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Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

( 95 )

Overview


In one of his most ambitious physical efforts to date, Dean Karnazes attempted to run 50 marathons, in 50 states, in 50 days to raise awareness of youth obesity and urge Americans of all fitness levels to "take that next step."

"UltraMarathon Man: 50 Marathons - 50 States - 50 Days", a Journeyfilm documentary, follows Dean’s incredible step-by-step journey across the country.

Ultrarunning legend Dean Karnazes has run 262 miles-the equivalent ...

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Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

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Overview


In one of his most ambitious physical efforts to date, Dean Karnazes attempted to run 50 marathons, in 50 states, in 50 days to raise awareness of youth obesity and urge Americans of all fitness levels to "take that next step."

"UltraMarathon Man: 50 Marathons - 50 States - 50 Days", a Journeyfilm documentary, follows Dean’s incredible step-by-step journey across the country.

Ultrarunning legend Dean Karnazes has run 262 miles-the equivalent of ten marathons-without rest. He has run over mountains, across Death Valley, and to the South Pole-and is probably the first person to eat an entire pizza while running. With an insight, candor, and humor rarely seen in sports memoirs (and written without the aid of a ghostwriter or cowriter), Ultramarathon Man has inspired tens of thousands of people-nonrunners and runners alike-to push themselves beyond their comfort zones and be reminded of "what it feels like to be truly alive," says Sam Fussell, author of Muscle.

Ultramarathon Man answers the questions Karnazes is continually asked:

- Why do you do it?
- How do you do it?
- Are you insane?

And in the new paperback edition, Karnazes answers the two questions he was most asked on his book tour:

- What, exactly, do you eat?
- How do you train to stay in such good shape?

Beginning September 17, 2006 Dean Karnazes, author of Ultramarathon Man, runs toward a page in the Guinness Book of World Records, as he embarks on his most superhuman feat yet: The North Face Enddurance 50 -- 50 Marathons in 50 states, in 50 consecutive days, beginning in St. Charles, MO, and ending in New York City on November 5. Check out Dean’s progress at www.endurance50.com.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Many would see running a marathon as the pinnacle of their athletic career; thrill-seeker Karnazes didn't just run a marathon, he ran the first marathon held at the South Pole. The conditions were extreme-"breathing the superchilled air directly [without a mask] could freeze your trachea"-yet he craved more. Also on his r sum : completing the Western States 100-mile endurance run and the Badwater 135-mile ultramarathon through Death Valley (which he won), as well as a 199-mile relay race... with only himself on his team. This running memoir (written without a coauthor) paints the picture of an insanely dedicated-some may say just plain insane-athlete. In high school, Karnazes ran cross-country track, but when his favorite coach retired, he quit the sport. Fifteen years later, on his 30th birthday (in 1992), on the verge of an early midlife crisis, he threw on his old shoes and ran 30 miles on a whim. The invigorating feeling compelled him to pursue the world of ultramarathons (any run longer than 26.2 miles). "Never," Karnazes writes, "are my senses more engaged than when the pain sets in." Yet his masochism is a reader's pleasure, and Karnazes's book is intriguing. Casual runners will find inspiration in Karnazes's determination; nonathletes will have the evidence once and for all that runners are indeed a strange breed. Agent, Carole Bidnick. (Mar.) Forecast: A 60 Minutes segment on Karnazes airing in March will generate interest, as will a nine-city author tour, which he will complete by running. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Extreme-endurance athlete Karnazes chronicles his running career. It didn't begin auspiciously. After a single high-school season on the cross-country team, he quit and didn't run again until his 30th birthday. That night, after a drink at the bar, he ran 30 miles from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay-a mere sprint compared to the distances he's covered since then. Karnazes has engaged in athletic contests that test the limits of human endurance: 100-mile runs, back-to-back marathons, treks across Death Valley, and one memorable marathon across the snows of Antarctica. (His competitors used snowshoes; he wore sneakers.) With plain talk and plenty of inspirational quotes, Karnazes tells readers just what it's like to run 20 miles up a mountain side and know that 80 miles remain, how leg muscles feel when cramp strikes, and where the mind wanders when the body is punished so severely. Reading his account of his first 100-Mile Endurance Run, the reader winces as his blisters are lanced, then plugged with Super Glue, and cringes when he takes a wrong turn that adds distance to an already impossibly long trail. Karnazes does a lot of thinking about the reasons he took up such a demanding hobby. He can't say exactly why, though he surmises that it may be linked to the death of his beloved 18-year-old sister Pary in a car accident. He also points to the comfort of having clearly defined goals (races are conceptually simple affairs) and wonders whether he might have obsessive-compulsive disorder. Whatever his reasons, Karnazes has made a life for himself in which he runs thousands of miles a year, sleeps only four hours a night, holds down a day job in business, and almost never misses his son'sballgames. Charming and surprisingly quirky, providing the perfect escapist fantasy for couch potatoes and weekend warriors alike. Author tour
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585424801
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/2/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 187,354
  • Product dimensions: 5.17 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean Karnazes, who was named one of the Top 10 Ultimate Athletes by Outside magazine, is president of EnergyWell Natural Foods in San Francisco.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 95 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(66)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 96 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 20, 2012

    Captivating

    Dean Karnazes' autobiography chronicling his life as a runner was a great read. The simple language and humor he used to describe his sometimes terrifying experiences as a long distance runner helped captivate me as a reader. This was the first I'd ever read about a person completing Ultra Marathons. I don't generally enjoy books about athletics, but this was a highly recommended read. Not only did I enjoy every page, but I have since purchased this book for family and friends as gifts. Dean is beyond inspirational, he is a super hero. Full disclosure: This book will make you want to run until you can't run anymore.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Plantar Fasciitis

    Runners who have plantar fasciitis that interferes with their running might also be interested in "The 5-Minute Plantar Fasciitis Solution."

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2010

    Motivating!

    I could not put this book down. There was a lot of common ground I found with the author. It's excellent depiction of a little-known (and growing) underground sport of extreme endurance athletes. These ultra-marathoners (runners who race in excess of the 26.1 popular races) come from all walks of life and each have their own reasons for doing what they do. These are everyday people, doing everyday jobs in society but share one thing in common; the mental ability to push themselves beyond what they thought they were capable of. This book demonstrates a true no-quit attitude that inspired me to take to the road for my first 30 mile race. Not only do I recommend this for motivational purposes or just a good read, but there are numerous how-to's included to help you prepare for your own running aspirations. 5 stars!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of the best sports books

    I usually do not read sports books, and to be honest, when I do it's because I'm looking for some motivation. This book definitely delivers on that. With each page that I read, I wanted to go out for a run (unfortunately, I'm nowhere near the conditioning of Dean). Beyond that, it opened up a world of running that I did not know even existed. The events that he competed in were just amazing. But what held it all together was the way that the book was written. With each page, I felt as if I was there, watching all of the events unfold. A definite winner.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Get Up and Move.....

    This book was recommended to me by a friend that has been into running for several years. I figured that it would be a dissertation on why I need to run. What it ended up being was a book that inspired me to run despite the fact that I haven't in run in many years. The book is very much in line with Lance Armstrong's "It's Not About the Bike." It makes you see how hard work can pay off, not in victories, but in personal triumph. I would recommened this book to runner's and non-runners alike. It is as entertaining as anything that I have read in a long time.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2007

    Wonderful Book

    I picked it up and read it straight through. A peak into the mentality of an ultra-distance runner. Inspiring in a genuine, not a rah-rah manner. Simple prose, touching and funny, self-deprecating and yet wise. It deals, of course, with running but also touches on the theme of excellence and achievement for their own sake.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

    Hard to put down once you start reading it. Very inspiring and m

    Hard to put down once you start reading it. Very inspiring and motivational. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2013

    The gratest

    The gratest book i have ever read.
    I am a runner my self and it enspired me to find a pation and to go with it. As he said the prsuit of a pation is grater than the pation it self.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    Standard reading for Ultra-runners

    If your planning on running ultra's this is the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

    Great book

    Great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    Awesome!

    This guy is NUTS, but very inspirational...especially for someone who really wants to be a runner! Funny and fun and a great read! Highly recommended!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Amazing

    Could not put this book down! Dean Karnazes has helped this 50 year old lady to keep pushing herself to see just how far she can go!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Awesome book!

    I read this book in two days and enjoyed every bit. Well worth it. I am a casual runner and this inspired me to take my running further and inspired me in general! I will be reading it again soon.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    What a ride!

    This was a great book and was impossible to put down until I had read every word.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2011

    Amazing Book- All Athletes Must Read!!

    Dean Karnazes, writer of this autobiography isn¿t your average ultra-marathoner, he is probably one of the most extraordinary athletes out there. All he thinks about is pushing his limits. His thirst for more challenges is never slowed. He has completed the Western States (100 mile race through the mountains in California) multiple times, finished the Badwater run, he even ran the first marathon to the South Pole, and let us not forget the 199 mile relay which he completed by himself. He finds a true connection with running and it isn¿t just a hobby to him, it¿s a passion. Karnazes puts the runner¿s perspective into the non-runner¿s view and changes the way people think of ¿that runner running by outside the window¿ simply by telling of his difficult mental battles and of his amazing experiences that he has seen and heard while running. This inspiring biography is more about him having the guts to push himself both physically and mentally and it makes you want to do the same. It is a must read for all serious athletes who know they are capable of doing more than they think they can.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    What an inspiring story

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted April 4, 2011

    Great read for runners

    I was lucky to get to run a few miles of a race with Dean and he told great stories during it. The book is written where I can hear his voice telling more stories. If you enjoy distance running, this is a great read of stories including how he got started. I wouldn't reccomend doing his first run when he returned, most would have gotten injured!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    True inspiration for all runners

    I read this book and it brought tears to my eyes. To FEEL what Dean was saying during some "dark moments" in his head comforts me as a runner. We've all had moments that the last wall we push is always our greatest one, yet... Go back to basics and don't make it complicated, "just put one foot in front of the other until you finish"... I love this book so much, as soon as I finished.. I threw on my shoes and went for a quick run myself in homage to Dean :o)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    inspires you and your sport.

    If your looking for inspiration and human achievements for any sport, read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2008

    Extremely motivational, excellent inspiration!

    Dean does an excellent job of keeping the reader engaged. If you are planning any long distance event, in any sport, this is a great compliment to your preparation. Crazy or not, if this man can endure this much, any task we do should seem effortless in comparison.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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