Ultrarunning legend Dean Karnazes has run 262 miles - the equivalent of ten marathons - without rest. He has run over mountains, across Death Valley, to the South Pole, and is probably the first person to eat an entire pizza while running. With an insight, candour and humour rarely seen in sports memoirs, Ultramarathon Man has inspired tens of thousands of people - nonrunners and runners alike - to push themselves beyond their comfort zones and simply get out there and run.
Ultramarathon Man answers the questions Karnazes is continually asked:
- Why do you do it?
- How do you do it?
- Are you insane?
and the follow-up queries:
- What, exactly, do you eat?
- How do you train to stay in such good shape?
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 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.