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Legendary adventure runner Scott Jurek has said that running is a solo sport requiring absolute mental focus. But, if there was one person this 2016 Adventurer of the Year would want on the trail with him, Jurek would choose Mahatma Gandhi — another master of psychological.

Over his 20-year career, Jurek has helped popularize the sport of ultramarathon and aced many of its most challenging races. He won the Western States Endurance Run seven consecutive times, nailed the 152-mile Spartathlon in Greece three years in a row, and still holds the U.S. record for distance covered on all surfaces within 24 hours, at 165.7 miles.

Last year, Jurek achieved a new speed record for completing the Appalachian Trail: 46 days, eight hours, and seven minutes. We recently caught up with Jurek and gave our Facebook community the chance to ask him anything, from his recommendations for pre-race nutrition to his retirement plans.

[bs-quote quote=”Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” style=”style-5″ align=”left” color=”#000000″ author_name=”Ralph Waldo Emerson” author_job=”Essayist” author_avatar=”http://dautugiatri.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/retro-magazine-quote-avatar.png”]

I love feeling like a kid again and having the freedom to explore my surroundings on my own power. Running behind my house in the northwoods of Minnesota is where I got my start, building trails and forts, hunting and fishing. I also love the feeling of exploring the edge of my potential and getting myself out of adversity. The AT was the ultimate test for me. There’s also nothing like the feeling of adventure and [discovering] what lies around the corner of a trail.

I love 100-mile races with lots of elevation gain and loss for the ultimate challenge and ability to control my destiny. One-hundred-mile races and long adventure runs like the AT put me in situations where I have to tap into primal instincts and be adaptable to unexpected obstacles. They are a lot like life!

Unfortunately not, and it is a tricky aspect of our sport. Some runners like to be involved and give back to the support during their active career and I think this is key transitioning to retirement. Some athletes prefer to step away and do something new and I think that is great too. Lots of industry jobs exist with running and outdoor companies as options and keeping strong relationships during the racing years is key. Unfortunately, and maybe fortunately, there is not a lot money in the sport, so passion and doing it for the love of it is the best approach. Some things don’t change!

Over his 20-year career, Jurek has helped popularize the sport of ultramarathon and aced many of its most challenging races. He won the Western States Endurance Run seven consecutive times, nailed the 152-mile Spartathlon in Greece three years in a row, and still holds the U.S. record for distance covered on all surfaces within 24 hours, at 165.7 miles.

Last year, Jurek achieved a new speed record for completing the Appalachian Trail: 46 days, eight hours, and seven minutes. We recently caught up with Jurek and gave our Facebook community the chance to ask him anything, from his recommendations for pre-race nutrition to his retirement plans. I love 100-mile races with lots of elevation gain and loss for the ultimate challenge and ability to control my destiny.

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