A Marathon is not Enough: Dean Karnazes to Run 100 Miles to L.A. and Then Run the L.A. Marathon
Running one marathon is plenty for most people, but not Dean Karnazes.
The 46-year-old ultra-marathoner who grew up in Southern California will return – on foot – to run in the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon next Monday on Memorial Day, May 25, by running approximately 100 miles from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles on Saturday and Sunday!
“I’m an L.A. native, so I feel a certain affinity for the L.A. Marathon and I so look forward to running it every year,” he said on a video posted on YouTube on May 9. “In fact, one of my fondest memories ever is my Dad running the L.A. Marathon; he ran the inaugural L.A. Marathon and I was there to watch him cross that finish line. It left an impression on me forever.
“So the weekend of the L.A. Marathon, I’m actually going to be staying in Santa Barbara. It’s about 100 miles from Santa Barbara where I’m staying to the L.A. Marathon, so I’ll take off about 24 hours in advance to run the 100 miles. I’ll run right down the Pacific Coast Highway, right along the coast. It will be extremely beautiful, so I look forward to that. I’ll run to the Expo, actually, on Sunday and I’m going to give a talk, so if anyone wants to come listen to me talk, I’ll be at the Expo on Sunday afternoon and then I’ll probably kick about and run the Marathon with everyone on Monday. It seems like a great weekend.”
Karnazes will appear at free-to-the-public Run/Ex/09 at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. to share his experience of running down the coast over the prior 24 hours.
“My earliest recollection of running was running home from kindergarten,” he noted. “I started running at six years old.” He recalled that he ran his first marathon at age 14, but then gave it up as he matured, graduating from San Clemente High School and then majoring in food science technology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
“I found myself in a bar on my 30th birthday,” he remembered in the video. “I said to my buddies at 11 o’clock at night, ‘I’m going to go running tonight. I’m going to run 30 miles to celebrate my 30th birthday.’ And they said, ‘You’re drunk,’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I am, but I’m still going to do it.’ So I walked out of a bar at 11 at night and literally ran all night long.” That marked his return to running and he’s been on the roads ever since. “You really stretch the boundaries of the human spirit and human endurance,” he said, noting that he’s run as much as 350 miles non-stop.
Asked how many marathons he’s run, he replies that, “I stopped counting at 100; I don’t think I’ve quite run 200.” But he respects the distance and the effort required, “Completing a marathon is an incredible achievement; it’s something that 99.9% of people will never do.”
Karnazes, who lives in Marin County, isn’t planning on resting much after Monday’s L.A. Marathon, though. He’ll be on the road to race again in San Diego the next weekend.
For more information on the Los Angeles Marathon, visit www.lamarathon.com
For more information on the Acura L.A. Bike Tour, visit www.acuraLAbiketour.com
“We inspire athletes and connect communities. Anchored by the iconic Los Angeles Marathon, our three sporting events draw more than 25,000 athletes, 5,000 volunteers, and one million spectators along the route to sunny Southern California for the L.A. Marathon, the Acura L.A. Bike Tour, and our 5K Run/Walk, making race day one of the world’s largest days of participatory sport.”
~ Russ Pillar, President, Los Angeles Marathon
Source: L.A. Marathon