Articles by Dean Karnazes

40 Years of Blisters And Bliss

On the night of my 30th birthday, I set a world record: I ran 30 continuous miles. I knew a marathon was 26.2 miles, and it was common knowledge that the marathon was the outermost zenith of human endurance. I’d gone...

Running Around the World Naked

“Bob, it’s minus-35 degrees.” His idea was cockamamie enough, even in ideal running conditions, but in this frozen and vast polar plateau, it was beyond ludicrous. The ramifications were unthinkable. Still. As the pa...

The Internal Workings of an Ultrarunner

Running has been a steadfast tread on the path my life has travelled since discovering track in junior high. In high school I became a devoted disciple of the sport, falling in love with the year-round cycle of cross cou...

The Never-Ending Race

What if there was a race that had no end? And what if the starting time was equally uncertain? And what if deception and false hope were thrown into the mix? You might be told the race will likely start sometime tomorrow...

Endurance Comes from Enduring

We’ve all read the clichés in the headlines: the COVID crisis is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. As the weeks and months go by, it now seems more like an ultramarathon. As such, I’ve found myself drawing upon some of thos...

Miwok Memories

This year marked the 25th anniversary of the Miwok 100K. I’ve run the race on several occasions over the years and it remains one of my local favorites, with the course being set in my backyard in Marin County. Wanting t...

On a Mission

My brother Kraig is a history buff. I was the runner in the family and he was the studious one. So when he came to me with a history- related running escapade, I was keen to hear his idea. He explained that there are 21...

A Life Of Ultrarunning

In 1993, the year I ran my first ultra, 3,297 individuals finished an ultramarathon in North America. By 2019, the number had ballooned to 127,269. Yes, the sport has grown – phenomenally so. And, by most analyst predica...

Training For Your Teeth

With all the attention focused on training and fueling in this issue, I thought it important to examine a sometimes overlooked byproduct of our athletic pursuits, tooth decay. Being married to a dentist, I’m well aware o...

Favorite Winter Routines

Winter brings cooler temperatures and shorter days. As the seasons shift, running outdoors becomes more of a production. Layers must be added and headlamps charged. Some runners move into the gym for their training while...

Ultra Good Reads

Ultrarunning has the power to transform, and so does a good book. Many ultrarunners take up the sport as a means to slay demons or deal with hardship and loss. Some have written stories about their journey, and many of t...

Grinding Gravel on ElliptiGO

As an ultramarathoner, I’m always open to new challenges. One of our closest endurance brethren is cycling and I’ve done a few “ultra” cycling events, such as a century bike ride, a double century and even a 24-hour moun...

State of the Sport

Founded in 1999, Running USA is the largest running industry association in the country. Originally created to improve the status of road racing in the United States, the organization has broadened to offer a variety of...

The DIY 200-Miler

The 200-miler is becoming the new marathon. Well, maybe not that commonplace, but you get my point. In the old days before iPhones, finding a 200-mile ultramarathon was practically unheard of. There was Badwater (135-mil...

Getting Through the Low Points

The situation seemed hopeless. At the 80-mile mark of the Wasatch Front 100 there was nothing left, the tank was empty, I’d expended everything on the course and there were no reserves left to draw from. The thought of c...

The Original Marathon was an Ultramarathon

In this issue we’ve talked a lot about iconic trails and places that many of us are familiar with. But perhaps the most historic running route of all time is the original marathon. For starters, the very first marathon w...

The Post-Race Blues

In his new book, The Inflamed Mind, Edward Bullmore advances the theory that depression may be caused by inflammation. He observes that patients who have undergone painful surgeries resulting in inflammation often experi...

The Five Percent Solution

If you’ve never heard of the Five Percent Solution, don’t be alarmed. I just made it up. But the idea wasn’t born simply out of thin air, it’s an offshoot of the popular One Percent Better movement (okay, cult) that’s sw...

Unusual Gifts for Ultrarunners

The holidays are upon us, as I’m sure you’re aware. With the daily onslaught of flashy ads and catchy jingles, you’d have to live on a desert island not to notice (one without wifi, of course). The constant bombardment o...

Balance?

Balance is bullshit. There, I just came right out with it. Seems everyone’s preaching the virtues of balance these days, but I’m no fan. If you have equilibrium in your life you do everything okay. Congratulations. Wooho...