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Publisher's Summary

An incredible but true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations ever

In October 2006, the night before he was to turn forty, Rich experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he saw where his sedentary lifestyle was taking him. Most of us look the other way when granted such a moment of clarity, but not Rich. Plunging into a new way of eating that made processed foods off limits and prioritized plant nutrition and daily training, Rich morphed—in mere months—from out-of-shape midlifer to endurance machine. Ninety days into his physical overhaul, Rich left the house for a light jog and found himself running a near marathon. It was time to scale up his goals.

How many of us take up a sport at age forty and compete for the title of the world’s best within two years? Finding Ultra recounts Rich’s remarkable journey to the starting line of the elite Ultraman World Championship competition, which pits the world’s fittest humans against each other in a 320-mile ordeal of swimming, biking, and running. Following that test, Rich conquered an even greater one: the Epic5 Challenge—five Ironman-distance triathlons, each on a different Hawaiian island, all completed in less than a week.

This is more than an inside look at a series of jaw-dropping athletic feats or a practical training manual for those who would attempt a similar transformation. Yes, Rich’s account rivets and instructs, providing information that will be invaluable to anyone who wants to change their physique; but this book is most notable as a powerful testament to human resiliency, for as we learn early on, Rich’s life has posed numerous physical and social challenges, including a fierce battle with alcoholism.

Ultimately Finding Ultra is a beautifully written portrait of what willpower can accomplish. It challenges us to rethink what we’re capable of and urges us, implicitly and explicitly, to “go for it.”

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2012 Richard David Roll (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“You walk away from reading this book knowing you have the total power to transform your life on every level…Roll is immensely likeable, a most compelling storyteller, and a true shaman of health and fitness!” (Kathy Freston, New York Times best-selling author)
“Rich Roll’s Finding Ultra is a testament to the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle, break down walls, and redefine what's possible.” (John Brenkus, creator and host of ESPN’s Sport Science and New York Times best-selling author)
“I loved this. A rare book, unusual for its honesty and willingness to bare all, that really does deserve such superlatives as ‘riveting’ and ‘compelling.’ I was moved by watching Roll conquer his demons and felt privileged to share in his eventual enlightenment. By laying it on the line, Roll absolutely wins us over.” (Rip Esselstyn, New York Times best-selling author)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Very Interesting

What did you love best about Finding Ultra?

The struggle of a lost soul, to a man who survived and soared!<br/><br/>Because I could relate to Part 1, I really enjoyed the whole book. I learned quite a bit.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Finding Ultra?

Winning the struggle to survive.

Which character – as performed by Rich Roll – was your favorite?

I liked them all. Great job.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Look at me now!

Any additional comments?

I just hope I can find another book as informative and told as well.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Motivating story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Especially because my friends and I are about the same age as Mr. Roll.

What did you like best about this story?

The author made it very easy to identify with him (despite the fact that his meteoric rise in his particular sport started on third base; not a criticism, just a truth).

What does Rich Roll bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Rich Roll tells the story of his life, keeping it interesting throughout. I found myself identifying with him and cheering him on. I'd never been exposed to his story, so it's unfurling was a pleasure.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. It was tough to step away from it. That surprised me.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Inspiration blended with education= Transformation

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This story is for anybody who wants to unlock their own inner potential. There are elements of Rich's story that each of us can relate to and find inspiration within. I am an 18X marathon finisher, after tearing my Achilles tendon a couple of years ago, I lost my desire to run. Now I'm running again and learning to eat healthy (and this book) are my catalysts to change. Thank you Rich Roll!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Rich Roll

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Charlotte
  • Saint Louis, MO, United States
  • 09-21-12

Amazing!

So inspiring it makes you want to pull off the road while listening, strap on some running shoes and take the highway on two legs! Rich Roll honestly narrates his own book and has amazing depth and emotion throughout. We experience his awesome highs and his tragic lows. We cheer him on as he completes the Epic 5, and feel his wife's support and his resolution to stay sober. What an amazing book! I'll listen to it again if I start to lack gym motivation and I'll always here his voice in my head when I want to quit. "When you think you're done, your body is only at 40%, it's your mind that's holding you back." (or something to that effect). Absolutely incredible!

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Boring

Very Tedious Listen... I did make it all the way thru with much misery. All in all the authors life and his quest was just simply boring. I guess I just don’t understand the whole endurance thing, such as the author created the epic 5, some horrendously feat no one has dared to try or accomplish yet, but after a day or two of it, they all get together and decide to take a rest day lol. Well how hard or how “epic” could it be if you can just take time off any time you want or if your a little wore out.... Jeez... Also some hippie dippie stuff like “give gratitude to the island that your running on” lol. Just the whole scene was not my cup of tea. Seems the whole lot of them are a little wacky :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JK07
  • Tallahassee, FL USA
  • 07-11-17

Not enough of what the tittle indicates.

Any additional comments?

I wanted a book that was about "Finding Ultra," and at least half of the book was about becoming an alcoholic. On one hand, that made for an interesting story. On the other hand, it's not what I wanted for out of the book. Overall, I thought Roll came across as both self-important and whiny -- neither are traits I want to spend a lot of time listening to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bella
  • Los Angeles
  • 04-23-17

Inspiring

If you could sum up Finding Ultra in three words, what would they be?

I wanted a book that would inspire me to run and stick with a healthy vegan diet. This book does that. Rich Roll's story is very inspiring. I took off a few stars because Rich Roll sounds a little bit like a bored teenager when he reads. I was able to get past it and enjoy the story, but for his next book, he should consider hiring a professional voice actor.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good content, need a Professional reader

I enjoyed the content, but I had a hard time getting used to the speaker. He is not a professional reader and comprehension suffers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Self narrated

I liked the story, but the self narration almost turned me off the book. I powered through it and was glad at the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Changed my life. Literally, not figuratively.

What made the experience of listening to Finding Ultra the most enjoyable?

Rich Roll's story is amazing. I didn't even know people could do what he did. I am a well educated man about everything. Jack of all trades, master of none. He taught me that there is always something new to learn, and this time it was about myself.<br/>This book was educating, thrilling, and emotional. His story is a roller coaster of ups and downs, but the end result is outstanding.

Any additional comments?

Will change your view of the world and yourself. It helped me to not diet, but to completely change my eating lifestyle.<br/>Honestly just wanted to say thanks to the man.<br/>So thank you Rich Roll for a new perspective.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Helen
  • 10-13-13

Tedious

Would you try another book written by Rich Roll or narrated by Rich Roll?

No. I had been wanting to read this book for a long time as my husband has been wanting to get fit and I thought it sounded inspiring. However I felt the narration was monotonous and boring. I stuck it out until the end but it was a hard slog a bit like Rich Rolls ultra man challenges. There seemed to be a lot of unnecessary detail about his school days which seemed to go on and on until I got to the information I wanted to find out - how he got fit, what he ate etc. But it was all read with such a dull voice, even when he had achieved his goals there seemed to no excitement in his voice. I do admire his achievements though they were very impressive. I would have liked to know how his wife felt being stuck at home with the kids on a budget while Rich Roll continued to seek the next challenge, never seeming to be satisfied.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Relief

What didn’t you like about Rich Roll’s performance?

Narration

Did Finding Ultra inspire you to do anything?

Eat more healthily

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Steelsey
  • 10-26-17

Great story that had me choked up at times

Being someone who had health issues and experienced similar awakenings as Rich when switching to a plant based diet as well as understanding the emotions of completing tough athletic challenges, I found the book very good and many times it had me choking up and holding back the tears.

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  • Leo&#39;sMa
  • 09-14-17

Motivational

I really enjoyed this book, it was easy listening and very motivational, it's certainly helped me get back on the wagon!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-07-17

Fascinating story

Fascinating story leaving no stone unearthed. Motivational and inspiring for later entry athletes of all abilities. Voiceover from the author himself a little monotone, but the story quickly diverts attention from this.

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  • nathan greaves
  • 09-07-17

Great listen

interesting story, kept me listening keenly throughout.

Inspired me to begin eating differently and see how it affects my training

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  • Vikas Krishan
  • 08-30-17

Inspiring!

Read this book a few years ago, but the audio version is so much better and emotional!

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  • korina karadimou
  • 08-28-17

A book to advertise the author's business

Menial stories, focusing too much of the details and the nitty gritty rather than the motivational aspect of ultra running. The author is an advocate of the debunked theory of "gluten intolerance" which he avidly promotes whilst supporting it with bad science. And that "coconut water"...I had enough of it. Let alone the promiscuous promotion of the sponsors and the author's business.
If you're looking for a book on endurance sports then look elsewhere.

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  • Karl Paukner
  • 08-22-17

A good listen during my runs, skip appendixes...

What disappointed you about Finding Ultra?

Appendix 1 and 2 (~1.5 hours) are not necessary for the story. It's a continued sales pitch for products and the information given about studies are not very accurate, it might be an issue with how they are presented with the other information. The detailed information about diet and nutrition is not expected and not necessary.

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  • Eskimo
  • 08-02-17

Mostly good

Mostly an entertaining and inspiring tale. However, he does sometimes get caught up in his own hyperbole and also bearing in mind it's probably mostly amateur endurace athletes reading, he overexplains things to the point of being a bit patronising. And his voice is quite grating I think. He has achieved some amazing things and deserves respect for those accomplishments. But he should acknowledge that he was born with a lot of privilege. That would make his story feel more authentic and genuine.

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  • Kate
  • 07-14-17

An inspiring read!

a fantastic story of how you can turn your life around. Along with some helpful information about being plant based and healthy.

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  • cr3studio
  • 10-10-15

Another Vegan fanboy

Would you ever listen to anything by Rich Roll again?

no it started off ok but headed down the rabbit hole pretty quickly, seems like he has a hero complex everything is a huge drama of lows to high and how being Vegan is all encompasing life changing heroism. not for me, i turned off about half way through

Any additional comments?

dont bother

2 of 4 people found this review helpful