Ultra Marathon Man

… running, to me, remained the purist form of athletic expression.  It was the simplest, least encumbered sport there was, and the definitive measurement of raw stamina-Dean Karnazes

If you are looking for motivation to starting to training for a road race, triathlon, bike race, whatever-all you have to do is google the name Dean Karnazes. I first found out about Dean in December of 2006, I was in good old Wooster, Ohio visiting my alma mater for a swim team reunion centered around the school’s annual swimming invitational. Anyone that is familiar with the sport of swimming knows that with the action packed races, there is an excessive amount of downtime. So in-between sessions we had a lot of time to catch up and talk about our big and important young professional lives. As we were all chatting, I noticed my friend Courtney was glued to a book, which seemed a little odd. So I nudged her and said, “what’s so great about that book that you can’t talk with us?” She showed me the cover and said, “This guy is absolutely crazy! He was just a regular middle class American guy and then one day he decided to start running ultra marathons.” Being an excessively competitive person, I was intrigued. As she told me more about Dean, the more I couldn’t wait until the moment she finished the book so I, myself, could read about this super-human man. Luckily, Courtney finished shortly after she delivered me the brief overview and I was able to dive into the wonders of this “all night runner” in no time.

In his book Dean retells his adventures in the Western States Endurance 100, The Badwater Ultra marathon, the first ever south pole marathon, and many other crazy adventures. As he retells each experience in sometimes too much detail, he constantly reiterates the power of the human mind to overcome even the toughest obstacles. Whether it be running through 120 degree temperatures in death valley or getting off the couch for a simple work out, Dean is able to relate his experiences to the common man without sounding like preacher. I personally (the workout-aholic) found Dean’s book addicting and I never wanted it to end, so for the adrenaline junky, this book will reignite a fire within you. Non-athletes, this book will reaffirm the fact that runners are indeed a strange and unique breed. Decide for yourselves!

I recommend you check it out for yourself: 

Next review up: 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!