I met Theresa Ortolani in 2006 at the Unadilla GNCC. She was stalking Nathan Kanney with a camera and an inspired look in her eye. Surely she was envisioning Endurance as a finished product while she worked her way around the muddy pits, framing up a victorious Kanney-then a privateer-as he pumped his fist and enjoyed the dirt in his mouth. Beating a squad of factory riders will make a guy feel like that, I suppose.Now, it’s late 2009 and Kanney is a fixture under the Factory KTM off-road tent and Ortolani has finished this excellent book.Endurance is a photo story, plain and simple, with excellent editorial additions. The photos take center stage with their gritty, realistic edge but there are stars in the typeface as well. Starting with Ezra Dyer’s introduction, readers are welcomed into the sport with an informative journalistic voice. Reading it offers education to those not familiar with the GNCC series (or off-road racing at all), the bikes of off-road, the history and establishes the overall mantra of successful racing: Endurance.Refreshingly, this is not a Kanney catalog. Even though we dig Kanney, it’s great to see that all racers, regardless of class, gender or skill are represented through word and intimate portrait. Even the hardened fans get their day in the sun after many in the mud (if you’ve been to Unadilla, or anywhere there’s a mud race, you know these people). There are action shots to get your blood pumping, but Ortolani’s specialties are the portrait, landscape and snapshots of semi-still life surrounding the chaos.Other Endurance highlights include; Jerry Bernardo’s almost too legitimate essay on struggle, pain and generally being a badass; A one-on-one conversation with Carrie Coombs Russell which explores the roots of an American motorcycle race-promoting family legacy, putting the passion of the sport into perspective we can all appreciate; and more bold-type-worthy pull-quotes than I could hope to remember. These gems are all nicely packaged after Dyer’s intro and in-between the best American off-road lifestyle photography I’ve seen.In summary, Theresa Ortolani has captured the essence of an off-road racer’s pain and glory in a great looking, great reading book. The focus on Kanney is something any rider or racer can relate to and appreciate and the photos are just outstanding. Each photo has clues about what makes off-road racing so damn hard. And that’s really what it’s all about: This stuff is hard. Off-road finally gets the spotlight Supercross has been in for years.Endurance is published by powerHouse books and retails for $39.95. Limited signed promotional copies were available as of this writing.Visit www.theresaortolani.com/endurance for more information.