Book review: Failure is an Option by Matt Whyman

Failure is an Option perfectly captures the craziness of ultra running - it’s a must-read for anyone immersed in the sport

We’re not quite halfway through the year, but I feel I can safely say that Failure is an Option is the best running book of 2022. It’s funny, absorbing and readers will see aspects of themselves in it as author Matt Whyman goes beyond his comfort zone.

Failure is an Option is about an average runner who advances from parkrunner to an ultra marathoner, before tackling the infamous Dragon’s Back mountain race. His five-year journey is told succinctly and with honesty, and I was immediately caught up in Whyman’s story and couldn’t stop reading.

What sets it apart from other running books – typically penned by top athletes or those able to go on far flung adventures – is that it’s totally relatable.

Failure is an Option is about a mid-packer who leads an ordinary life, and being able to associate with Whyman and his challenges is refreshing and inspiring. He also perfectly captures the folly of ultra running and gives a great account of the effort required.

Much like the excellent Rise of the Ultra Runners, this book will strike a chord within the running community and it’s a must-read for anyone immersed in the sport.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Failure is an Option by Matt Whyman

Failure is an Option

✍️ Matt Whyman
📚 Vertebrate Publishing
📅 14 Apr 2022
📃 224 Pages