Book Review: The Extra Mile

The Extra Mile
The Extra Mile
The Extra Mile: One Woman’s Personal Journey to Ultra-Running Greatness
by Pam Reed
Publisher: Rodale Books
ISBN-13: 978-1594867309

As an introduction to Pam Reed: she’s an ultrarunner who has won Badwater twice (including beating the men), she has set records for many different distance running achievements, and she is the race director for the Tucson Marathon.

This books is her life story, written by Pam herself. The language is very simplistic, straightforward and to the point. Almost conversational. The book details not only all of her running adventures, but also talks about her childhood and her lifelong struggle with anorexia.

She and her crew chief for Badwater set many new standards in terms of crewing that race. A lot of their methods and approaches are discussed in the book. It’s interesting that the innovation that they came up with are now pretty much the standard for crews. Some of their innovations are also the inspiration behind many of the rules at Badwater.

I found it very easy to read and got through the book in just a couple days. There is a lot to be learned from the stories contained within, even if they aren’t written as an instructional manual. And there are little things that I kind of tucked away as possible things to try (like papaya enzyme for stomach issues).

It’s not a literary masterpiece, but it’s a fascinating read about an interesting person. I’ve heard some people call her names, but I’ll give her this… she’s tough. I enjoyed the book.


  1. I liked this book because it was an easy read; I also reviewed it on my blog and pretty much said the same as you. I think she probably still suffers from an ed, but no matter how you slice it the woman is a serious badass.

  2. I read this last year and enjoyed it too. I read it right after reading Ultramarathon Man and liked the contrast of reading about an ultramarathon woman! I can’t imagine how she endures those runs for many hours around a track. That is my worst idea of hell! Except maybe for running a marathon on a treadmill….

  3. I’m going to have to take a look at this and then talk to my friend Scott, who helped pace her this past year at Badwater. I’m sure if you can get through Badwater, you have to have a strong personality, so you’re bound to rub a few people the wrong way, would be my guess. Once I get off my Amish kick for reading, I’ll check this out!

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