Dean Karnazes: UltraMarathon Man

Dean Karnazes is the author of the book, “UltraMarathon Man: Confessions Of An All-Night Runner”. This book was published in 2005 but it was only when QuickSilver Runner mentioned his name in his blog last December 2007 that I knew and heard the name of this famous ultra runner. The second time that I read about this guy was in the book of Pam Reed entitled, “The Extra Mile” who was the strongest contender for the Champion Runner in the Badwater Ultramarathon in 2003, only to be defeated by Pam Reed in few minutes.

The book of Dean Karnazes is a very inspiring one for runners, most especially to those who would like to run farther than the marathon in order to test their endurance and accomplish more than running a marathon race. Through this book, I was able to appreciate and find out that there is a group of extraordinary endurance runners who are dedicated in their training, preparation, diet, health and other technical aspects for ultrarunning.

Dean Karnazes had finished so many ultra running events like: the annual Western States 100-Mile Runs, Badwater Ultramarathons, South Pole Marathon, and The Relay, a 199-mile footrace which is participated by teams with 12 member-runners but he ran the distance alone. He was a team of one in the said The Relay Ultra Running Event finishing the distance in 46 hours and 17 minutes! Since then Dean Karnazes had been a popular figure in endurance runs and his participation in such races were tied with charity works to help children who are in need of medical treatment.

Dean K ran the famous 50 marathons in 50 States in 50 days finishing this feat at the New York Marathon last November 2006. Last March of this year, he won the Atacama Crossing in Chile which is a 250-kilometer race in 6 stages at Atacama Desert. Last month, he finished the Gobi March in 4th place held at the Gobi Desert, China which is also a 250-kilometer footrace in 6 stages. Next Monday, he is expected to join the 82 runners who will participate in the 2008 Badwater Ultramarathon.

Here are some tips from Dean in preparing for Ultra running events:

1) When preparing for an ultra running event, he runs at least 70-100 miles per week. Wakes up at 4:00AM and run 3 hours before bringing the kids to school and going to his office. He takes another 45 minutes to one hour quick run after office work. On Saturday mornings, he runs 30-40 miles.

2) For a 50K or 50-mile event, he suggests doing at least one eight-hour training run. For 100-miler, he recommends doing an all-night run to simulate race condition without sleeping.

3) An ultrarunner should be properly hydrated with water and energy drinks with electrolytes. In his early ultra running events in the 90s, he was using Oral Pedialyte for his electrolyte replacements.

4) His daily diet consists of 40% Carbohydrates; 30% of Protein & 30% of Fats. He eats salmon 4-5 days a week and lots of organic salads.

5) He trains half and half for the roads and trails. But he prefers more time running on the roads.

6) He goes to the gym for muscle strengthening workouts. If he can not make it to the gym, he does 4 sets of 50 push-ups and 4 sets of 90 push-ups—once in the morning and once in the evening.

In 2004, Dean Karnazes won the Badwater Ultramarathon covering 135 miles in 120-degree Fahrenheit temperature in 27 hours and 22 minutes of non-stop running.

He is a columnist for “Men’s Health Magazine” and the President of Good Health Natural Foods. He lives with his wife and their two children in San Francisco. To know more about him and his schedule of ultramarathon races, visit

I hope I will be able to watch his movie, “The Ultramarathon Man”, on 31 July 2008 (in the USA) and buy a copy of his new book, “50/50”.

I recommend this book (“Ultra Marathon Man”) to every runner. Happy reading!


15 thoughts on “Dean Karnazes: UltraMarathon Man

  1. Pingback: Dean Karnazes: Ultra Marathon Man

  2. lonerunner

    I have the book I purchased frm Fullybooked. I dont think it is still available there. Really really good source of inspiration. 🙂


  3. Constantine njeru

    Hi Bald runner,
    It has been a while I checked on your blog. Let me say your stats are impressive!! I noticed you still maintain the Link to my old blog (roadracer) which I no longer update. Do me a favour and have it point to my new blog

    warmly Constantine


  4. kingofpots

    lonerunner, i tried looking for the book at Fully Booked Store few months ago & they don’t have any of it, that was the reason i ordered from the us. that’s true, reading the book would inspire you to run some more! thanks for the comment.

    constantine, thanks for the visit again. my attendance to our weekend races and daily posts had been helpful for other runners to visit my blog. i came up also with a project donate a shoe where runners could donate their use shoes to others. i will update your link. thanks, again!


  5. runyourcity

    Bald Runner, great blog. I’m trying to start a book club conversation about Ultramarathon Man at my website, . I also thought it was a great book. I’d really appreciate your help getting the conversation started.

    Also, please let me know what part of the Philippines you are in. I’d like to add your blog to my site. I organize them by city.



  6. Pingback: Pages tagged "ultramarathon"

  7. kingofpots

    ryan, thanks for the visit. it would be nice to be a part of your book club conversation. thanks for the invitation. i’ll visit your website. i am in manila area and thanks also for the link.


  8. I just purchased this book two weeks ago from and certainly, the book is so inspiring. while i was reading this book, i was so itchy to starts run and run and run…

    thanks BR, for the book review. it is a-must-read book for Dean Karnazes in the making.


  9. kingofpots

    highaltitude, the feats & accomplishments of Dean Karnazes in ultra running are really unbelievable and make you try/experience what he had done. he is one of my living heroes in running. hey, you have nice pics in mt batulao! nice blog, too! keep on running & writing!


  10. lonerunner

    Just a week ago I got a copy of Prefontaine’s bio at Fullybooked Rockwell. at MOA Booksale a hardbound bio of K switzer(1st lady who ran Boston) is also avail. FYI.


  11. kingofpots

    highaltitude, people who are not into running would think about us as “crazy” people but they are missing the fun & the experience to test themselves and have more friends. how i wish i could run an ulta soon!

    lonerunner, thanks for the info. these are nice books to read and inspire us to run some more and for sure i am going to buy a copy of each book.


  12. Pingback: dean karnazes | Start a new day

  13. BR just got a copy of the book and started reading it. You and lonerunner are so right, its very inspiring. i suppose you know you are crazy about running when you read the book especially his breakthrough 30mile run and somehow understand his need to run.


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