“You are very much in the here and now. Just take your next footstep to the best of your ability. My commitment is to be the best that I can be.” ~ Dean Karnazes
I think we’re born to run,” said Dean Karnazes to the Sacramento NHS guests on September 7, 2017 about the Greeks. The ultramarathoner shared that he never sits down. He performs several 10 to 12-minute sets of very high intensity exercise throughout the day in addition to running. He’s also conditioned his entire body and never had an overuse injury.
Karnazes made the trip from the SF Bay Area to Sacramento before heading to Greece to launch the Greek translation of his latest book, The Road to Sparta, as well as celebrate the fifth anniversary of the award-winning Navarino Challenge (Official Host/Ambassador), run the fabled Spartathlon, and cool down in the Santorini Experience.
Men's Fitness hailed him as one of the fittest men on the planet. An internationally recognized endurance athlete and New York Times bestselling author, Dean has pushed his body and mind to inconceivable limits. Among his many accomplishments, he has run 350 continuous miles, foregoing sleep for three nights. He's run across Death Valley in 120 degree temperatures, and run a marathon to the South Pole in negative 40 degrees. On ten different occasions, he's run a 200- mile relay race solo, racing alongside teams of twelve.
In 2006, he ran 50 marathons, in all 50 US states, in 50 consecutive days, finishing with the NYC Marathon, which he ran in three hours flat.
His latest book, The Road to Sparta, chronicles three different stories interwoven into one seamless narrative. Dean explores his own Greek ancestry while consulting with the foremost scholars on Ancient Greece to tell the story of the world's first marathon, all while recreating the historic 153-mile run from Athens to Sparta in one of the most difficult ultraraces in the world - the Spartathlon.
In 490 BCE Pheidippides ran for 36 hours nonstop from Athens to Sparta to seek help in defending Athens from a Persian invasion in the Battle of Marathon. Pheidippides was hailed a hero for saving the development of Western civilization, and his run stands enduringly as one of the greatest physical accomplishments in history.
Dean personally honors both Pheidippides and his own Greek heritage by completing the treacherous course and describing it in gripping detail. He reenacts the ancient run by abstaining from contemporary endurance nutrition and eating and drinking only what was available in 490 BCE such as figs, olives, sesame paste, cured meats, and plain water.
In Sacramento, he offered a presentation of his captivating journey followed by a question and answer session with the guests.
“How much stretching do you have to do?” he was asked. “I don’t stretch, I don’t get massages, I don’t do anything,” he said, to laughter. “I just run.” To emphasize his point further, he shared that the great Jack LaLanne, American’s fitness guru and one of his mentor’s told him: “Dean, have you ever seen a lion stretch?”
When questioned about how long he would continue to run, he was quick to respond. “I go to a lot of marathons and I see men and women in their 70s, even 80s, finishing marathons and they look great compared to their peers,” he said. “I always tell people, my finish line is a pine box.”
To keep up with Dean Karnazes, visit www.deankarnazes.com and you won’t need to stretch either.