Skillfully woven into her personal story of tackling the inaugural 2012 Spartan Ultra Beast , Outside Online columnist Erin Beresini, takes an inside look at the obstacle racing industry. She tells stories of the companies, events, and people in a manner interesting even to those who already know them. At appropriate times throughout, Erin vividly describes the sights and sounds of that iconic weekend in Vermont in a way that is not only informative, but humorous. You will hear of her encounters with some of OCR’s biggest characters including Matt B. Davis, Junyong Pak, and Ray Upshaw. Admittedly, assuming that it would be more of the “same old stuff” my initial interest in reading this book was low, but once I started I was immediately taken in by her engaging writing style.
Later, what was meant to be a 15 minute phone conversation with Erin turned into 45 minutes and could have lasted longer. As so often happens among obstacle racers, a bond was formed through the sufferfest that was the 2012 Ultra Beast. I felt obliged to relay to her my stories that were intimately connected to hers and she shared more that further proved to me that she “gets it”. The book is not stodgy. You’ll laugh with her (and maybe at her) throughout, and in the end you’ll find that it was a truly enjoyable read. For that reason, I HIGHLY recommend Off Course: Inside the Mad, Muddy World of Obstacle Course Racing by Erin Beresini.
Disclaimer: I was provided an advance copy of this book free from the publisher, but there was no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions are all my own.