After meeting Bart Yasso at the Chicago Marathon expo, I was anxious to dive into his book. After all, he's a running icon, right? I didn't know much about him before I read his book, and I wanted to know what made him so special!
I had no idea. But I was soon to learn.
Bart starts off the book sharing his trip to Mount Kilimanjaro, and his medical escapade that followed. And yet, like any one of us would do, he ran a race-- actually, he paced a marathon--while still battling the sequelae of Lyme disease. And he didn't back down. Finished that thing in--well, you'll have to read the book, but let's just say he led his pace group to their goal finish time. Then ended up in the hospital...
That story sets the tone for his book. As you will read, Bart doesn't back down from a challenge or an adventure.
Like so many of us, Bart didn't start off as a runner. He was a troubled teen with a love for mind-altering substances and an antagonistic relationship with his father. After a brush with the law, Bart cleaned up his act and began running. His brother, who was a star athlete, challenged him, supported him, and pushed him to greatness. With his continued success at road races, his dad stopped calling him Alice (after Alice Cooper) and started coming to his races.
Bart's running skills caught the attention of upstart magazine Runner's World. The editors approached him to sign up runners for subscriptions. He started attending race expos, meeting runners...and the rest is history.
As part of his job for Runner's World, he traveled all over the world. Bart didn't just run marathons, he ran Badwater, the infamous 146 mile run across Death Valley. He ran the Antarctica Marathon as well as the Arctic Marathon. He also rode a bike across the country and participated in a burro race. The stories behind these adventures are funny and entertaining.
He also ran a nude marathon. This chapter is filled with hilarity and double-entendres. I'm still trying to get my head around this one. First of all no. I don't want to see all that stuff standing still, and I sure as hell don't want to see it jiggling down the road. Second of all, I can't stand running if my sports bra is less than supportive. Let's just say the girls start crying out for mercy. So while I have zero desire to run a nude marathon, much less spectate one, I was able to experience it through Bart's very vivid race report.
Seems like Bart was up for anything that came his way. As he wrote in my book when I met him at the expo:
"Never limit where running can take you".
Bart is a living example of that. He participated in events that we runners could only dream of and he did things that we don't want to do, but might be curious about.
We all have that one friend who is up for anything. Runners have Bart.
Bart is also the brainchild of the Yasso 800s. Most of us who train for distance races do some kind of speedwork. Luckily my coach is not a runner, so I've never done Yasso 800s. But plenty of my running friends have done them, and most likely have taken Bart's name in vain. Bart discusses how he developed his iconic workout, and why it is so effective. There's no science to it.
"It's so simple. The time it takes you to run 800 meters in minutes and seconds works out to be your marathon time in hours and minutes. I tested it and it's true..." said by a runner to Bart Yasso regarding the Yasso 800s.
"I never put the numbers to a Fibonacci test, like in The DaVinci Code, but they worked for me, and that was good enough."-Bart Yasso regarding the Yasso 800s.
"They should be called 'asshole 800s'" one red-faced runner told Bart after he did the workout incorrectly.While most of the book chronicles so many of Bart's adventures on and off the road, the book finishes up with training plans for a variety of distances. Bart also lists must-do races, including one I have coming up in April, The Big Sur International Marathon. As he says, "I always tell people this is the one race they have to do once in their lives." I can't wait.
Plus I'll get to see Bart again!
|The iconic mile marker at mile 24|
"That's the beauty of the sport. Everyone is welcome to participate. All you have to do is put on a pair of running shoes. At some races, you don't even have to wear running clothes." -Bart YassoIf you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. It's a fun, quick read, and makes me want to push myself to do more. Except for nude races.
You only get one trip around this life, and you may as well make the most of it! I love that Bart did all these things. And he still stays involved by encouraging others to do the same.
I received so many "barties" that I wanted to share a few more in this post! Thanks to everyone who sent me one.
|Bart and Colleen|
|Michelle Schwartz and friends with Bart|
|Shannon and Bart|
|Bart and Sue|
|Debbie and Bart|
|Presley, friend, and Bart|
|Tina, friends, and Bart|
Don't forget to linkup or post your comments below! If you haven't read the book, it's not too late! And if you want to link up another running related book, feel free! The linkup stays open for 2 weeks, but the comments stay open forever. Thanks so much to everyone who shared their pictures with me, and to everyone who read the book!
Remember the rules: sharing is caring! Grab the photo above. Don't forget to link back to this post. Be sure to comment on any of the other reviews. And don't miss out on next month's book:
|Runner's World The Runner's Brain: How to think Smarter to Run Better|
I'm really looking forward to reading this one! I've chronicled my struggles with mental training here on the blog. This book is loaded with race strategies and sports psychology to help you run your best race ever. And who doesn't want to do that? After all, the experts say running is 90% mental....
Review and linkup will go live Monday, December 14.