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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

{Book Review} Confessions of an Unlikely Runner: A Guide to Racing and Obstacle Courses for the Averagely Fit and Halfway Dedicated by Dana L. Ayers

Confessions of an Unlikely Runner: A Guide to Racing and Obstacle Courses for the Averagely Fit and Halfway Dedicated
by Dana L. Ayers
Publisher:  Difference Press
Release: August 29th 2015 by
Genre: Non-Fiction- Adult: Running, memoirs
How I got it: Received a copy from the author

Witty, observant, and full of cringe-worthy confessions and heartwarming encouragement, Confessions celebrates both running and life.

Part Bridget Jones, part Forrest Gump, Dana Ayers chronicles her awkward mishaps and adventures in transitioning from childhood bookworm to accidental accomplished athlete. Over the last ten years, Ayers has completed a vast array of races. She runs them all while admittedly not getting much faster, much thinner, or much more disciplined—though she has managed to be on national television, split open her pants, and get electrocuted. Ayers intersperses her hilarious yet relatable struggles with insights about how and why she keeps running.

A self-proclaimed ambassador of slow runners, Ayers has completed dozens of endurance challenges, including Tough Mudder, the Ragnar Relay, Muddy Buddy, Warrior Dash, Run Amuck, the Army Ten-Miler, the Country Music Marathon, and many more mud runs, obstacles courses, and races. Her race descriptions will entertain seasoned runners and non-runners alike. Woven into the chaos of her running adventures is compassionate reassurance for anyone who feels like they aren’t fast enough, athletic enough, or strong enough to finish a tough race.

Though told with humor, Confessions’ stories share an underlying theme of Ayers’ serious reverence for the sport of running and the running community. Ayers describes experiences such as participating in a 1,000-mile relay for Boston Marathon bombing victims, and being overcome by emotion while observing wounded veterans struggling to finish a race. Her stories prove how life-enriching it can be to physically fight for something and to cheer on others who are doing the same.

For anyone who has considered trying a marathon, an obstacle race, or simply taking up running for the first time, Ayers is your ambassador. If she can do it, you can too.

Review: As someone who enjoys running yet struggles with calling herself a runner, this book was right up my alley. I could relate with her as she told stories of her runs and races. I found myself nodding and laughing along as she told of her trials and tribulations. Yet it wasn't all fun and games, I empathized with her as she talked of the Boston Bombing and the relay for the victims. The way she described the running community made me long for more running friends that lived nearby.
Reading of how she struggled gave me the motivation I needed to run. Learning I wasn't alone in how I felt about my abilities and the doubts I have was wonderful. Her writing style was witty and humorous, poking fun at herself and telling it like it is.
Ms Ayers has written a wonderful book for anyone interested in running or needs motivation to run. I'm pretty sure I will find myself returning to this book anytime I need a little running pick me up.


  1. I loved this book and equally, I loved the author! I interviewed her for my blog. We planned to meet up for a run locally but couldn't coordinate it. I sure hope we get another chance. Glad you liked it too!

    1. We working on an interview, too. That's too bad you couldn't meet up she sounds like she would be fun to run with. :)


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