Runner Reads: “My Life on the Run” by Bart Yasso

mylifeontherunIt’s a saying you sometimes hear when someone has a unique life with lots of interesting stories to tell: “You should write a book.”

That’s what Bart Yasso did. I met the Runner’s World chief running officer last year at the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon, but I didn’t know all he had accomplished until I read the book. One in particular — a completely naked run, which I had actually heard him talk about for the first time on the BibRave podcast — is more an accomplishment of bravery than anything else, but an achievement for sure.

I recently finished reading “My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon,” written by Yasso with Kathleen Parrish.

In the first part of the book, each chapter is sort of its own story, focusing on one event or topic. There was the bike ride from one United States coast to the other, the Badwater Ultra run and the running group he coached for addicts. He described what it was like to run with a burro and detailed a running trip to Antarctica.

Yasso was extremely friendly when my friend Veronica and I met him back at Shamrock. (Read about that here.) Although I couldn’t find the date of purchase online, I am pretty sure the reason I bought the book was because he was so cool when we met him.

Although it took me a little while (I’m also in a book club and really need to make more time for reading in general), it’s not a tough read. I like books with short chapters because they keep it moving and there are lots of good stopping places if you’re just fitting in a chapter or two. This was easy to do that with.

Here Veronica (center) and I (right) pose with the author and Runner’s World Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso. (Bart Yasso photo/Bartie.)

It was interesting to read about Yasso’s adventures — the good times as well as the struggles. It was written professionally, but in a conversational tone that I liked. The book is written in first-person, and Yasso provides insight into his thoughts. There are also photos at the chapter breaks.

I’m certainly impressed by all he has done, and he continues to run marathons. Runner’s World has announced his upcoming retirement as its chief running officer. 

Part Two of the book includes training plans for different levels of runners and different distances, along with short summaries of races dubbed “Must-Do Races Near and Abroad.” I had only run one of them — the Big Sur International Marathon — and I’m pretty sure I heard about it from Runner’s World, or at least online. I like traveling for races when possible, and I’m sure I will need a training plan at some point, so I will keep the book for reference. I read through the race summaries, but not all the training plans, as that seemed like something to refer back to later.

I do happen to have a discount code for one of the must-do races Yasso mentioned: the Carlsbad 5000, in Carlsbad, California — it’s coming up on April 2. To save $15 on registration until March 26, use the code BIBRAVE15.

If interested in purchasing the book, you can find it for as low as a penny (plus tax and shipping, so it’s actually just over $4) on Amazon. It’s definitely worth that!

Have you read this book, or run any of the must-do races? What did you think? 

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