Karno to his mates, Dean Karnazes to the rest of us and quite astonishing to one and all. He is the Ultramarathon Man. His feats of endurance are to be commended as is his work to bring Ultra running to prominence. We bring you two of his most interesting and insightful reads. We also take a look at a great book by American, Bart Yasso, a legend in running circles…
Ultramarathon Man (Dean Karnazes)
Dean Karnazes is an inspiration and proves that all of us can do far more than we can imagine, especially when it comes to physical exertion/stamina. Completing the Western Sates 100, finishing the first marathon to the South Pole, running across Death Valley in a 135-mile race, even his remarkable 199-mile run to Santa Cruz to prove to himself that it could be done . . . these are commendable. But perhaps the thing that found most remarkable is that Dean holds down a regular job, has a regular family and still manages to train for these incredible feats without disrupting the balance of things. (Admittedly, he does much of his running late at night, going for months on four hours sleep!)
Another thing I found remarkable is his apparent modesty. Most of his co-workers did not even know about this training and racing because he would keep a regular work schedule and make a point not to complain despite fatigued muscles and depleted electrolytes. Good example for the rest of us who may gripe about a stubbed toe or paper cut.
After his extreme running exploits in UltraMarathon Man, Karnazes decided to run 50 marathons in 50 states on 50 consecutive days. This book tells the story of the tour, day by day, 26.2 miles at a time. Along with the inspiring stories of the people who chose to run these recreated marathons, he offers advice for ultra-runners and first timers. (My only complaint is that he’s gone more commercial and he occasionally sounds like he’s trying to sell you a certain brand of shoes, clothing or sports drink.) 50 marathons in 50 days is an incredible feat. So what did he do the 51st day? He ran about 30 miles in Cen-tral Park. The next day he started running from New York to St. Louis and averaged 30-40 miles per day for another month! A good read.
My Life on the Run (Bart Yasso)
Dubbed the “Mayor of Running,” Bart Yasso is one of the best-known figures in the sport, but few people know why he started running competitively, how it changed his life, or how his brush with a crippling illness nearly ended his career a decade ago. With insight and humor, My Life on the Run chronicles the heatstroke and frostbite, heartache and triumphs he’s experienced while competing in more than 1,000 competitive races during his nearly 30 years with Runner’s World magazine. Yasso gives valuable and practical advice on how to become a runner for life and continually draw joy from the sport. He also offers practical guidance for beginners, intermediate, and advanced runners, such as 5-K, half-marathon, and marathon training schedules including his innovative technique known as the Yasso 800s. Recounting his adventures in exotic locales like Antarctica, Nepal, and Chitwan National Park in Africa (where he was chased by an angry rhino), Yasso recommends the best exotic marathons for runners who want to grab their pass-ports to test themselves on foreign terrain. With the wit and wisdom of a seasoned in-sider, he tells runners what they need to know to navigate the logistics of running in an unfamiliar country. Yasso’s message is this: Never limit where running can take you because each race has the potential for adventure.