Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Book Review: Ultramarathon Man

Maybe this will become a regular part of the blog. If I ever have an audience larger than three people, it might even be worthwhile to someone. In any case, I recently finished reading "Ultramarathon Man" by Dean Karnazes. Dean is well-known for running ridiculously long distances on his own, but the more non-Dean reading I've done, the more I realized that Dean is just a marketing machine who happens to run a lot. Not to take anything away from the guy. He did run a marathon at the South Pole, completed Western States a few times, and has run a 200 mile relay race by himself several times. But, other people have done crazier stuff, even crazier than his new hype-laden event, the Endurance 50.

In any case, so Dean wrote a book. And, he really did write this himself because it is not very well written. He could have used a better editor, but at least you can hear his real voice...the egotistical, overly happy with himself tone that comes right through on every page. Most of the book is rather boring, but it is such a quick read that it didn't bother me enough to put it down. The descriptions of his physical ailments, particularly how he felt at his worst moments during several of his adventures was the most interesting part. I can't imagine I'll ever run Western States, so maybe Dean's retelling of his first time is the closest I'll come to understanding what it is like to run up and down mountains in the middle of the night, pushing yourself a point where you almost go blind and begin to urinate blood. Nice stuff, right?

In the end, it is good toilet or airplane reading. Pick it up at the library, but definitely do not bother buying it.


Dave Walsh said...

As much as i commend you on your new found fitness... this running stuff is getting just a tad creepy.

Dave said...

Maybe so. I am a bit addicted these days, I guess.