reading MY LIFE ON THE RUN (a book review of sorts)

Posted: December 2, 2008 in FHinlife, my trips 2008, running
Tags: , , ,

“Do you know Bart Yasso?” Vicky asks.

“Yasso? You mean Yasso of the Yasso 800s?” I turn to ask Vicky a bit bewildered. I am actually scanning the expo grounds looking for the Brooks booth. I had seen a flyer that said Brian Sell was going to be there. And I was a girl on a mission. Batgirl wanted her Christmas gift early. I was going through a list in my head.. one huge bright red ribbon, lotsa christmas wrappers, one extra large  (balikbayan) box, Brian Sell… So many things to look for, so little time!

“Well, the man over there is wearing a name tag that says Bart Yasso,” replies Vicky who rarely misses anything with her accountant’s eagle eye.

“Oh! Let’s go say hello then!” I reply excitedly. I know Bart Yasso. Well, I don’t, not personally. But I’ve seen his pictures on the website of Runner’s World and he has smiling eyes and a great body errr…smile. I’ve also read a number of running stories with him in it. Enough for me to know that this man is definitely someone special in the running world. Someone I’d love to have a chat with if I ever got a chance. Well, here it was…So we walk over to his booth. He is sitting on top of the table stacked with books. His books! 

yasssobookMY LIFE ON THE RUN: The wit, wisdom, and insights of a road racing icon. 

Runner’s World and a number of bookseller’s online posted this description of his book. I’ve read a chapter and then some but I’m saving most of it for later. With my crazy busy schedule right now, even reading hours have to be scheduled. So far though I’ve found it to be a very entertaining read brimming with humor and insights on running and life in general. Definitely turning out to be one of those books I’d like to savor.

Here’s how the book is described on major bookseller sites:

Dubbed the “Mayor of Running,” Bart Yasso is one of the best-known figures in the sport, but few people know why he started running competitively, how it changed his life, or how his brush with a crippling illness nearly ended his career a decade ago. With insight and humor, My Life on the Run chronicles the heatstroke and frostbite, heartache and triumphs he’s experienced while competing in more than 1,000 competitive races during his nearly 30 years with Runner’s World magazine.  Yasso gives valuable and practical advice on how to become a runner for life and continually draw joy from the sport. He also offers practical guidance for beginners, intermediate, and advanced runners, such as 5-K, half-marathon, and marathon training schedules including his innovative technique known as the Yasso 800s.      Recounting his adventures in exotic locales like Antarctica, Africa, and Chitwan National Park in Nepal (where he was chased by an angry rhino), Yasso recommends the best exotic marathons for runners who want to grab their passports to test themselves on foreign terrain. With the wit and wisdom of a seasoned insider, he tells runners what they need to know to navigate the logistics of running in an unfamiliar country.      Yasso’s message is this: Never limit where running can take you because each race has the potential for adventure.

About the Author

BART YASSO is the Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World magazine. He has completed more than 1,000 races, triathlons, biathlons, and eco-challenges over the past 25 years. He has run a majority of American marathons and at least one on all seven continents. In 2007 he was inducted into the Running USA Hall of Champions in recognition of his contribution, impact, and dedication to the sport.

KATHLEEN PARRISH is an award-winning writer and former special projects reporter at The Morning Call in Pennsylvania and a freelance writer for Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Over the last months, I’ve been inserting a few running books into my regular reading list. Reading Dean Karnazes’ “Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner” gave me an adrenaline pumping high. I wanted to go out and run at three in the morning! It was that good.  Pam Reed’s “The Extra Mile: One Woman’s Personal Journey to Ultra-Running Greatness” and Haruki Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” were much more mellow in their approach and storytelling pace. I didn’t get all psyched up to run but they did allow enough interesting glimpses into their running world to keep me wanting more. This book by Bart Yasso is promising to generate the same kind of thrill I got from Karnazes’ Ultramarathon Man. That’s why I decided to save it for the plane trip to Singapore. As I head out towards my first marathon, I want my head filled with good, fascinating stories. Stories that will entertain me and keep me company in my 4 to 5 hour run through Singapore’s streets. I don’t expect Bart Yasso will fail me.

“So what are you two ladies up to?” Bart Yasso asks.

“Haha, taking a break from stalking Brian Sell!” I reply. “My friend here saw you from across the aisle. She’s having an attack of shy but we are both just wanting to get a photo with you!”  I’m actually just as star struck as Vicky is so I’m trying very hard not to act like a giddy child who’s had way too much sugar… 

“Oh, is that all?” Bart replies, “well come on over…”pb150123

And so we get our photo, a few stories and some laughs besides. He also wished us luck for the half marathon after he found out we had crossed an ocean and then some just to be there. I don’t think he knew what to make of us. I guess he could understand traveling great distances for a full, but a half?  But then again, I told him there were lots more like us back home…a bunch of people ready to do something a little silly, perhaps also a whole lot crazy, just to get some good running in… Just like him!  And after that he handed us our books, one for Vicky and one for me, both signed by the Mayor of Running himself!


Now if only Brian Sell was just as easy to find! After our pitstop Vicky and I once again set out cheerfully to hunt the man down. And I find myself wondering very briefly if I will also need to add a big heavy club to my list…

  1. lonerunner says:

    Goodjob! 🙂

    Teynks! 😉

  2. prometheuscometh says:

    Bart Yasso held your shirt! Don’t ever wash that shirt!

    Haha! I know! It’s sharing closet space now with the discarded purple chaleco of Kuya Germs that I picked up in Cubao! One day soon I’m going to make a killing on Ebay.

  3. sundaywarrior says:

    Hey Mesh, any plans for a pre race dinner with the group on Saturday?

    Why not? I’m game for anything. I’ve already got a list of good pasta places. RunMD has our numbers. Won’t we see each other at the expo?

  4. DATC says:

    Great quotable quote! And your first pic of yourself in this blog too I believe 🙂

    It is, isn’t it? 😉 so marathon na ba? 30K and counting… woohoo! the more friends to share the marathon road with, the merrier talaga!

  5. sundaywarrior says:

    I’ll be at the expo probably on Friday between 5-6pm, anyway I’ll ask Dingdong to text na lang where your plan is, good luck Mesh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s