Rob Murphy

January 23, 2019

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Salt Lake City,Ut,

Member Since:

Feb 11, 2010



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

I had some success in high school and college. Winner 1985 Rod Dixon Run 

Had a fair amount of success as a Masters runner for most of my 40s. 

Short-Term Running Goals:

Have fun, not get fat, stay fit.

Long-Term Running Goals:

 Keep running in some fashion.


I teach AP European History and other courses at Alta High School. I coached the track and cross country teams at Alta for 16 years.

Married, two kids - Abby and Andy

My Twitter  @murphy_rob

Miles:This week: 13.50 Month: 92.75 Year: 92.75
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

My review of Eat & Run by Scott Jurek.  

I am predisposed to like Scott Jurek. To begin with, he's from Minnesota and I generally like Minnesotans. My wife is from the same area of Minnesota, I got married there and lived there for a couple years. Secondly, he's a very sincere guy who genuinely wants to better himself and make the world a better place. Third, he's a Wendell Berry fan and anyone who likes Wendell Berry is high up on my list of people I like. Fourth, even though he's a preachy (he tries not to be but is anyway) vegan, he still drinks beer. Finally, he was always a good son to his mother who was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis for most of his life. That counts for a lot.

So I couldn't wait to read this book for the obvious reason - he's won about twenty-five 100 plus mile races and this is obviously someone I can learn a thing or two about running from. I also felt like, based on other things I had read about him, that he was a genuinely thoughtful person who has acquired a bit of wisdom along the way. I found that to be mostly true. The problem is, it takes a certain amount of time to become wise. Most folks in their twenties have very little wisdom. Their job is basically to shut up and look good. Most people (like Jurek) have  acquired some wisdom as they approach forty. The problem is, they often confuse their little bit of wisdom with a lot of wisdom. But I give Scott credit for trying and he really works hard to reach for the deeper meaning in things.

OK, some things I liked about the book...

1. The recipes. And it didn't bother me at all that they were sprinkled through the text rather than all lumped together at the end. I think he wanted drive home the idea that eating a certain way is central to his life and not an afterthought. We Americans tend to regard food and the whole eating experience purely in functional terms. We have to cram in the calories. We always eat on the run, eat in our cars, at our desks. Food is purely fuel. I think Scott looks at it the way a lot of Europeans do - as a part of a life well lived and deserving of a lot of care and reflection.

2. The race descriptions. He is one intense competitor. Anyone who can run a 65 minute 15k from like mile 85 to 95 of Western States blows me away. I have to admit that as I approach my first trail ultra in December, I'm more fired up than ever now. A little more humble and terrified too.

3. His description of his friendship with his friend and pacer, Dusty Olson. This would be a book in itself and it makes you think about all the things that go into success at the highest level, in any endeavor, beyond pure talent. 

In short, Eat and Run was well worth my time. I found it to be much better than most running biographies I've read including Alberto Salazar's recent effort.

Y'all should read it. 

P.S. After reading this back to myself, I think I might write another one where I just make fun of vegans. It would be satisfying to pass Jurek about 80 miles into, say the Hardrock 100, knawing on a turkey leg. 

AM: Washed and vacuumed car, mowed lawn and trimmed bushed, Jogged to the gym and back and lifted weights. 

Medium-long trail run up at Alta Ski Area at 6 PM with the Alta XC team for anyone who wants to come.

PM: Did me an eleven mile trail run up at Alta. Only had to run through a couple small snowdrifts. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00Weight: 0.00Calories: 0.00
From emaurine on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 21:17:16 from

I had never heard of this book. Thanks for the review; it sounds like a wonderful read!

From Rob Murphy on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 21:21:56 from

It's only came out this week Emily. So you're not that far behind the curve!

From Jon on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 21:27:56 from

If you run Hardrock, I'll bring you a turkey leg.

From Rob Murphy on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 21:31:49 from

His description of running it in the book frightened me. I know now why he probably doesn't fear eternal punishment for rejecting his Catholic upbringing in favor of Buddhism. He's run Hardrock!

When Steve and I were doing the R2R2R last year we ran into a couple guys wearing Hardrock shirts. Pretty good conversation around the spigot at Phantom Ranch. They seemed surprised that a couple roadies like us basically looked like we knew what we were doing.

From Lulu Walls on Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 22:19:17 from

I did generally enjoy the book albeit my criticisms on your previous post. I just wanted him to delve a little deeper, that's all. Had his cabbage salad for dinner. Not bad :)

Oh and please devote an entire post to making fun of vegans. As a vegetarian, my favorite thing to do is poke fun of vegans.

From Bret on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 07:10:28 from

I am about halfway through the book myself. Not a huge fan of the writing as he is a bit too dark(melancholy almost) and the writing style simplistic - nevertheless the substance of the book has held my interest- thanks for the review and your thoughts on it.

From Rob on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 08:03:54 from

Thanks Rob, I enjoyed the book as well. At the end I almost got the feeling that the whole book was devoted to making amends with Dusty and his Father. I wish he would have finished the Dusty story better, he implied that he was going to tell more about that situation but never really did.

Like Lulu said in your previous post, every time it seemed he was about to get into the "meat and potatoes" he had a recipe about Tofu and Rice instead :)

From Jake K on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 08:55:02 from

Thanks for the review. I guess I'll put it on my summer reading list.

I've hiked a lot of the San Juan trails where they do Hardrock - I'm not sure how anyone runs any of that terrain. Its a beautiful area but definitely better to walk through with trekking poles than run! :-)

From Rob Murphy on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 10:48:44 from

I agree with most of what you all say. I thought Dusty was the most interesting character in the book and wanted more.

I wondered about the timing of the book. Maybe it's an attempt to cash in with Born to Run being made into a movie and all, but it seemed to me like this would have been better ten or twenty years from now. For example, it was obvious to me that the stories behind his relationships with both Dusty and his ex-wife Leah are still too painful for him to delve into. He didn't really want to even talk about the good times with Leah.

You know what I did find really revealing? When Leah told him , upon asking for the divorce, that she found him interesting but he didn't make her laugh. Seems like this might be something a couple could work through but she's probably dead on. He is interesting but he probably takes just about everything a little too seriously. Better than the opposite though in my opinion.

The timing is a little off in terms of his career as well. He's on the downside trying to hang on. Probably hoping for a couple more big victories? So it can't really be a full career retrospective either. Most athlete bios are written in the prime or long after the career is over.

From JD on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 14:03:31 from

thanks for the thoughtful review - i'm looking forward to reading this book!

From Steve on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 15:00:35 from

There is so much on this write up and thread to think about that I had to print it up to take with me on this next flight. Good stuff Rob.

From Jon on Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 20:28:15 from

Jake, I'm not sure he's too far on his downside. He set the 24 hr American record in the past few years, and is going for the world record later this year...

From Jake K on Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 20:34:35 from

I never said he was on his downside! :-) That was Rob bashing him!

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