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Running On Empty: Book Review and Giveaway

“During the transcon, I lost only four pounds. I threw up only twice (after aspirating some food) and bonked only once. I drank no water, wore – and wore out – more than thirty pairs of shoes and dozens of pairs of socks, and ran the equivalent of 117 marathons in well under two months, completing two each day plus a 10K, running over 120 hours and 400 miles per week, ascending over 84,000 vertical feet. At the age of fifty-seven, I attempted to break a record set by a twenty-eight-year-old and finished the third-fastest crossing ever made on that route.” – Marshall Ulrich in Running on Empty

Hugely accomplished ultra athlete Marshall Ulrich’s recent book, Running on Empty will have you pouring an extra cup of coffee in the morning to prevent your noggin’ for slamming against your office desk due to those late night reading binges. Translate – A good, good read. After graciously receiving a media sample from Marshall, I finished the book within a week which has been the fastest I have read a book in a long time.

In Running On Empty, Marshall shares some personal and running history about himself along with the collection of trials, special experiences, triumphs, and wacky encounters from his 52 day, 3000+ mile RV team-supported journey across the United States that kicked-off in September of 2008.

But beyond the physical body beating.

Beyond the near death encounters – Was that a bullet?

Beyond the internal chatter, negotiations, and mind Poker to keep moving forward.

You are welcomed into the life, into the person, into the essence, into the spirit of Marshall Ulrich. Reading this book felt like a intimate glimpse into a man’s soul,  imperfections and all. And for me one of the unique takeaways from the book is the realization of Marshall’s human-ness. He isn’t a super-hero (No big ‘S’ under his tech shirt). He doesn’t have lab generated DNA ( At least I don’t think). He is us! And what a realization that can be.

What is your passion? What are your dreams? What do you want to experience is this life?

Running On Empty is not only a great read related to running, it is inspiration for life!

A subtle formatting cool point of the book is the basic course profile displayed across the base of two pages. A little running man graphic was used to highlight where Marshall was in the journey. This was displayed throughout the entire book. I dig it!

The only part of the book I was slightly bummed about were the minimal number of photos. I would have loved to see more pics from the journey.

Marshall Speaks about the Book

Here is a cool video from the Running On Empty release party at the Denver Athletic Club.

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)

Win a Free Copy of the Book – Buy More Coffee

Marshall’s publishing team was also extremely kind in sending an extra copy of the book. This one could be yours! I am also in an extra festive mood and found some extra change in the bottom of our car so I have decided to purchase another book to share with the Endurance Buzz community.

If you would like to enter a drawing to receive one of TWO free copies of the book, simply add a comment (here or on the Endurance Buzz Facebook page) that answers the following question:

What one running event or experience is on your make-it-happen Dream list?

This could be a 5 km, your first ultra, running on a specific trail, some multi-day adventure, or  ????. There are no right answers, share something from your list.

If you wold like to receive up to two bonus entries, ohhh exciting…if you haven’t done so already, “Like” the Marshall Ulrich and Endurance Buzz Facebook pages. Then simply include a “+2” at the end of your response to the question above. If you already follow Marshall and Endurance Buzz on Facebook, not a problem, you can still include “+2” in your comment.

Entry into the drawing closes at 12:01 AM on Monday, June 20th. The two drawing winners will be announced in this article on Monday as well.

[Update 6/20: Drawing Winners]

A huge thanks to all those that shared an event on their dream list! I wish you all the best in the journey of turning that dream into a reality.

With special help from Mr. Random Number Generator, the winners of a copy of Running On Empty are…Paul Mastin and Sarah! Congratulations and enjoy the book! 🙂

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

[This article contains links that may support Endurance Buzz.]

[This book was a free media sample but the review was completely my own.]

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

13 Responses to “Running On Empty: Book Review and Giveaway”

  1. on 14 Jun 2011 at 11:29 am Dylan D

    I’m hoping to one day ‘win’ the Western States lottery to get a chance to run that race.

  2. on 14 Jun 2011 at 11:35 am Jorge Rasillo

    I ultimate goal is to someday run 100 miles, I’m slowly transitioning into ultra’s and this year I’ll do my first 60K (Capt’n Karls race – The Falls)

  3. on 14 Jun 2011 at 11:46 am Tim Hutchinson

    First goal is to run 100 miles which I will be attempting at Rocky Raccoon in February. After that it would be Western States or Leadville.

  4. on 14 Jun 2011 at 12:01 pm Paul Mastin

    Oooh, a free book! I saw this reviewed recently and would love to read it. I recently read David Horton’s account of his record-setting Appalachian Trail run and his participation in a Trans-America race. As much as I admire his efforts, I came to the conclusion that a trans-America race is NOT on my dream-run list.

    In general, I would love to compete in a 100 mile mountain race. My specific dream race is the Hardrock 100. First of all for the race itself. What a blast, to run a beautiful course, summit a 14er, and put in an effort in one of the toughest races around. But more than that, if I can reach a level of fitness and endurance where I can complete that race at that altitude (I live at 600 feet or so), I will know I have arrived as an ultrarunner.

  5. on 14 Jun 2011 at 12:19 pm Marshall Ulrich (@MarshallUlrich)

    David, thanks for this generous review. So glad you enjoyed the book! Like you, we would have loved to have included more photos, and if you want to see some (along with a bunch of other behind-the-scenes extras), go to –marsh

  6. on 14 Jun 2011 at 12:58 pm Michelle

    I want to run TransAlpine. It’s an 8 day stage race in Europe! Jemez made me realize I need a little more mountain experience first if I want to last all 8 days! +2 🙂

  7. on 14 Jun 2011 at 3:40 pm Chris

    I would love to do the Grand Canyon R2R2R. Hopefully that will happen this Fall or next Spring.


  8. on 14 Jun 2011 at 6:29 pm Mike Westermeier

    I want to run and finish the Superior 100.

  9. on 14 Jun 2011 at 10:26 pm Sarah

    I was fortunate enough to participate in my dream race this past year (Across the Years). I’m working on finding another one that I can get passionate about. Likely a 100 miler TBD.

  10. on 15 Jun 2011 at 4:23 am Cyndi Newton

    The Austin Marathon. It should have been on my “too done” list but, due to illness in my family, it had to be postponed. After that, who knows?

  11. on 15 Jun 2011 at 9:39 am David Hanenburg

    Thank you all for sharing! Awesome!

    @Dylan – WS is one I would also like to do…at least once.

    @Jorge – Enjoy the ultra journey and have a great time at The Falls. I will be there as well for the 30k.

    @Tim – Rocky is a great first 100 and great race. Joe has it dialed in and great support.

    @Paul – Hardrock…man…just the photos and some videos I have seen blow me away…It is hard to imagine the beauty as you are actually running through it. Wow!

    @Marshall – Thanks so much for the visit and link to the extras! Sweet! Now I can get my photo fix. 🙂 I wish you the best in all the adventures yet to come. Thanks for the inspiration!

    @Michelle – The mountains in Europe. Nice!

    @Chris – Yes, the canyon. R2R2R is on my list as well.

    @Mike – I ran the 50 miler a few years back. Great, great event. Love finishing in the backyard of the resort.

    @Sarah – Rock on! Congrats on your Across the Years adventure. The list of possible adventures continue to grow…have fun with the hunt.

    @Cyndi – That is a great run down in Austin. Great city as well. Have a great journey.

  12. on 15 Jun 2011 at 11:16 am Heather Urlich

    My thanks, too, for your review. It’s so great when people really *get* the book, as you did that. That Running on Empty is more than a book about running, it’s an inspiration for life!
    Thanks again,
    Heather Ulrich

  13. on 15 Jun 2011 at 4:08 pm David Hanenburg

    Heather – Wow, another Ulrich visiting Endurance Buzz! You are so very welcome for the review. Your support throughout Marshall’s journey was equally inspiring…52 days of continuous, nearly around the clock support of another person. The deep seated love, the significant mental toughness…yes indeed.