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Publisher's Summary

One year after her astonishing victory at the Badwater Ultramarathon, Pam Reed again made distance running history when she braved the hottest weather in years - 135 degrees - to successfully defend her title. How does this 100-pound mother and stepmother of five muster the endurance and courage for the 28-hour climb from the hottest desert floor on Earth to the shadow of the continental United States' tallest point?

In The Extra Mile we watch this ultramarathon champion seek balance in her life as a wife, mother, athlete, and entrepreneur. With astonishing candor she tells of her 15-year-long battle with anorexia. And she helps us to understand her passion for ultrarunning - to discover how far the human body can be pushed.

©2006 Pam Reed (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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  • Performance
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  • Mark
  • Lakewood, CO, United States
  • 03-25-15

Interesting, entertaining, and inspiring

The first time I heard Pam Reed's name was in 2003. The story of her being the first place winner of the Badwater 135 barely made news in even the running magazines, while I think it should have made national news. It served as an inspiration for my own endurance cycling and led me into the crazy world of 24 hour mountain bike racing.

The book fills in many of the gaps that anything less that a full time stalker would know about her racing, training and personal life. It's honest, sometimes brutally so, in her telling to personal challenges, racing life, and her reluctance as a sports personality. Her accomplishments are amazing, her path unusual and her story is fascinating. Definitely a must read for any endurance athlete who loves a good inspirational story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Roger
  • Orlando, Florida United States
  • 08-08-15

Ultrarunning without Dean Karnazes

This is similar to Dean Karno's book, but not nearly as interesting. Both books are very focused on lives of a single person, but Pam Reed's story does not have many events that are interesting to other people beyond her long-distance running.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good story, enjoyed the female perspective

I've read many ultra marathon stories and they always inspire me in different ways.

This one was pretty good. Can't complain.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
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Great story, decent narrator

What did you love best about The Extra Mile?

The frank way Pam writes. It feels a lot like I sat down to chat with her about her running and her life.

Which scene was your favorite?

It's too hard to pick a favorite part. I just enjoyed hearing about her thinking processes and also about the other famous ultra runners she's encountered in her races. I read Scott Jurek's book before this one, for example, so it was fun to hear her mention running Badwater when he was running it for the first time.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I did laugh in some places and I got choked up when she talked about one of her sons joining her for the last 4 or 5 miles of her 300 mile run, but she is so matter-of-fact that I didn't have an extreme reaction one way or the other.

Any additional comments?

I like this narrator a lot, but it bugs me when any narrator pronounces names incorrectly. Throughout most of this book she pronounced Dean Karnazes' name incorrectly and I'd cringe every time. There were a few times that she got it right near the end of the book, thank goodness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
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  • Story

Good but left me wanting more

There is no doubt that Pam Reed is an amazing athlete. Her accomplishments are unfortunately not know outside of the ultra community. While this book helps to explain much of her background leading up to being a writer as well as her personal struggles in life, I felt it lacked some details about her races that I was hoping for. Also, she would've benefited from using a professional co-author as there were times when her writing came across as very amateurish.
But I don't feel it was a waste of my time. I still found it generally enjoyable and would recommend it especially to a female old for a runner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

thought it was OK

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

no. there are others I would suggest more.

Would you recommend The Extra Mile to your friends? Why or why not?

didn't you just ask me that question? Is the distinction book vs audio book? don't understand the question.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Liked the trail race commentary. Too many personal tales of feats outside of trail running for me.

What else would you have wanted to know about Pam Reed’s life?

would have like to see more time spent on trail racing. Less on drama like Pam's defense of her & Dean's competition. Didn't know anything about this, if it exists that is, don't really care either way.

Any additional comments?

I'm an ultra-runner, which is the reason I chose this book. Pam has had some incredible feats, very impressive. I listened to 7-8 hrs. of this book on my way to the Superior 100. Eventually, I became dis-interested. A little too much of Pam trying to justify her life's 'failures' for me. Was hoping for more gnarly ultra running type stuff.

  • Overall
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Disappointing

Would you try another book from Pam Reed and/or Coleen Marlo?

Not likely, I was really excited to read a ultra book written by a woman, I have read several written by men, so I had high expectations.

Has The Extra Mile turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, I will continue to read this genre but may look closer at the reviews.

What aspect of Coleen Marlo’s performance would you have changed?

I liked the performance, but sometimes I felt she was over enunciating.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I like the coverage of Badwater, I just thought it would have been more descriptive about the experience and less about thanking the people who were helping her.

Any additional comments?

I often got lost when the author was switching between people who she was having speak, she stated the name at the end and not at the beginning. Often I would think she had made an error in her tense, until she stated something at the end. In addition, I found her sections confusing.

  • Overall
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Amazing athlete

I liked reading about her running career but in general the book was very shallow. Example - she talked about her anorexia, how she went to a "retreat" and was cured immediately because she didn't want to be as bad as the other people with disorders. Ok - that was fast. I didn't realize that curing an eating disorder was so easy. (Sarcasm)

In the beginning of the book, she boasts about being "crazy" for running so much and then in the end, she says she wants people to know that runners are just runners. So why perpetuate the myth that only crazy people run long distances?

I know she has mom guilt but I didn't think it was necessary to be in this book.

The book would have been better if she had provided more details about her races and mentally, how she accomplished her goals. I definitely wanted to know more about this legend who should be known all over the world.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Accomplishments unrecognized

Pam is an inspiring athlete, gifted and extremely hard-working. She says that she doesn't like making excuses and is hard on those who present her with excuses which rings true based on her story.

Her accomplishments have slipped under the radar in many ways. She was winning ultras before the rest of us knew what an ultra was. Her point that Runners World should have featured her after she was the first woman to win Badwater is a valid one. Dean Karnazes made the cover 2 years later when he won it. Understanding her frustrations with the sports media helped to put her tone throughout the book into context. She's proud of her accomplishments but not a warm, fuzzy member of the ultra running community.

  • Overall

pam reed is ordinarily extraordinary

it was a great and honest account of a runnees journey highlighting betwwen what makes athletes "good" and what makes them "great"