Download Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself Audiobook

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself Audiobook, by Rich Roll Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Rich Roll Narrator: Rich Roll Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2012 ISBN: 9781481591508
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Finding Ultra is Rich Roll’s incredible but true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations ever.

One cool evening in October 2006, the night before he was to turn forty, Rich experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight at the time and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he could see where his current sedentary lifestyle was taking him. Most of us look the other way when granted such a moment of clarity, but not Rich. Plunging into a new way of eating that made processed foods off limits and prioritized plant nutrition and daily training, Rich morphed—in a matter of mere months—from out-of-shape midlifer to endurance machine. One morning, ninety days into his physical overhaul, Rich left the house to embark on a light jog and found himself running a near marathon. It was time to scale up his goals.

How many of us take up a sport at age forty and compete for the title of the world’s best within two years? Finding Ultra recounts Rich’s remarkable journey to the starting line of the elite Ultraman World Championship competition, which pits the world’s fittest humans against each other in a 320-mile ordeal of swimming, biking, and running. Following that test, Rich conquered an even greater one: the Epic5 Challenge—five Ironman-distance triathlons, each on a different Hawaiian island, all completed in less than a week.

But this is much more than an edge-of-the-seat look at a series of jaw-dropping athletic feats and much more than a practical training manual for those who would attempt a similar transformation. Yes, Rich’s account rivets, and yes, it instructs, providing information that will be invaluable to anyone who wants to change their physique; but this book is most notable as a powerful testament to human resiliency, for as we learn early on, Rich’s childhood posed numerous physical and social challenges, and his early adulthood featured a fierce battle with alcoholism.

Ultimately, Finding Ultra is a beautifully written portrait of what willpower can accomplish. It challenges all of us to rethink what we’re capable of and urges us, implicitly and explicitly, to “go for it.”

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Rich Roll’s Finding Ultra is a testament to the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle, break down walls, and redefine what’s possible.”

    John Brenkus, creator and host of ESPN’s Sport Science and New York Times bestselling author

  • Finding Ultra is about a journey we all take as human beings, when we decide to pursue the impossible and live a life of mission. When I need to dig deeper, push harder, and find a little boost, Rich Roll is the guy who comes to mind. He is inspiration embodied.”

    Sanjay Gupta, MD,chief medical correspondent for CNN and New York Times bestselling author

  • “You walk away from reading this book knowing you have the total power to transform your life on every level…Roll is immensely likeable, a most compelling storyteller, and a true shaman of health and fitness!”

    Kathy Freston, New York Times bestselling author of Quantum Wellness and Veganist

  • “I loved this. A rare book, unusual for its honesty and willingness to bare all, that really does deserve such superlatives as ‘riveting’ and ‘compelling.’ I was moved by watching Roll conquer his demons and felt privileged to share in his eventual enlightenment. By laying it on the line, Roll absolutely wins us over.”

    Rip Esselstyn, New York Times bestselling author

  • Finding Ultra is the ultimate story of hope, perseverance, and endurance against life’s biggest challenges.”

    William Cope Moyers, New York Times bestselling author

  • “There aren’t many books that induce goosebumps during a casual flipping-through. Finding Ultra does. Rich Roll might not yet be a household name, but his accomplishments are nothing short of legendary…The story itself is engaging and well written, but the real strength of the book comes from Roll’s honesty…Roll shows the work, grit, and pain involved in such a dramatic overhaul. It’s not likely that readers of Finding Ultra will share Roll’s experiences—and they don’t have to. The book begs the question of what the human body is capable of, and Roll provides an example of someone who’s taken himself to the outer reaches of possibility.”


  • “Roll has accomplished amazing things, but it is his ability to draw inspiring and uniquely insightful lessons from his experiences that sets him apart from other extreme athletes. Finding Ultra is a fascinating read full of practical tips.”

    Dean Karnazes, bestselling author of Ultramarathon Man 

  • “This awesome piece of writing—one part memoir, one part how-to, and one part megadose of gut truth—reminds us to wake up and live our best life. Prepare to be entertained, but most of all, prepare to be inspired.”

    Mel Stewart, fourteen-time national champion, former world record holder, and winner of two Olympic gold medals in swimming

  • “An inspiring story of a man whose life took a tragic turn but then rebounded spectacularly. Down but not out, Rich Roll rose like a phoenix, taking the commitment to his own health to a new level and achieving a remarkable transformation. I believe everyone will be able to relate to this plant-powered athlete’s riveting story and perhaps garner some inspiration for their own journey. A top read!”

    Luke McKenzie, five-time Ironman champion

  • “If you liked Born to Run, you’ll love Finding Ultra…one of the best books about health and fitness that I’ve ever read.”

    Neal D. Barnard, MD, president, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

  • Finding Ultra is an inspired first-person account of fast living and even faster swimming, biking, and running that will leave you convinced of the power of your own will.”

    Brendan Brazier, bestselling author of Thrive

  • VegNews Magazine Top 12 Vegan Books of 2012

Listener Reviews

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  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/15/2014

    " The best parts of this book aren't even about running but his alcohol addiction recovery. But it was painful to me to read about some one cross addicting this way. For sure his fitness and food addictions were healthier than the booze but destructive in their own way. Roll doesn't see it that way, nor does he seem to see how odd it is to note how he was so broke he scavenged for food in a dumpster but still think he was striking a healthy balance for his family. This felt like an episode of My Strange Addiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Casey | 2/14/2014

    " Motivating, convicting, and inspiring. I appreciated the words and story of a recovering alcoholic. Then Roll's story adds the inspiration of an endurance athlete, alongside great practical advice on adopting a plant based diet without being preachy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 2/13/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book! The first part is about the author's struggle with alcoholism and all the ways he was in denial. To know that he was in his 40s, overweight, and winded going up the stairs when he decided to turn things around... inspiring! The rest of the book is on his transformation to being an amazing athlete and on his focus on good, healthy eating. He and a friend are the first two people to complete FIVE Ironmans in a week. After just running a marathon, I can't even fathom running another one the next day. And that doesn't even include the biking and swimming. I do realize that Rich Roll probably traded one addiction (alcohol) for another (exercise) but I think that he made a good trade that will add years to his life. Plus, he seems to have found his niche in life in the process. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill | 2/1/2014

    " Amazing transformation!! Could not put this book down! You could feel his pain by the end trying to fulfill the big 5. In my head I kept thinking he should just call it a day, but he kept after it. Great book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia | 2/1/2014

    " Roll went from being winded from ascending 8 stairs to being an ultra-athlete with two years. The story is interesting and of great interest to me personally is his reliance on plant-based foods. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron | 1/28/2014

    " Great book. Very informative. Was able to get a lot of info about diet and exercise. Going to recommend this to ll of my athlete friends. Iron Man here I come! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jared | 1/9/2014

    " Great read. Very inspiring and got me thinking more about how I want to tweak my own endurance training and diet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jarle | 12/13/2013

    " A wonderfully refreshing book about finding your direction, no matter where you are coming from. First and foremost an entertaining, but also personal story about LIFE! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendypenner | 10/12/2013

    " This is the most kick ass running autobiography I have ever read I loved it so much. It is a spiritual journey, a book of athletic discipline, of overcoming addiction, and a good read about using nutrition to enhance performance for an endurance athlete. Really engrossing and well written! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darrell | 9/24/2013

    " I enjoyed reading Rich's struggles from swimmer to alcoholic to ultra-athlete fueled on a vegan diet, he calls PlantPowered. There's a bit of addictive personalities in more than a few of us. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 9/4/2013

    " It was hard to get into this book. I read it right after reading Eat to Run by Scott Jureck and his book was awesome. Rich Roll began as a swimmer, so much of the first few chapter focus on that. It was hard for me to relate. Overall, I would recommend Eat to Run before this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lil | 7/26/2013

    " Inspiring account of a couch potato turning into an ultra, ultra athlete in a very short time. Quick and inspiring. Helen, I think this has your name on it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 6/2/2013

    " Fantastic read. Knocked it out in two sittings. A tremendous story of the capacity for transformative change on several levels, plumbing the depths of the body's ability to endure and doing what you love. I highly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chelsi | 5/8/2013

    " Great book. Amazing journey from fit to terribly unhealthy back to ultra fit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fredrik | 4/6/2013

    " Inspirational in terms of food and determination. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rich | 3/24/2013

    " Of course I'm giving it 5 stars - I wrote it. So please forgive me. Look forward to everyone else's honest thoughts when the book comes out in May. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stuart | 12/5/2012

    " Inspiring! It peaked my interest and was the catalyst for trying a 30 day vegan experiment nearly 90 days ago! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crystal | 11/4/2012

    " I'm giving it 4 instead of 5 because the descriptions of the events are really boring, the rest is great. So much useful information about diet and training. The nutritional information answered questions I've never been able to find answers to! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Subgeniux | 8/18/2012

    " Inspiring story , but it felt a bit preachy at times. I have considered moving back to vegetarianism for a while now and this book seems to have pushed me over the edge. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 7/15/2012

    " A quick enjoyable and positive read. Easy to imagine oneself in Hawaii whilst reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina | 6/30/2012

    " totally inspiring. loads of information. fantastic resource info. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 6/25/2012

    " not sure whether it wants to be a memoir or a training/eating manual. But I still loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Britta | 6/18/2012

    " Incredibly inspirational story of how determination and a hint of extremism can lead to a phenomenal life change - from unfit ex-athlete to ultra ironman. "

About the Author

Rich Roll has been featured on CNN and has been named one of the world’s twenty-five fittest men by Men’s Fitness magazine. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Cornell Law School. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and four children and, when he isn’t training or competing, manages the entertainment boutique Independent Law Group.