A Legend in the Making–Dean Karnazes

Today, I hosted Dean Karnazes at Cisco (see Ultramarathon Man review).  If you would rather not read the review but want to see something crazy, click here and type “Dean Karnazes” to see just a small sampling of his races and finishing times. 

Anyway, we had a small turnout–about 15 people today.  I felt bad for Dean, but selfishly it just meant I could spend more time talking to Dean.  Seemed like maybe others chose to work from home and watch the inauguration today.  I wondered for a second if I was being unpatriotic choosing to watch the inauguration a million times later on the news, but that feeling passed quickly.  Turns out Cisco had 109 runners at the Silicon Valley Marathon in Oct., winning the inaugural Dean Karnazes Corporate Challenge.  Our prize was a meet & greet and fun run with Dean.

lynndeanMore than anything, Dean comes across as genuine, humble and sincere.  He must have a mountain of stories to tell, and we heard a few.  He had heard that nobody had run an ultra on all seven continents in one year, until he looked at his own schedule and realized he had completed that feat in seven weeks!  In 2008, he spent 250 days on the road doing book tours, racing across five deserts, delivering keynote speeches, attending conferences.  He didn’t have a clear answer when I asked him what big events he planned for this year, although judging by the battery of West Coast events listed on his web site, he may be sticking closer to home this year.  I’m still waiting to hear about his next over-the-top idea.

Dean showed us the shoes he was wearing which he helped develop with The North Face, the Endurus XCR Boa.  The laceless upper is enmeshed in thin stainless steel cables that connect to a tension dial at the back. A simple turn cinches the shoe onto the foot.  Vasque also makes a similar design.

I’ll look for Dean at the Napa Marathon in March.  I asked him if he was planning to run to the start of the race again this year as he has done in the past.  He said he had not yet decided, although last year he ran from his home in San Francisco to the start of the race in Calistoga, ran the marathon, then ran home.  Makes me feel like I’m standing still, but not in a bad way.  Dean truly has an incredible ability to inspire others, not just because of his amazing conquests.  There is absolutely no ego in his demeanor or in the way he talks about his accomplishments.

I wanted some tips on hydration and nutrition for ultras.  I had read about how Dean drinks pedialyte for electrolyte replacement on his really long runs.  He encouraged me to try it and I think I will.  And I’m already thinking about adding a 50-mile race to this year’s plan.  Next year, I should really do a 100K and maybe even a 100-mile event.

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One Response

  1. Another great guy who’s incredibly humble for being a 2 time Olympian is Jack Daniels. Here’s a brief review of a local event hosted for Jack: http://curiosityquotient.blogspot.com/2009/01/unexpected-running-lessons.html

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