Showing posts with label book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book. Show all posts

February 2, 2015

Book Review: Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes

I'm participating in Sarah Ohm's Blogger Book Club 2015 because I love books and participating in this link up will hopefully help motivate me to reach one of my New Year's goals to read one book a month for fun.  This month I decided to read Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes. Actually I read the whole book one day during jury duty last week. High five to me for being productive.   

I have read about Dean Karnazes, one of the most famous ultrarunners, and even met him a couple years ago at a running store event. He was so genuine, enthusiastic, and positive in person.


I finally picked up his autobiographical book Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner published in 2006. It seemed like a great pick for the motivation theme of this month's book club. No, I've never run an ultramarathon, although I'm toying with the idea of trying a 50K one of these days. I am however a runner and fascinated by ultramarathons.  I give lots of respect to the different type of running and physical stamina those events take. The ultrarunning culture, fuel, and community is interesting to me.  

I also like how even though Dean eats super healthy, during ultras he does things like gets an entire pizza delivered to him on a run and eats the entire thing himself. 
True story, it happens in this book. Pizza is clearly the way to my heart. 


I'd say you don't have to be a runner to like this book though. It's more about inspiration and following your dreams, no matter how crazy they seem.  Clearly that lines up with my "run happy, dream big" mantra as well. 

The book Ultra Marathon Man is about Dean from the very beginning of his running career until the end of a 199 mile relay race he ran solo in California in 2000. 

He ran mostly cross country in high school and fell in love with running but later is sister Pary was killed in a car crash.  Her death and how it affected Dean is a theme throughout the book. What I think is surprising is how Dean  not only held a corporate job in San Francisco when he started running but throughout his career.  One of the motivating quotes in his life and of the book is how a former favorite high school coach told him "If it felt good, you didn't push hard enough. It's supposed to hurt like hell.After a hiatus from running, he rediscovers his love of it on his 30th birthday and enters the world of ultramarathoning.  

I'm not going to give the whole book away (you should read!) but it talks about his journey towards chasing the toughest events in the world form his first Western States, to Badwater, to the first marathon on Antarctica, and then finally the relay in California.  He doesn't just run ultramarathons but ridiculously difficult events like Badwater which takes place in Death Valley for 135 miles with temperatures in 120 °F. Seriously. Oh and he won it in 2004.