Nowhere Near First: Ultramarathon Adventures From The Back Of The Pack, by Cory Reese, is a fantastic read. In this short fun book, “Fast Cory” tells his story in 30 bite-size chapters: how he became a runner, how he is motivated by his father’s untimely passing at a young age, how he got into running after being inspired to run the St. George Marathon (after two false starts), and how he ultimately evolved into a veteran of dozens of ultramarathons even if he’s usually at the back of the pack, nowhere near first.
Reese is an unlikely ultramarathon runner. As a matter of fact, Chapter 4 of Nowhere Near First is titled: “The Opposite of a Natural Born Runner”, and this book is nothing like other books I’ve ready by other ultramarathon runners. Where other ultrarunners pay close attention to diet, are extremely competitive, and have a carefully regimented training program, Reese’s favorite mid-race fuel is Hostess donuts washed down by Dr. Pepper and he has only two goals when running an ultramarathon: finish sometime and have a ridiculous amount of fun.
Reese is an avid blogger and the book reads like a series of blog posts. Each chapter is short and self-contained. You can easily jump into any chapter and enjoy a short story about his exploits running a random ultramarathon or hear his philosophy about ultrarunning.
Reese is an accomplished ultrarunner that the average runner can relate to. He provides evidence that an ultramarathon is within reach, even for the most average runner, if we’re willing to put in the time and if we’re willing to embrace suffering.
Reese is also hilarious. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and the book packs an unreasonable concentration of laughs-per-paragraph.
Should You Read It
Yes. If you’re into running you’ll love it. If you’re not into running, you’ll still love it, Cory is hilarious.