Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of An All-Night Runner

By: Dean Karnazes

At a work happy hour earlier in December, a few of us were talking running and running books, and several people told me to read this book. They were pretty persistent, so I decided to check it out.

I was not disappointed. This book was both interesting and inspiring. It’s a non-fiction book by and about Dean Karnazes. Dean was a runner in high school, but then abruptly stopped running altogether for years. On his 30th birthday, he takes a hard look at his life and tries to figure out what is missing. After a night of drinking and celebration, he puts on a pair of old sneakers and heads out for a run…a really long run.

And from there he just does not stop. The man runs and runs and runs. He starts by running about 5 miles a day and then hears about a 100 mile race. He sets his sights on that goal and trains like a maniac.

The reader tags along on his journey for adventure and excitement. As a runner, you’ll want to be running alongside Dean. His stories will fill you with awe and inspiration. After reading about Dean’s 50-100 mile jaunts, I felt like a pretty big wimp complaining about having to run 30-40 miles a week for marathon training.

Dean is not a complainer – he is a doer. He sets his goal and he doesn’t let anything stand in his way.  And just when the reader thinks that he has tackled his biggest challenge, Dean will find a more intense and insane challenge. It’s what he lives for.

I’m pretty sure I read this book in 2-3 days. I just couldn’t put it down. I wanted to know what he would conquer next and I wanted to absorb some of his strength through the pages. I then passed the book along to my running friend and she flew through it in 2 days as well. It’s good and it just may renew some of your vigor and drive to run and train harder than you ever have before. Because if Dean can run 100 miles, surely I can run a measly 26, right?

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