Audiobook Review: Out There by David Clark

Out There is the deeply honest account of Clark’s recovery from chronic alcoholic to accomplished ultrarunner.

Clark grew up in a close-knit patriotic and religious family from New York State, who moved homes often.

In adolescence and early adulthood Clark experimented with drink and drugs at parties, and binged on fast food. The onset of paranoia, hallucinations and sleep deprivation only forced him to kick his drug habit.

Ignoring the warning signs

When he moved to Denver he became a husband, father to multiple children, an award-winning sales executive boasting a high salary, and later a successful business owner.

Despite his personal and professional achievements his drinking became more excessive and destructive. He drove and worked whilst under the influence, and was later sued, forcing him to file for personal bankruptcy.

He adeptly concealed his problem from his family despite it making him sick, depressed, reclusive and desperate. Even the sudden death of his best friend’s brother did not stop him.

Running towards redemption

Once unemployed, broke and near death Clark took responsibility for his actions and changed.

He swapped his addiction to running, fuelled by his lifelong dream of finishing a marathon. He naturally became mindful of his self-talk and the foods he was consuming.

His training consisted of running on a treadmill in his gym every day, starting from short intervals to 20 minutes non-stop. He also became an avid reader of running books.

He soon transformed his life, becoming a travelling spa and hot tub salesman as a sober competitor of distances ranging from 5 km to the marathon. He continued to test his new found strength by completing more challenging events such as the Boulder Ironman triathlon and the Badwater 135 ultramarathon.

Overcoming further setbacks

Then the inevitable injury occurred. A severely herniated disc impinging on his sciatic nerve forced him to rest, and commit to regular core exercises and steroid injections. He even discarded the pain medication due to his fear of drug dependence.

But with patience and perseverance he returned healthy and finished the Leadville 100 ultramarathon twice, won the 12 hours of Boulder race, ran 24 hours on a treadmill, and 50 km for ten consecutive days across the state of Colorado.

Despite his subsequent divorce he ultimately regained his self-worth by dropping over 70 kg of body weight and inspiring others as a running coach and mentor through The Superman Project he created.

Clark used running as his new life-saving drug, an obsession with strengthening his fitness and spirit.


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