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Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I first heard of Dean Karnazes when I learned about ultramarathoning. For those who don’t know, ultramarathoning is just what it sounds like, running distances longer than a marathon (usually 50K, 50 miles, or even 100 miles). But Karnazes goes even farther than that. The longest run he’s done is 350 miles, running for more than three sleepless nights.

I was hooked as soon as I read about him. I googled him and found lots of articles, but didn’t learn much. I had heard about his on-the-spot 30-mile run on his thirtieth birthday that catapulted him into ultramarathoning, and his Endurance 50 run, where he ran 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days. But I wanted to learn more. Luckily, I discovered he had written a memoir.

Overall I was pleased with Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner, which explores more in-depth his thoughts about the race situations and is well-written, in a humorous, laid-back style.

I especially enjoyed the beginning since it revealed facts about Karnazes I wanted to know. I learned about his roots, and how his running began in middle school with cross-country. The book includes tidbits of personal commentary about his changing lifestyle – from businessman to runner. I particularly enjoyed the story describing his progression from his high school cross-country years to his thirtieth birthday run to taking up recreational running, to his first 50-mile run, his first Western States 100, and beyond. He is very open with his thoughts and his love for running, and lots of emotions gush from his writing.

Later in the book, his main focus shifts to a diary during different stages of races. The biggest section of the book, I enjoyed this less than the beginning. No matter how breathtaking or amazing his account of the races was – the emotional stress, the highs and lows of running, the physical toll on his body, and his experiences – it was almost a chore to read how he completed yet another ultra-marathon.

All in all, I liked Ultramarathon Man a lot, though I’m not sure I would have if I hadn’t already been fascinated by ultramarathoning and Dean Karnazes. Anyhow, I’m still hooked, and I’ll be looking forward to a new book he’s planning to release this year about his Endurance 50 run.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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Michael Patrick said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm
I think that this book is really good especially because I love running so much.  Dean has inspired me to go the distance and really challenge myself.  Come here for great deals on all of his books: http://bookshelfstories.com/shop/shop.php?c=22&x=Dean_Karnazes
 
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