The upbeat agony of the long-distance runner

Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:53am EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - While pursuing his passion, ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes has been run off the road, trapped in a flood, struck by lightning and bitten by a rattlesnake.

But then he says he's never more alive than when he is in great pain.

"Hardship? Suffering? Bring it on!" Karnazes says in his new book "Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss," which chronicles his adventures and misadventures while endurance running through some of the most inhospitable places on earth.

"There's magic in misery," Karnazes contends, and a man whose mega-endeavors include completing 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days should know.

Karnazes, a.k.a. the Ultramarathon Man, has tackled the Australian outback, Antarctica and the Sahara. In California's Death Valley he sweated through a 135-mile marathon in 120-degree Fahrenheit (49-degree Celsius) temperatures.

Now he's on the road again, in the heat of a 75-day coast-to-coast challenge designed to raise awareness of childhood obesity and rouse Americans off the coach and onto the trail.

"We have every comfort available to us," said Karnazes from the Arizona desert on Day 13 of the run that will end in New York City.

He runs an average of 40 to 50 miles-the equivalent of two marathons-per day.   Continued...

 
<p>Ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes runs in Namibia, West Africa in 2004. Karnazes, a.k.a. the Ultramarathon Man, has tackled the Australian outback, Antarctica and the Sahara. REUTERS/Tony Di Zinno Photography/Handout</p>