running Ultra Marathons by Walt Esser, paperback, 90 pages, Old Mountain Press (2000), ISBN: 1884778968
Man has been running from the beginning of time, when survival depended on swiftness of foot. Today, in our technological age, running for most people is optional. Men and women choose to run for multiple reasons, including health, fitness, competition, stress release, and fun. Those select few who choose to run ultramarathons are a special breed. Why? Because they choose to accomplish something that is beyond the grasp of most people. They have eagerly and enthusiastically accepted the ultimate challenge to compete in long-distance running events. They endure all the aches, pains, and heartaches of running hundreds of training miles just to participate in one race. Hopefully there will be some enjoyment and fun mixed with all the hard work. The "journey" is experiencing everything that goes on in the heart, body, and mind. The "journey" is the destination. On race day, all the hard work, all the sacrifices, and all the planning will pay off with dividends beyond description. Completing an ultra-endurance run, regardless of where you place, will satisfy your inner being and bring a smile to your face every time you see yourself crossing the finish line. Fred Lebow, former New York Road Runners president who died in 1994, said quite honestly: "In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished'. There is a lot of satisfaction in that". The author Walt Esser has been running competitively for over 35 years. He has run hundreds of races over the years ranging in distances from five kilometers to ultramarathons. Ultramarathons completed have been the "Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run", the "Leadville Trail 100", the "Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run" and multiple other 40 and 50 mile trail runs. This is his first book and he hopes that aspiring endurance athletes who read it will be inspired and accept the challenge of running an ultramarathon. To order a copy of this book you can either e-mail the author directly (waltesser(at)aol.com) or send a check in the amount of U.S. $12.95 plus $1.95 shipping and handling to: Walt Esser, 108 Tiercel Court, Cary, North Carolina 27511 (United States of America).