web site hit counter Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

Availability: Ready to download

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. Ul 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?


Compare

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. Ul 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?

30 review for Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    The closest I will ever get to an ultramarathon is reading this book. To better simulate the all night running experience described in this book I thought I would try a sort of ultramarathon reading style. So in the tradition of Dean Karnazes here are the confessions of an all night reader. After a night at the local pool learned flip-turns from Anne we returned home to put the girls to bed. Instead of Scrabble or episodes of the West Wing (which are our surefire date-defaults) we decided to read The closest I will ever get to an ultramarathon is reading this book. To better simulate the all night running experience described in this book I thought I would try a sort of ultramarathon reading style. So in the tradition of Dean Karnazes here are the confessions of an all night reader. After a night at the local pool learned flip-turns from Anne we returned home to put the girls to bed. Instead of Scrabble or episodes of the West Wing (which are our surefire date-defaults) we decided to read in bed. For me, that usually means about a half hour before I can't keep my eyes open anymore. But tonight was different. I was going to try to read this baby cover to cover before I slept. Nevermind the 250 pages of textbooks I have to read by Monday for school. I started out strong through the first 100 pages, rarely breaking more than a few seconds between chapters. By that time Anne was fast asleep but my night had just begun. My favorite part of the book was Dean's description of his first Western States 100 mile race. He provided great detail and I felt like I was right there with him. I was starting to feel the fatigue setting in from my own lofty pursuits. After all, Dean wrote that the actual activity you choose is unimportant as long as you are giving everything you've got. By the time I reached page 200 the lines were starting to blur. I had to get up and swing my arms and jump around to keep the blood flowing. So this is how Dean felt!? 226 miles without stopping? Try that many pages without coming up for air. 5 hours and 6 rice-crispy treats later I finished reading the last acknowledgments and closed the book. It was a little after 3:00am. Dean and I connected on a level that only those who dare to push their most outer limits can. The way I read this book last night is not for everyone. But this book is! A very fun read that will leave you thinking about your own ultra ambitions.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    Ug. Ego-stroking pap. The description of the Western States race is awesome, but sadly you have to read about him describing himself (hint: the word "ripped" is used 3 times) to get there. And then deal with the last 100 pages, all about a self-indulgent trip to the South Pole (look at me! I'm rich!). Ug. Ego-stroking pap. The description of the Western States race is awesome, but sadly you have to read about him describing himself (hint: the word "ripped" is used 3 times) to get there. And then deal with the last 100 pages, all about a self-indulgent trip to the South Pole (look at me! I'm rich!).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I recently picked up running as a way to get in shape, and it's become a bit of a hobby. I thought I would enjoy Karnazes's book both because I appreciate people who push themselves to the limit and because, as a PhD student, I know what it's like to be entirely devoted to a dream. I was hoping to feel inspired and to meet a kindred spirit. Not happening. Dean Karnazes is so into himself that it's difficult to get a glimpse of ultrarunning through him. His descriptions of his physical form are un I recently picked up running as a way to get in shape, and it's become a bit of a hobby. I thought I would enjoy Karnazes's book both because I appreciate people who push themselves to the limit and because, as a PhD student, I know what it's like to be entirely devoted to a dream. I was hoping to feel inspired and to meet a kindred spirit. Not happening. Dean Karnazes is so into himself that it's difficult to get a glimpse of ultrarunning through him. His descriptions of his physical form are unappealing, in that he goes out of the way to inform you that he is "ripped like a prizefighter" and that "my body reached a level of fitness that defied all sensible limitations." He definitely gets a kick out of including his Sports Illustrated sexiest athlete photo, as well, but without the good humor I was hoping to see. Even though ultrarunners generally seem to be awesome people, Karnazes does not appear to be friends with any of them. Even though he is racing with some of the best athletes in the world, he never mentions his fellow dream chasers by name or appears to develop strong relationships with his running colleagues. One of the most appealing traits of running books like Born to Run is the obvious affection and admiration the runners display for each other. Dean only seems to admire himself. He talks about participants in his sport as an elite and mysterious group of people who are just so wild and beyond normal people that there can be no comparison, but from reading the book you'd think he's the only member of this group. He prefers to talk about encounters with normal people who are impressed by his antics and think, "Oh Dean, you so crazy!" His descriptions of his formative high school track experiences also ring false to me. First of all, I don't know very many groups of high schoolers who "hang out at late-night coffee shops and read Kafka and Kerouac." And the contrast between his beloved cross-country team and the prissy, time-obsessed track team seemed so overwrought that it's like he never grew out of the high school mentality he had while a member of them. Apparently the track coach wanted to time him and, when Dean informed him that "I run with my heart," laughed so derisively that Dean stormed off the field in a huff and didn't run again for fifteen years. That doesn't say "tough guy" to me. Dean's attitude towards women is also highly unappealing. Ultrarunning is one of the few sports where men and women compete together and women frequently come out on top. However, Dean's idea of a good joke was to send a male friend who completed a "lesser" ultramarathon a tampon instead of a congratulatory cigar—a tampon the friend had to "live down" by completing several more ultramarathons. This book did have moments that were enjoyable, especially Dean's description of actually running Western States. His writing is simple and makes for a super quick read. But I will not be reaching for any more work by this author. His focus on himself and on what a hardass he is because he works through the pain provides a stark contrast with my experience of running books to date, in which the athletes experience joy through running. Yes, ultrarunners get tired. Yes, you have to mentally force yourself to get through even short runs if you are an inexperienced runner like me. But I'm not digging Dean Karnazes the happy masochist.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Allen

    Ah, people hate Dean Karnazes... but ask yourself this: would you know who Scott Jurek was if you had never read Dean Karnazes? I wouldn't. Dean's book sometimes sounds like he's spinning a yarn. It's pretty unbelievable at points. On the other hand, he does some unbelievable things. And he does most of what he does for charity. In general, it's a very good read. It made me feel like going out running. And indirectly, I trained for and signed up for my first ultramarathon because I read this book Ah, people hate Dean Karnazes... but ask yourself this: would you know who Scott Jurek was if you had never read Dean Karnazes? I wouldn't. Dean's book sometimes sounds like he's spinning a yarn. It's pretty unbelievable at points. On the other hand, he does some unbelievable things. And he does most of what he does for charity. In general, it's a very good read. It made me feel like going out running. And indirectly, I trained for and signed up for my first ultramarathon because I read this book. Love him or hate him, Dean Karnazes put ultramarathoning on the map. Is Dean the best runner in the world? Maybe not. Is he the best ultramarathoner? Probably not, either. He did win Badwater in 2004, and you don't do that by being a mediocre athlete.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nick Raven

    I didn't realize until after I'd read this book and given it a 4-star rating that people were dumping on it for his egotism. Honestly, having breezed right through this (it's not a difficult or lengthy read by any means) I kinda felt the opposite. I've been reading a lot about running and marathons lately and Karnazes came up as an example of an extreme athlete. Reading up about him, he seemed to be some kind of invincible superman, but him spending most of the book explaining the hell-ish condi I didn't realize until after I'd read this book and given it a 4-star rating that people were dumping on it for his egotism. Honestly, having breezed right through this (it's not a difficult or lengthy read by any means) I kinda felt the opposite. I've been reading a lot about running and marathons lately and Karnazes came up as an example of an extreme athlete. Reading up about him, he seemed to be some kind of invincible superman, but him spending most of the book explaining the hell-ish conditions of his extreme jaunts, I built up a sympathy for the guy. Sure, he dives into self - flagellation when he describes his body as godly and he can run two marathons with ease as training, but it illuminates how high the bar is to even attempt to accomplish the feats he's done. Sure, he talks about his growing pile of commendations, but what would you expect from a nearly career athlete? Medals and trophies are for athletes, not nerds like me, they just come with the territory. The book is far more Disney Channel than instruction manual and reading about his struggles, the centerpiece of the book, carries far more weight than his accomplishments. He may talk about his extreme physique, but he's having some humble pie with it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rhiannon

    I'm a runner, and although I have not done and probably never will do an ultramarathon, I know quite a few ultramarathoners and thought this book would give me a better idea of the sport. But, wow, this book is a piece of crap. Rarely have I read something by an author so completely self-absorbed, self-worshiping, self-indulgent, and egotistical. He feigns modesty throughout the book, but its insincerity is crystal clear. Yes, Dean, I know that you're an amazing runner (although there are other u I'm a runner, and although I have not done and probably never will do an ultramarathon, I know quite a few ultramarathoners and thought this book would give me a better idea of the sport. But, wow, this book is a piece of crap. Rarely have I read something by an author so completely self-absorbed, self-worshiping, self-indulgent, and egotistical. He feigns modesty throughout the book, but its insincerity is crystal clear. Yes, Dean, I know that you're an amazing runner (although there are other ultrarunners who are even better, and they get no mention in this book) but I really don't care that you have 5% body fat, that you are "cut like a prize fighter," that "over the course of the decade [you] managed to amass nine more Western States Silver Buckles...dozens of medals, plaques, and trophies" but that although "it's cool to have mementos like these, [you ] didn't have them out on display in the living room." Also, the writing is just plain bad. Dialogues with other people (all of whom, even his family, are portrayed as completely one-dimensional characters) are unrealistic. And finally, he's sexist. No mention of the (many) incredible female ultrarunners, but he does send a tampon as a joke to a male friend who'd just finished his first Western States 100. Implying, I assume, that because the guy didn't run it particularly quickly, that he was no better than a woman. No matter that a woman, Pam Reed, beat Dean TWICE in the 130-mile Badwater race, and that she was the first person to run 300 miles continuously. This book is not about the sport of ultra running. This book is about Dean Karnazes, and an ego the size of Canada.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    This is definitely not a book I would have chosen for myself. I read it because my son, who is a marathon runner, gave it to me to read and I was very impressed. I am not usually a great fan of the autobiography, but Dean Karnazes writes with humour and diffidence about his incredible achievements. Anyone who can do the things he has done is a hero - slightly crazy admittedly, but a hero. Well worth reading. This is definitely not a book I would have chosen for myself. I read it because my son, who is a marathon runner, gave it to me to read and I was very impressed. I am not usually a great fan of the autobiography, but Dean Karnazes writes with humour and diffidence about his incredible achievements. Anyone who can do the things he has done is a hero - slightly crazy admittedly, but a hero. Well worth reading.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    About halfway through it becomes an ego-fest. Karnazes may be an ultradistance runner, but he's not the best and should stop acting that way. He's marketed himself as the posterboy for ultraendurance running and it starts to get weary in the book. About halfway through it becomes an ego-fest. Karnazes may be an ultradistance runner, but he's not the best and should stop acting that way. He's marketed himself as the posterboy for ultraendurance running and it starts to get weary in the book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    It's unfortunate that what could have been a really inspirational story about pushing oneself to the ultimate limit of physical endurance is overshadowed by the douchiness of the author. I wanted to be in awe and instead I was just annoyed. The constant false modesty was tiring and incredibly transparent. And I get that anyone who writes a memoir would want to shine themselves in a flattering light, so I understand Karnazes' decision to focus on races that he finished. But I think it would have It's unfortunate that what could have been a really inspirational story about pushing oneself to the ultimate limit of physical endurance is overshadowed by the douchiness of the author. I wanted to be in awe and instead I was just annoyed. The constant false modesty was tiring and incredibly transparent. And I get that anyone who writes a memoir would want to shine themselves in a flattering light, so I understand Karnazes' decision to focus on races that he finished. But I think it would have been a better book if he had included at least one honest account of one of the races where he made a conscious decision to stop and not finish. He's a great runner and I am in awe of his skill and dedication. The fact that he raises money for sick children also raises his stock in my book. But sending a tampon to a friend after finishing a marathon (especially considering that ultra-marathoning is one of the arenas where women consistently out-perform men) is just a dick move. I feel better now.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ramesh

    After meeting Dean in person and hearing his own story in SF, I was really looking forward to finish this book. It was as if Dean himself telling this story to me. The book is indeed a great motivation and covers the transparent details of what all goes in an ultra runner's mind. Truly a wonderful journey.. After meeting Dean in person and hearing his own story in SF, I was really looking forward to finish this book. It was as if Dean himself telling this story to me. The book is indeed a great motivation and covers the transparent details of what all goes in an ultra runner's mind. Truly a wonderful journey..

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sushmitha Kanukurthi

    I just finished reading this book about 15 mins ago and I am not sure of where to begin! Ever since I took up running (about two years ago), I have come across many a book that have left me inspired and driven about pursuing this passion. But this book has done far more. While Dean Karnazes's super human feats are unique; what makes this book so amazing is his ability to infuse that passion in the readers. He makes the book easy to read, profound, awe inspiring and a testament to what the human I just finished reading this book about 15 mins ago and I am not sure of where to begin! Ever since I took up running (about two years ago), I have come across many a book that have left me inspired and driven about pursuing this passion. But this book has done far more. While Dean Karnazes's super human feats are unique; what makes this book so amazing is his ability to infuse that passion in the readers. He makes the book easy to read, profound, awe inspiring and a testament to what the human body is capable of achieving, if only you are willing to push yourself. For a while now, I had given up running because of the repeated migraine attacks that come with it. Maybe it is time for me to stop waiting to things to change and invest in bringing about the change. As Dean says in the book "Pain and suffering are often the catalysts for life's most profound lessons." I could go on and on about this book but it will suffice to say that if I could give this book a 10 star rating, I would! Definitely a must read for all those who want to push themselves but don't know where to start!!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    I first became aware of Dean Karnazes a few years ago shortly after moving back to New York. That was when he came into the spotlight for a lot of people, shortly after he won the Badwater Ultramarathon. In my small running circle, I spread word of his infamy, of the man who ordered pizza for delivery on his all night runs. How he would run a hundred miles just to get to the start of a marathon. How he ran a 200 mile relay race--by himself. Most of what I knew of him came from short articles in I first became aware of Dean Karnazes a few years ago shortly after moving back to New York. That was when he came into the spotlight for a lot of people, shortly after he won the Badwater Ultramarathon. In my small running circle, I spread word of his infamy, of the man who ordered pizza for delivery on his all night runs. How he would run a hundred miles just to get to the start of a marathon. How he ran a 200 mile relay race--by himself. Most of what I knew of him came from short articles in running magazines or interviews on NPR. In gearing up for this year's marathon season, I borrowed this book from a friend to find out more about the Ultramarathon Man--who in 2006 ran 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days; who was the first person to run a marathon to the South Pole--in running shoes; who ran 350 miles without stopping. I wanted some inspiration to get me through the dark moments of my running, when the pain sets in and I feel like I just can't move any further. It helps me in those times to think of someone who went further, who did more, who ran faster or harder and dug deeper to keep going even under the most dire conditions. Karnazes talks about his early life as a runner, his introduction to the sport by his first track coach, Coach McTavish. Coach's advice was simple: "Go out hard and finish harder." That would be a mantra that Karnazes would take with him throughout life. He seems to be a man full of energy and determination. An article in the New York Times before the 2010 New York Marathon talked about the determination of professional runners. "Mental Tenacity separates the mortals and the immortals in running," the article says. Karnazes must have more mental tenacity than anyone on earth. He pushes himself to extremes just to see if he can. When he feels himself unable to go on, he digs deeper inside himself and finds strength where mere mortals would falter. As a runner, he has pushed the limits of what a human can do. He's pushed the limit so far it seems unlikely that anyone will challenge his feats anytime soon. What makes this book stand out, though, is the humility with which Karnazes tells his story. He writes with an unexaggerated, self-depracating style that belies the feats he has accomplished. He's the first to admit that he is only human, that he too falls sometimes. One of his most spectacular falls occurs when he runs his first 50 mile race to qualify for the grueling Western States 100. Karnazes describes the events immediately following that race with objective clarity, as though he were telling the story of what happened to a guy he knew. The pain he puts himself through would make most of us cringe in terror, but to him it is just another day. He's a normal man with a normal family and kids who want him to play with them. Immediately after running 200 miles, his kids drag him to an amusement park and he spends the next several hours riding roller coasters. I can't imagine that. After running that distance, I can imagine that all I'd want to do is collapse in a bed. For all the humility with which he recounts his story, he is seemingly not a very humble man. In recent years he has made very public his aspirations, from running 50 states in 50 days to his very public declaration of wanting to be the first person to run 300 miles non-stop. (That feat was thwarted by Pam Reed, who for two years won the Badwater Ultramarathon and quietly and without much fanfare ran a 25 mile loop 12 times shortly after Dean attempted his record breaking run.) The ultrarunning community is small and rather protective of itself. Dean is an everyman who seems to believe that anyone can run these distances. He has opened ultrarunning to the wider world. None of that changes the power of this book, though. While it may be ostensibly about running, it is more deeply about following your dreams. Karnazes wants each of us to realize the power of our dreams, to not just have them but to strive to attain them--no matter what they be. For Karnazes, the dream and the passion meet at running. He wants to push his body and his mind to the limit and he works hard every day to do that. It's not easy. I think he makes clear how hard it is to run the distances he runs. But that is the point, he says. "Dreams can come true," he tells his kids, "especially if you train hard enough." That may be the best takeaway from any book I've read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chad Sayban

    More reviews at The Story Within The Story It started with a single fateful decision one night to just go out and run…and run…and run. This is the story of Dean Karnazes and his life as it unfolded after that night. A non-stop adventure in the heat of Death Valley, the bone-chilling cold of the South Pole, over mountains, through forests – all while running. Through hard work and breathtaking perseverance he achieved amazing athletic acts while balancing a family and career. “Most dreams die a More reviews at The Story Within The Story It started with a single fateful decision one night to just go out and run…and run…and run. This is the story of Dean Karnazes and his life as it unfolded after that night. A non-stop adventure in the heat of Death Valley, the bone-chilling cold of the South Pole, over mountains, through forests – all while running. Through hard work and breathtaking perseverance he achieved amazing athletic acts while balancing a family and career. “Most dreams die a slow death. They're conceived in a moment of passion, with the prospect of endless possibility, but often languish and are not pursued with the same heartfelt intensity as when first born. Slowly, subtly, a dream becomes elusive and ephemeral. People who've lost their own dreams become pessimists and cynics. They feel like the time and devotion spent on chasing their dreams were wasted. The emotional scars last forever.” Ultrarunners are an odd lot. Not content with running a meager distance of a marathon – 26.2 miles for those of you counting – ultrarunners head out for jaunts of 50 miles, 100 miles and longer. A fringe subset of endurance athletes, ultrarunners take joy in pushing the limits of human endurance to the absolute breaking point…and beyond. In the world of these extreme athletes, Dean Karnazes is a rock star. He has won the 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon, which is run through Death Valley…in July…in 130-degree heat. He has run a 199-mile relay event solo. He has run a marathon at the South Pole. Dean is hardcore. However, Ultramarathon Man doesn’t come across as a “look at me” egofest at all. Instead, Karnazes is a humorous tour guide who doesn’t take himself seriously. He acknowledges the ridiculous nature of what he does and points out the foibles with candor. The result is Karnazes produces an athletic memoir which is grounded in humanity while describing inhuman accomplishments. Is what he is doing a form of addiction? Certainly, and he freely admits that. But Karnazes has turned these somewhat self-absorbed escapades not into bravado, but into something more universal and inspirational. The magic of Ultramarathon Man is that it doesn’t serve to aggrandize Dean Karnazes and he doesn’t expect everyone to do the things he is doing. His hope is that by doing these larger-than-life challenges, he can inspire others to take set out on their own adventures to capture the hopes and dreams that many of us have set aside as impossible. Ultramarathon Man is really about finding the wherewithal to put one foot in front of the other and never quit until we cross the finish line – no matter what that finish line might look like. This is the best kind of memoir – a memoir of unabashed hope and optimism. I challenge anyone to read this book and not finish with a smile, a chuckle and a newfound glimpse at what just might be possible.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jacques Bezuidenhout

    It seems that the gripe that most people have with this book is that Dean comes across as very egotistic and arrogant. Well my opinion is, give credit where credit is due. This guy deserves every bit of his "well sculpted" / "chiselled" / "ripped", 4.5% body fat body. Him mentioning occasionally that he was well built, is a drop in the bigger bucket of accomplishments / stories in the book. Most of the book is about being with him in each of his races. And its awesome. The Western States 100 mile was It seems that the gripe that most people have with this book is that Dean comes across as very egotistic and arrogant. Well my opinion is, give credit where credit is due. This guy deserves every bit of his "well sculpted" / "chiselled" / "ripped", 4.5% body fat body. Him mentioning occasionally that he was well built, is a drop in the bigger bucket of accomplishments / stories in the book. Most of the book is about being with him in each of his races. And its awesome. The Western States 100 mile was described in detail. And listening to the audiobook, whilst on a longer run myself, this was motivation to the core. Some of the subsequent races didn't go into so much detail, and some of the things he did was probably just plain stupid (running in the South Pole). But kudos for what this guy has attempted / achieved. This book probably wont inspire you to do anything more, if you aren't already on a path to always do and accomplish more. If you are a person that pushes boundaries, you will respect what Dean has done and why he does it. As far as autobiographies go, I really enjoyed the format of this book in terms of mostly focusing on the races, and taking you through the journey in the heat of the race. It is probably debatable whether all retelling of the story is 100% accurate, given that he was close to being comatose in a couple of cases in these races. Nonetheless you can feel the pain he went through, and found myself cringing occasionally when he described what went wrong next. The book is really short. So easy to get through without too much fluff outside of the races. Not recommended for just anyone. But if you are into endurance yourself, and would like to get a feeling of what it is like in some of the world's toughest races, you might enjoy some of this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I really enjoyed this book. 36 weeks pregnant and I am ready to get up and run...maybe in two months or so, but I am inspired. I don't think I will ever become and ultramarathon runner, or even a marathon runner for that matter, but in a word with endless possibilities I am inspired to never be content with mediocrity. Like Robin William says in Dead Poets Society "Make your lives extraordinary." Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book: "To call running 'fun' would be a misuse of the wo I really enjoyed this book. 36 weeks pregnant and I am ready to get up and run...maybe in two months or so, but I am inspired. I don't think I will ever become and ultramarathon runner, or even a marathon runner for that matter, but in a word with endless possibilities I am inspired to never be content with mediocrity. Like Robin William says in Dead Poets Society "Make your lives extraordinary." Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book: "To call running 'fun' would be a misuse of the word. Running can be 'enjoyable.' Running can be 'rejuvenating.' But in a pure sense of the word, running is not fun." From the Reviews "The perfect escapist fantasy for couch potatoes and weekend warriors alike." "I couldn't recall a single time that I felt worse after a run than before." "'Things' don't bring happiness. Some of my finest moments came while running down the open road, little more than a pair of shoes and shorts to my name. A runner doesn't need much. Thoreau one said that a man's riches are based on what he can do without. Perhaps in needing less, you're actually getting more." "If we could just free ourselves from out percieved limitations and tap into our internal fire, the possibilities are endless." "Running into Santa Cruz, I was wholly fulfilled. Most people never get there. They're afraid or unwilling to demand enough of themselves and take the easy road, the path of least resistance. But struggling and suffering, as I now saw it, were the essence of a life worth living. If you're not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you are not constantly demanding more from yourself--expanding and learning as you go--you're choosing a numb existence. You're denying yourself an extraordinary trip."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Constantine

    This was just a crazy fun book to read. Karnazes is seriously demented but I think he knows it, which is why it was so much fun. Also, as a distance runner - but not an insane one like Karnazes - I found it totally inspiring. It's too bad I'm currently nursing a running injury because it made me want to go and pound out a 10-miler the second I put it down. I think what I liked best about the book was how self-deprecating Karnazes is about himself. He knows he's pretty much insane, he doesn't go f This was just a crazy fun book to read. Karnazes is seriously demented but I think he knows it, which is why it was so much fun. Also, as a distance runner - but not an insane one like Karnazes - I found it totally inspiring. It's too bad I'm currently nursing a running injury because it made me want to go and pound out a 10-miler the second I put it down. I think what I liked best about the book was how self-deprecating Karnazes is about himself. He knows he's pretty much insane, he doesn't go for a lot of self-aggrandizement, and he doesn't shy away from the disgusting aspects that go along with running ultramarathons. Oh, and the picture of him naked with the strategically placed South Pole is worth the price of the book alone. This might be the highest praise I can give a book - by the end of it, I was thinking, gee, I might like to try to run an ultramarathon some day. Now THAT is crazy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Ultimately the author has laid down in words answers to why he runs, what compels him to do ultramarathon running, his desires and passions, all honestly written in easy reading nicely packet together narrative that can inspire and aid the one wanting to push themselves to their limits and beyond. Heartfelt testaments from a man who is truly someone pushing himself beyond human limitations. He tells how he had a need to fill a void despite having a good job and financial security, and he takes th Ultimately the author has laid down in words answers to why he runs, what compels him to do ultramarathon running, his desires and passions, all honestly written in easy reading nicely packet together narrative that can inspire and aid the one wanting to push themselves to their limits and beyond. Heartfelt testaments from a man who is truly someone pushing himself beyond human limitations. He tells how he had a need to fill a void despite having a good job and financial security, and he takes the reader upon his road expounding on his pursuit of happiness by doing something that makes him happy, running, very very, long distances. Those distances went through extremes, from South Pole -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit, to “Running down the white line on the highway to hell,” at Badwater with the temperatures can exceed 130 degrees Fahrenheit with asphalt melting the soles of his trainers. He takes you through all these extraordinary challenges daring greatly into the arena of human heart at conflict with itself, the enemy being the idea that something was not possible, the self into untrodden terrain building and discovering inner strengths and mental toughness, he is a fine example of this and then there are the charities, lives inspired, lives in need of a donor helped, the people he aided, in these efforts a great fete. He symbolises sheer determination, endurance, and never giving up, and following your dream, the king of pain not giving in and up, a family man, proving, “nice guys can finish first.” Review with Excerpts @ More2Read

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matt Frazier

    Inspiring at times ... but there are better books to inspire and inform ultrarunners.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julia Sarene

    3,5* some parts were really interesting, but others I didn't care for so much. For me it felt like the author knows just *how* special and amazing he is. That undertone was a bit annoying to me (even though he might have every right to think so as he has achieved so very much). He likes to repeat his body fat percentage and that it'd be easier to run if he wasn't as "ripped" but he wouldn't stop his other sports and training "just so running is easier". The parts about the running itself and the di 3,5* some parts were really interesting, but others I didn't care for so much. For me it felt like the author knows just *how* special and amazing he is. That undertone was a bit annoying to me (even though he might have every right to think so as he has achieved so very much). He likes to repeat his body fat percentage and that it'd be easier to run if he wasn't as "ripped" but he wouldn't stop his other sports and training "just so running is easier". The parts about the running itself and the different runs he finished where really fascinating though, so I could ignore the parts that didn't really work for me as much, and still enjoyed the book overall.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Harbath

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I thought this would be a good read ahead of my 50 mile race. Not really! He makes distance running sound terrible. Now I am afraid I am going to go blind half way through. Plus I feel unqualified because I have more than 2% body fat. Ugh! Other than stressing me out, this was a pretty entertaining read. Also, be forewarned- expect a lot of humble bragging.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Barker

    I was invested in the story for the first half of this book and couldn't understand all the reviews that mentioned how the author basically only wrote about how great he was... and then I read the second half. And then I understood. I was invested in the story for the first half of this book and couldn't understand all the reviews that mentioned how the author basically only wrote about how great he was... and then I read the second half. And then I understood.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rich Szabo

    This is an autobiography of Dean Karnazes who restarted his former high school running career at age 30 and the incredible events he subsequently completed. What impressed me was the determination and drive Karnazes shows in his psyche. He trains so very hard and gets the results he wants, becoming a master of extreme distance running. The background on his coaches and family is quite telling. Without some of the coaching he had, who knows if he'd even tried to accomplish what he did. He obvious This is an autobiography of Dean Karnazes who restarted his former high school running career at age 30 and the incredible events he subsequently completed. What impressed me was the determination and drive Karnazes shows in his psyche. He trains so very hard and gets the results he wants, becoming a master of extreme distance running. The background on his coaches and family is quite telling. Without some of the coaching he had, who knows if he'd even tried to accomplish what he did. He obviously has an incredibly supportive wife who made his feats possible. The fact that he had no children for the earlier part of his running career was certainly a key element of this success, which he acknowledges. As some of the other reviewers mention though, he does seem a bit full of himself at many times. I can't recall him mentioning any other runners he meets along the way. He talks about this cool guy who drives up in a Hummer and starts the race with a brilliant Shakespeare quotation, but we never learn his name. He gives fairly short shrift to his wife's dental career, which if you've ever been married to doctor in training as I can personally attest, you learn that the training for which is probably equally demanding as his running but in different ways. Yet we only see only one or two sentences in the book acknowledging this fact and to make things worse, he blows off his wife on arguably the most important weekend of her entire dental residency, her national boards test. Lastly, you have to consider that he repeatedly refers to himself as crazy in the book, an attribution I've seen from other amazing distance runners, David Clark ("Out There") coming to mind. I believe them when they say this, because the average person in no way could train himself to run a hundred mile race under extreme conditions. You have to throw caution to the wind when pushing your body to these extremes, and the instinct for survival would get in the way of most of us attempting these feats. However, despite all those negatives, I found the book incredibly inspiring and it may yet be the catalyst I need to take my own running to the next level. Get beyond his ego, and enjoy the book for its excellent descriptions of the pain he feels, and the drive he shows to excel.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Connie Kuntz

    I did not expect Ultramarathon Man to be a tearjerker, but it was. I did not expect to laugh out loud, but I did. If someone had told me I would read this book while sitting on the edge of my seat, I would have told them to Shut Up, but, guess what, I read most of this book whilst sitting on the edge of my seat. In short, this was the most entertaining book I read in 2010. In case you are wondering, this book is about Dean Karnazes. I read about him a couple years ago in 50/50. He's the guy who I did not expect Ultramarathon Man to be a tearjerker, but it was. I did not expect to laugh out loud, but I did. If someone had told me I would read this book while sitting on the edge of my seat, I would have told them to Shut Up, but, guess what, I read most of this book whilst sitting on the edge of my seat. In short, this was the most entertaining book I read in 2010. In case you are wondering, this book is about Dean Karnazes. I read about him a couple years ago in 50/50. He's the guy who ran fifty marathons in fifty states in fifty days. This book isn't about his marathon abilities, though. It's about his tender heart. I realize he would probably sick one of his blisters on me if he knew I called him "tender hearted" but it is true. It is his tender heart that led him to run not only marathons, but 100+ mile ultra-marathons in mountain air. (This book is bookended with a charity one-man race that is almost 200 miles long.) It is his tender heart that lead him to grieve for his sister, be influenced by good (and bad) coaches, gain an appreciation for running with the tide of the ocean, nurture a lifelong love with his wife (whom he met in high school), raise children, thrive in corporate America, enjoy a terrific relationship with his parents, understand his brother and sister-in-law better, run for organ donations and, here's what I find so inspired, not only face his demons, but run with them, too. This is a fun, hilarious, inspired, uproarious, rowdy book that is also centered, inspired, down to earth, beautifully balanced with masculine and feminine energy and honest. I loved it. I think I should mention that my running mileage increased from 3.1 miles to 4.1 miles somewhere in the course of reading this book. The reason I think I should mention this is because I think it is arguable that this book isn't just for ultra-athletes. It is for anyone who has a tender heart.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brad Lockey

    This guy is kinda nuts, but I love it. A story of stamina. A story of drive. A story of resilience. A story of exploration. Run somewhere, because you can. We're all capable of more; whether it's being a better employee, father, person ... getting in better shape, eating healthier ... but so many of us settle. Why is that? I attempt to learn everywhere I go, and I try and push myself every day. Now, drop and give me 30 push-ups just for fun. Tomorrow, aim for 31. Notable quotes that impacted me: “I run beca This guy is kinda nuts, but I love it. A story of stamina. A story of drive. A story of resilience. A story of exploration. Run somewhere, because you can. We're all capable of more; whether it's being a better employee, father, person ... getting in better shape, eating healthier ... but so many of us settle. Why is that? I attempt to learn everywhere I go, and I try and push myself every day. Now, drop and give me 30 push-ups just for fun. Tomorrow, aim for 31. Notable quotes that impacted me: “I run because if I didn’t, I’d be sluggish and glum and spend too much time on the couch. I run to breathe the fresh air. I run to explore. I run to escape the ordinary. I run…to savor the trip along the way. Life becomes a little more vibrant, a little more intense. I like that.” “Pain is the body's way of ridding itself of weakness.” “I didn’t go up there to die, I went up there to live.” “Somewhere along the line we seem to have confused comfort with happiness.”

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christelle

    Probably one of the most pretentious and self absorbed books I've ever read. Read "Born to run", it has loads more information and talks about other runners than Dean McDeansty Deanster. I mean, it's not like the guy ever pretends to be something he's not or to write something other than a completely flat "story of my spiritual awakening". Too bad he's really really monochromatic, boring and prone to ill-advised bouts of lyricism. Probably one of the most pretentious and self absorbed books I've ever read. Read "Born to run", it has loads more information and talks about other runners than Dean McDeansty Deanster. I mean, it's not like the guy ever pretends to be something he's not or to write something other than a completely flat "story of my spiritual awakening". Too bad he's really really monochromatic, boring and prone to ill-advised bouts of lyricism.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nate Dern

    Listened to audiobook during my commute. A solid entry in the distance runner memoir genre. Dean is a bit full of himself and self important at times, but still a good read overall. His account of the Western States 100 mile run is especially great. It's impressive to think of Dean completing the race without the wealth of knowledge that social media and the internet provide about the event today. Listened to audiobook during my commute. A solid entry in the distance runner memoir genre. Dean is a bit full of himself and self important at times, but still a good read overall. His account of the Western States 100 mile run is especially great. It's impressive to think of Dean completing the race without the wealth of knowledge that social media and the internet provide about the event today.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Derrian

    He seems to get a bad rap for being egotistical, but given what he has achieved and continues to do, I don’t blame him for blowing his own trumpet. I found running a marathon pushed me to my limit, the races he recounts in this book are phenomenal. how he can run 200 miles on no sleep is something else. Fascinating read!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bronson

    An amazing story. I nice quick read that leaves you in awe of Dean's abilities. An amazing story. I nice quick read that leaves you in awe of Dean's abilities.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I will preface this by saying I tend to really like athlete autobiographies, so it's no surprise that I enjoyed this. I find them inspiring, and they usually remind me that our sports superstars are regular human who have tapped into that deep potential of our minds and bodies. Dean's story is interesting. At age 30, he wasn't happy and wasn't doing much for his health, so he turned his life in a new direction. Being 32 myself, I appreciated this part of the narrative. One of the fittest people o I will preface this by saying I tend to really like athlete autobiographies, so it's no surprise that I enjoyed this. I find them inspiring, and they usually remind me that our sports superstars are regular human who have tapped into that deep potential of our minds and bodies. Dean's story is interesting. At age 30, he wasn't happy and wasn't doing much for his health, so he turned his life in a new direction. Being 32 myself, I appreciated this part of the narrative. One of the fittest people on the planet was nowhere near his peak right around my age. However, while these sorts of stories usually make me feel a connection to the author, Dean immediately felt a step removed when he revealed that he was working a cushy six-figure job...and had just gotten a big raise. The privilege that comes with that much wealth remained apparent throughout the book. Dean achieves incredible feats, but he has the finances to back those record-breaking pursuits. At no point in the book does he acknowledge that his income and status were factors in his ability to achieve his milestones. I wish he had. This bothered me most in the epilogue, when he answers questions about his diet and training regime. Dean eats wild salmon 4-5 times per week and organic salads regularly, and he recommends shopping at Whole Foods Market because they are open about quality ingredients. He is asked if it's expensive to eat the way he does and responds that "If you compare just the cost of the actual foods themselves, then, yes, it's more expensive. But if you consider cost related to the many ailments caused by awful eating habits, then eating healthily might be less expensive in the long run." He goes on to talk about obesity and the importance of spending that extra dollar for quality food. I wholeheartedly agree that it is important to eat healthy, but the way Dean worded this made it seem like this is achievable for everyone. He fails to acknowledge that many people cannot afford in the present moment to shop at Whole Foods or eat wild salmon 4-5 times per week, or even get to a quality grocery store if they live in a food desert. Again, I enjoyed the book and found his journey inspiring, but I do wish there had been some acknowledgement of his financial privilege somewhere in the narrative. It made me connect less with him than I have with other athletes who have shared their stories in autobiographies.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Walter

    Would you like to read a book about a wealthy, privileged marketing bro that has an unprovoked mid-life crisis and decides to take up running? Then you've come to the right place! Yes, that's the long and short of Dean Karnaze's story. Is he as insufferable as other people point out? That depends. I heard this criticism before and that's why I put out reading this book for so long, but then I watched the documentary and he came across as a nice dude. So I gave him a shot. Imagine my surprise when Would you like to read a book about a wealthy, privileged marketing bro that has an unprovoked mid-life crisis and decides to take up running? Then you've come to the right place! Yes, that's the long and short of Dean Karnaze's story. Is he as insufferable as other people point out? That depends. I heard this criticism before and that's why I put out reading this book for so long, but then I watched the documentary and he came across as a nice dude. So I gave him a shot. Imagine my surprise when I found that the comments were not totally unfounded. He is a bit of a serial humble-bragger: "I'm the valedictorian?!? WOW, I was just trying to graduate!!! ROFLZ" or "I'm in 10th place in my first 100-miler ever and even outrunning hardened Army Rangers?!? OMG, I'm just trying to survive!!! LOLZ". But sometimes he forgets that humble part too: "My body reached a level of fitness that defied all sensible limitations". Sure Karno, where's your Olympic gold bud? Ultimately, it didn't work for me cause there's no drama here, no tension, no high stakes shenanigans. I mean sure, he suffered from a family tragedy in college that put him on the straight and narrow, but this happened a good decade or so before he took up ultras. It was an easy read and I applaud him for taking up charitable causes along the way but it's totally forgettable account in my opinion. Maybe this book would have been far more impressive in the years when Ultras are not as ubiquitous as they are now. And that's all I have to say about that.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.