Review: Karnazes’s Ultra-Marathon Man

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner
Dean Karnazes

The book that spawned a thousand of ultra-runners, Dean Karnazes’s chronicle of his life from depressed businessman to Ultra running superstar is the ur-text of the modern ultra endurance memoir trade. When it came out, it was a deeply controversial book in the ultra-running world. Karnezes bills himself as among the best ultra-runners, but many did not agree, and the sheer commercialism of the project turned many off.
Still, and all, I liked the book very much. Indeed, reading it inspired me to take my running more serious which has led to thousands of miles, better health, and this silly website. It covers Karnazes’ story of couch potatoes to runner in many of the sports most iconic races, including Badwater and Western States. It is, at base, just a well-executed memoir of a moderately talented, extremely driven ultra-runner. If you’re interested in running, or even if you’re just interested in inspirational (and at times wacky) tales of a man trying to do the almost impossible is you cup of tea, then I recommend checking this one out.
Recommended for the enthusiast.


About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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