Dean Karnazes, having just completed 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 days finishing at the NYC marathon November 5th 2006, is running back to San Francisco.
Dean Karnazes (b. Constantine Karnazes August 23, 1962) (pronounced car-NAH-sis), is a Greek-American ultramarathon runner, and author of Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All Night Runner which details ultra endurance running for the general public.
Karnazes grew up in Los Angeles, where he began running home from kindergarten; he took up running so that he wouldn’t have to burden his mother with rides home from school every day.
At first, Karnazes ran direct routes from school to his home. Later, he began to run diversionary routes that would extend his run and take him into uncharted territory. By third grade he was participating in and organizing short running events with other kids. As Karnazes grew older, he began testing his limits: by age eleven he had hiked rim-to-rim across the Grand Canyon and had climbed Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States; by age 12 he cycled 40 miles for fun.
In junior high, Karnazes met Jack McTavish, a track coach who became Karnazes’ mentor and introduced him to the appeal of long-distance running. McTavish's basic running instructions were simple: "Go out hard and finish harder." Using this motto as a basis, that season Karnazes won the one-mile California State Long-Distance Championship held on the Mount Sac track. At the end of the race, coach McTavish commented: "Good work son, how'd it feel?" To this Karnazes replied: "Well, going out hard was the right thing to do. It felt pretty good." The coach replied: "If it felt good, you didn’t push hard enough. It’s supposed to hurt like hell." A week after the race, Karnazes' father's job was transferred to San Clemente. These were the last comments the coach ever said to Karnazes, who has stated that he lives by these words to this day.
In 1976, as a high school freshman, Karnazes joined the cross country team under Benner Cummings. Cummings’ running theory was that running is about finding your inner peace; his motto was "run with your heart." That season, Karnazes was awarded "Most Inspirational" team member. Karnazes also ran his first full marathon that year, a fundraiser for underprivileged children, finishing in just under six hours; he raised $105.
Karnazes was not compatible with his high school track coach and stopped running for fifteen years. Karnazes resumed running at the age of 30.
In 2004, Karnazes was named one of GQ's "Best Bodies of the Year".
In 1995, Karnazes founded Energy Well Natural Foods in San Francisco and he remains president of the company, now called Good Health Natural Foods.<ref> Entrepreneur, March 2006 He holds graduate degrees in Science and Business. Karnazes resides in San Francisco, California, with his wife, Julie, and two children, Alexandria and Nicholas. Anderson, Lessley, “Ultra Marathon Man,” [http://www.sfweekly.com/issues/2004-01-14/feature_3.html SF Weekly, January 14, 2004 Karnazes is also a regular columnist for Men's Health.
Racing and endurance
Significant race wins:
- 2004 Badwater UltramarathonBadwater Ultramarathon, 2004 results
- 2006 Vermont 100 Mile Endurance RunVermont 100-mile Enurance Run, 2006 results
- 128.75 miles in 24 hours on treadmill in NY (2007)
- 350 miles in 80 hours and 44 minutes without stopping (2005)<ref>North Face article
- North Face Endurance 50: fifty marathons in fifty U.S. states in fifty consecutive days
- inaugural South Pole Marathon in running shoes
- 148 miles in 24 hours on a treadmill (2004) Chapman Logic
- single-handedly completed the 199 mile Providian Saturn Relay six times
- 1000-Mile/10 Day Buckleholder at the Western States Endurance RunWestern States Endurance Run recordholders(i.e., better than ten twenty-four hour finishes. Note: Karnazes current count is 11 finishes in less than twenty-four hours each)
Other endurance accomplishments:
- swimming across the San Francisco Bay