The guy who runs

Ultramarathoner joins To’hajiilee’s community health event

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez, right, and ultramarathon runner Scott Jurek smile as they begin their run May 17 in the “Pray, Run, Eat Healthy & Exercise Daily” 5K run and health fair in To’Hajiilee, New Mexico.


Ultramarathon runner and New York Times best selling author Scott Jurek never liked running and didn’t enjoy eating clean, healthy foods but these two habits have him revered as one of the greatest runners of all time.

“Some of you are probably saying ‘Scott, oh, he’s a runner and I hate running,’” said Jurek. “Well, I used to hate running and I used to hate vegetables, and now I’m the guy who runs ultramarathons and I do that only on plants.”

Keeping to a vegan diet has catapulted his running into unthinkable mileages at record setting speeds. In 2015 he completed the 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail in a record 46 days, 8 hours and 7 minutes.

But on a May 18 evening far from the Appalachians, Jurek was at To’hajiilee to partake in the “Pray, Run, Eat Healthy & Exercise Daily” 5K run and health fair. He was invited by Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez and rather than running thousands of miles the ultramarthoner ran 3.2 miles with the community.

“It takes community events like this to get inspired,” said Jurek to the crowd. “I’m not going to run fast. I’m going to run with as many people as I can and have fun.”

The “Pray, Run, Eat Healthy & Exercise Daily” event was sponsored by the president’s office to promote healthy living. Speakers, health booths, vendors and the 5K drew a crowd. During the run, free copies of Jurek’s best-selling memoire “Eat & Run” was given to those who participated.

“We are here to celebrate life and to be with one another again today,” said Nez. “And to rekindle some of our family relations.”

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Categories: Health

About Author

Arlyssa Becenti

Arlyssa Becenti reports on Navajo Nation Council, Business, Fort Defiance Agency, New Mexico State politics and Art/fashion. Her clans are Nát'oh dine'é Táchii'nii, Bit'ahnii, Kin łichii'nii, Kiyaa'áanii. She’s originally from Fort Defiance and has a degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. Before working for the Navajo Times she was a reporter for the Gallup Independent. She can be reached at