Saturday, 3 September 2011

Run...Dean Karnazes

I guess if you are reading this review, you're here because you like running and because of that reason you probably don't need any introduction to the Author of 'Run...26.2 stories of Blisters and Bliss' - Dean Karnazes.

This is Dean's third book, of which I've read his first, Ultramarathon Man. The first autobiography is very much a structured story following Dean from his Ultrarunning beginnings through to some of the unbelievable achievements he has recorded in the Ultrarunning world. Run although autobiographical, jumps around Dean's life, so you could read any chapter in any order rather than following a story.

That is not a criticism, I felt like I learnt a lot more about the man than in the first book and some of the chapters and the stories within them are just awe inspiring and keep you very much engrossed in the book.

You also get to dig a bit deeper into Dean's life, and a continuing theme throughout the book of his friendship with fellow endurance runner Topher Gaylord, who even gets to write his own chapter. You also see the strong bond he has with his Farther who is also one of Dean's crew on the races.

The stand out chapters are the ones where Dean writes about his experiences during some of the Worlds toughest races. I particularly enjoyed the chapters describing the 4 Deserts races, 4 155 mile races across the Atacama, Gobi and Sahara deserts and the largest and coldest desert Antarctica. These stories give a real insight into what Ultra running is all about.

There are a few 'Book filling' chapters that could easily gone a miss in particular the 'Letters to Karno', a chapter dedicated to fan mail.

Dean Karnazes is without a doubt an Inspiring person and it truly amazes me what the man has endured and achieved.Who else could run for 48 hours non stop, rack up 212 miles and all live in a TV studio!

So it miffs me somewhat, why Dean has as many haters as admirers especially in the Ultrarunning world. The reason behind the haters? From what I understand Ultrarunning used to be very much an underworld sport and people liked it that way. Along comes Dean and puts the sport into the limelight literally overnight. Events then become oversubscribed with runners now relying on lotteries to get them in.

Hang on a minute Ultrarunning world! Dean is not the first or the last to bring the sport to the Public's eye and make money from the sport. I've only just finished an article in Running Fitness magazine written by Jez Bragg about his race report on the Western States 100, and what about the success of 'Born to Run'. Dean may have been one of the first, and has put your sport on the Map, is that a bad thing?

I'm in the Dean camp, he has given the fascinating world of Ultrarunning a high profile and as a man has done so many great work for charity, and that should not be forgotten.

Run is as enjoyable as the first book and a great inspiring read into the realms of Ultrarunning and I would highly recommend the read.

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