Monday, June 18, 2012

Q&A with Scott Jurek

Being a part of the Brooks I.D. Team, I had the great pleasure of sitting down and talking with my personal hero, Scott Jurek, this weekend.  He is unarguably one of the greatest runners of our time, and it turns out he is also one of the most down to earth people I've ever met.

Scott Jurek has essentially become a household name since the release of Born to Run in 2009.  There isn't a runner in this country that doesn't know about Scott and his ultramarathoning greatness.  His book, Eat and Run, was released on June 5th and has already hit the New York Times best seller list.  He is currently making his away around the country doing runs, talks, and book signings.  If you haven't already bought the book, get on it!  It is an excellent read and I will write a review soon.




Me and Vegan Running Hero, Scott Jurek

I asked him a bit about being vegan, running, and of course, some random questions that I just had to have answered.

SCRG: When I first went vegan, I was constantly asked "where will you get your protein?" and that question got a little tiresome.  Are there any questions you are tired of answering in regard to your plant-based diet?

SJ:  I get the protein one a lot.  There aren't too many I get tired of.  We've been told so many myths, like we need animal protein, and we need to break those myths.  I actually don't get too tired answering them because it is the only way people get assured.  The protein question does get old but you kind of just have to roll with it.  And it can be confusing for a lot of people because they assume you need meat and you need animal protein.

SCRG:  Have you convinced any of your running buddies to adopt a plant-based diet?

SJ:  A ton of people.  Maybe not so many buddies, but they've begun to realize the importance of nutrition and maybe they haven't gone vegan but they see that food plays a role.  As a whole, middle of the packers, back of the packers, across the board, have gone vegan.  Whole families have gone vegan after reading the article in Runner's World.  I met a family today that went vegan 6 weeks ago when it came out.


SCRG:  What is your guilty pleasure, Scott?

SJ:  Panda Puffs.  I eat them with almond milk or homemade hemp milk.  I don't do it a lot.  I eat it for dessert.  The other is dark chocolate.

Scott's guilty pleasure

SCRG:  What is the best city in the United States to live in if you are a (trail) runner?

SJ:  That's tough.  I'd say anywhere that has trails out your door or a mountain out your door.  One thing I write about in my book is that I was really surprised by Washington D.C. and how much trail is located within city and how many bike paths.  I'd almost say D.C. is one of the best running cities in the country for finding dirt within such a concentrated area.  And the cool thing about D.C. is you don't have monster skyscrapers everywhere.  Everything is low, so I thought that was really cool.  I love New York too.  It's got a cool running vibe, and that's why I ran around Manhattan when I started my tour because there is so much history there and so many things have gone on.

SCRG:  Have you been able to get in any long runs while you're on this book tour?

SJ:  Manhattan.  I ran around Manhattan, 32 miles and then on the Wildwood I got in a long run.  So basically I'm getting them in on the weekends.  Tomorrow, it'll be in the heat in Austin.  I'll run along the river trail.  So I'm basically getting in one long run a week on my off day.

SCRG:  Random question-- would you rather never eat another vegetable for the rest of your life or never run again?

SJ: I would say, I could live without running, believe it or not.  I love to run but I also have this healthy relationship with it.  I don't kick myself when I take a day off.  I don't feel guilty.  I think I could find another form of exercise, but eating is so important.  After so many years of eating a certain way, it would be hard for me to give up vegetables.

SCRG:  Okay, last question.  If you could invite any three people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would you invite?

SJ:  Just because I like eclectic individuals, I would probably have to invite Tom Robbins.  I've always wanted to meet him because he is such a character from a writing standpoint.  Prefontaine.  And I would say Andrew Weil, from a nutrition/food standpoint because he's such a free-thinker and one of my heroes.  I think that would be a good three-way conversation.


***

I walked away from this interview so impressed by Scott's kindness and warmth.  There was a line of about 150 people that wanted to meet him, take a picture with him, and have him sign their book.  He took the time to talk with every single person and seemed genuinely interested in everyone he spoke with.  Check out his calendar to see if he is coming to a city near you!


36 comments:

  1. This is so cool! I've been trying to get back to 100% vegan (nutella keeps getting in the way). I am slowly weaning things out because I feel the best on a plant heavy diet! This was awesome to read. Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. How exciting! Scott Jurek is definitely on my list of people I'd like to meet. Hopefully he'll come to canada at some point!

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  3. I recently found your blog and am a vegetarian (well really a pescatarian) and a runner. I read the Runners World article on Scott Jurek and am contemplating going Vegan. I think it's great how he is showing a positive side of being Vegan and an amazing athlete. Looks like from your blog you are doing the same thing! I'll definitely be back to "visit".

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  4. I'm glad that you were able to meet Scott. He's a very cool guy and very down to earth. I met him on a trail run in Boulder once and after our run he talked with me for an hour about running and Veganism. His book is awesome.

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