"James Adams has a rare gift. In fact he has three. He is a brilliant writer, a comedic genius and is able to push his mind and body as far as anyone I know. The thought of getting up day after day to run 45 miles in utter agony, through chronic fatigue and sickness doesn't even bear thinking about. His examination of self on that journey is utterly inspiring together with his tales from other incredible feats of endurance. Of all the books on ultra running published in recent years, this has to be the best all rounder." – James Elson
I decided to write the introduction to this book myself. I could not trust even my closest friends to do the job for me. I was worried that they might try to sell you a lie. I feared that they might come up with some words like “James is an above average runner” or worse still, “James is actually quite good at this running thing”. I am not.
But I have run across America, 3200 miles in ten weeks during the worst heat wave in living memory. Not many people have done that. I have run in many amazing places over really long distances. Ernest Hemmingway said “there is no skill to writing, you just have to sit at the typewriter and bleed”. That has been my approach to both my running and my writing. I am not sure Churchill had ultra running in mind when he famously quoted his qualifications but that is all I have to offer you here: no skill or talent just blood, sweat, toil and tears smeared over 350 pages and six years.
This is not a treatise on how to achieve ultra marathon awesomeness. It is an honest account of what ultra marathon running does to a person. I sincerely hope you don’t finish reading this book with the opinion that I am any good at this. I hope you don’t describe me as being “super human “ or “crazy” or other terms I have grown used to over the years. Instead, my goal is that you might complete the fourth line of this series of logical statements in a similar way to the way that I did at the start of this journey: