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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > April 2019 > MAN ON A MISSION

MAN ON A MISSION

HE STARTED BY THROUGH THE NIGHT IN HIS BOXER SHORTS, NOW HE’S ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS AND ACCOMPLISHED ULTRARUNNERS - ENDURANCE PERSONIFIED

He has the muscular physique, the sponsorship deal, the best-selling book, the first lady’s direct line and can run over 100 miles non-stop without some part of his body falling apart like a second hand Jenga set.

Yet, it doesn’t take long in the company of Dean Karnazes to realise that despite all that, there is more common ground than you’d think between the record-breaking ultrarunner and the rest of us.

The Californian describes himself as a second time runner, someone who dabbled in his younger years but only really got serious about it when he decided his life was going in a direction he’d rather it wasn’t. Granted, most of us in that position would probably look in the mirror, frown at the paunch and the lack of muscle tone and throw on the shoes for half an hour to get back into the swing of it. Karnazes’ turning point was a bit more extreme than that, one that was fuelled by a few too many tequilas.

“It kind of percolated up to that night,” he says. “I was looking at my life saying: ‘Is this where I want to go? Do I want to be an unhappy, middle-aged fat, bald man who cheats on his wife? I said: ‘No. I don’t want it and I’m going to run away from it.’”

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About Men's Running

I started running in the mid 1980s. Ask anyone around at the time and they’ll tell you it was the heyday of British middle and long distance running. I got swept along by the Coe versus Ovett battle of the Moscow Olympics and the then addition of Cram for LA in 1984. Britons ruled the world and I loved every second of the battles, the highs, the lows, the medals and the media. These guys were my inspiration and I wanted to be them. They were the reason I started running and it was no surprise that my chosen events were 800 and 1500m. That I was best at these was just an added bonus. There are so many influential figures in our brilliant sport. Some are well known, others less so. So we decided to choose our favourites so that you could also get a little sprinkling of inspiration. Whether it’s Dean Karnazes eating pizza by the roadside or Ron Hill running every day for more than 50 years, we know there’ll be something for everyone. Read and get inspired and hit the road for your next run!