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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2005
This book starts with quite a lot of cheesy stuff but develops into one of the most incredible and inspirational books I have read. Dean`s attitude towards life and running are extremely refreshing, while his athletic achievements are truley exceptional. So much so that for a recreational runner like me it is quite hard to take in the magnitude of what he has done (such as running the 100th mile of a race in under 6 minutes). But I have passed this book around a number of my friends and they have all loved it. Even the most cynical have been silently chanting `Go Team Dean!` by the end. You will not regret buying this.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2007
I've read lots of books about people who've undertaken long journeys or done epic sporting feats, so I'm not easily impressed, but this book grabbed my interest from page 1 and held it to the end. The writer's endurance is extraordinary, and he emphasizes how mental strength becomes more important than physical strength in long races. What comes across very powerfully is his love of running and of other sports, and of life. Also, this isn't an athlete who is heavily sponsored and winning big prizes: often he runs for fun or to raise money for a good cause, and all the time he has a regular job. This is one of the best sport books I've read. Concisely written, it left me wanting more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2009
This is the second review I have done for Ultramarathon man, I decided to delete the original, as since I typed it, I have successfully completed my first marathon (26.2 miles in Blackpool-not an ultramarathon!)

This book inspired me and my friend to start running and we ultimately entered our first marathon as a result of reading it. It is one of the most inspiring books I have ever read and Dean Karnazes feats of endurance are incredible. He has ran marathons in Death Valley and the South Pole and regularly does more than 100 mile runs. I didn't even know it was possible for a human to do that, until I read this book.

Ultramarathon man shows you that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and that you should never put any limitations on yourself. I read this book in one sitting as it was so absorbing. It's a very entertaining read and has lots of inspirational quotes at the start of each chapter. There is also diet and training tips at the back of the book. Nevertheless, you don't have to be a runner or someone who wants to take up running, to benefit from this book.

I've noticed in one review that the book was heavily criticised because it didn't have enough scientific information on Dean's body weight and heart rate and so forth, I think the reviewer was missing the point. I believe the average reader would be turned off by statistics and such analysis, it would only really benefit hardcore runners but this is a book for everyone. But going back to basics, Dean states that the only method you really need to use is to put one foot in front of the other, and don't stop until you cross the finish line. The same applies whether you're running a race or living life.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2005
I could not put this book down!
I got the book because i'm running a couple of ultras next year and thought this would give me an insight into what is required, both physically and mentally.
He is a great story teller and I felt as if I was with him every step of the way - this has inspired and encouraged me!
Highly Recommended.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2007
I bought this book as a birthday present for my brother (who's sort of into running). I thought I'd have a quick read of it before I gave it to him. I couldn't put this book down - this bloke is immense (and funny), he's pushed his body to it's limits and beyond. A word of warning about the author, he's doesn't seem to need much sleep and is blessed with an abundance of energy. I used to be fairly fit and active years ago before I got married. I raced Triathlon's for a couple of years and even finished the Lanzarote Ironman. I never did enjoy running training but since reading this book, I've run twice, back-to-back this week and I will get away from my computer this summer and race again (first time in 8 yrs). Hopefully this explains a bit about the books contents and the effect it's had on me. Long distance sport is all about what's 'in your head' and making sacrifices in our daily lives.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2008
I am a keen runner and stumbled across this book in a bookstore in New York City. After reading the first few pages to give me a taster I couldn't stop and had to get it. Hasten to add I completed the book before I left.

Dean is an amazing person, who shows that not only can you hold a respectable job but you can also run for hours during the evening. This book is a motivational tool for runners of all levels, showing that if you want something really badly you can do it. The challenges he puts his body through are phenomenal and are beyond belief to any non-runner. His book gives you the belief that you can do the same and I'm starting my journey along the road....

I don't want to go into too much detail about the contents, but this is easily the best book I've read in a long time. I'm waiting for Amazon to deliver Dean's his second book and can't wait.

To any one who is looking for an enthralling read with a great motivational edge this is definitely the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2010
Starts off with a good concept, giving a bit of childhood biography and then jaw-dropping accounts of ultramarathon running. Inspirational reading which (almost) makes you want to run all night. Three criticisms though: First, once we read about the Western States 100 and how agonising it was subsequent accounts of running in Death Valley and Antarctica are very similar. Second criticism, Karnazes (not without justification) has a very high opinion of himself and really plays the suffering brave martyr, sometimes sickeningly so. Finally, I don't like biographical writing which miraculously records dialogue - how could Karnazes have remembered verbatim the conversations that he had with race marshalls 15 years ago? I know we're not meant to believe it but it annoys me nevertheless. I'm glad I read this book, but I won't be buying Karnazes' '50 Marathons' book; I think it's just likely to be more of the same.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 4 June 2008
Dean is truley a great runner...totally awesome and perhaps one of the worlds great athletes. What he does and how he does it are amazing.

Parts of this book are very funny - taking up running again after a huge night out and running in his boxers and vest for 30 miles or so. Bits very moving - the charity relay run he did solo for the girl who needed a kidney transplant. Bit truely inspirational - how he overcomes obstacles and lets nothing stop him in reaching his amazing goals.

Enjoyed reading the book and would recommend it. But...two or three issues stop this being a great book for me. First its very light - read it over a couple of days, could have done with more depth in places. Second its a bit too "american" not not quite right but thats sort of self help look at me approach - did not quite feel real (although I know it is). Finally not sure if its a wise book to follow - pain is good is hardly a mantra that sounds recommendable.

So a good read but left me feeling a little light afterwards.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2007
I was earlier thinking that running a half-marathon is a great challenge for which I would need to train for months in advance. However, after reading this book I am convinced that nothing is impossible and that human mind is more powerful and capable than human body.

This book is all about the extraordinary feats we can achieve through our mind, or as Dean likes to call : through our heart.

An ultra-inspirational book for anyone looking to get fitter and shed those extra pounds!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2009
Dean's feats of endurance make the mind boggle. All the more so because they are not in response to some situation of personal survival where there is no choice other than to go on. In effect Dean is doing it for "fun", certainly not money, really just to see what is possible.
It could be simply that Dean is nuts but you've got to admire the guy and if you do any running at all be prepared to see that from a new perspective.
It's an interesting read whether you're into running or not.
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