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Ultramarathon Man Hardcover – 17 Mar 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Jeremy P Tarcher; FIRST EDITION SECOND PRINTING edition (17 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585422789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585422784
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 0.6 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 432,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Heart-stopping stuff. The world's #7 biggest sports bestseller."
--The Economist
"Fascinating"
--Sports Illustrated
"Full of euphoric highs. Rusisng with Karnazes [is] like setting up one's easel next to Money or Picasso... His book describes a journey into distance running that is much less about sweat than about the emotional terrain that unfolds at the frontier of endurance."
--The New York Times
"Buzz book."
--People
"[Karnazes'] spirited memoir... can help mere mortals who want to push past their perceived limits or simply jump-start their sedentary lives."
--Chicago Tribune
"There is clearly something Nietzschean in Karnaze's makeup...that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'
--Los Angeles Times
"Iron man Dean Karnazes is no mere mortal."
--Time
"Makes the extraordinary look easy."
--GQ
"An exhibition of unadulterated courage and mental and physical stamina [for] anyone who likes to read about ordinary people doing extraordinary things."
--Boston Globe
"Dean's masochism is a reader's pleasure."
--Publishers Weekly
"The perfect escapist fantasy for couch potatoes and weekend warriors alike."
--Kirkus Reviews
"Passionate"
--San Francisco Chronicle
"Eye-popping."
--Asociated Press
"[Dean is] like a comic book superhero who remains undercover by day, every bit the unremarkable family man."
--The London Daily Telegraph
"A real life Forrest Gump... [Karnazes] has pushed his body to limits that are beyond masochistic. They're inhuman."
--Newsday
"Ultrarunning legend."
--Men's Journal --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

"Running with Dean Karnazes [is] like setting up one's easel next to Monet or Picasso," said The New York Times. In 2004, Karnazes won the Badwater Ultramarathon in Death Valley-"The World's Toughest Footrace"-running 135 miles in 120-degree Fahrenheit temperatures, in 27 hours, 22 minutes, and was named one of GQ's "Best Bodies of the Year." Karnazes lives with his family in San Francisco. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover
Not really sure who this book is for. I think it would've been better as a properly researched biography, not an autobiography.

It's not a book for runners wanting to pick up tips. No details *at all* of the kind of training he did for the incredible races he took part in. No information on his VO2 stats, variation of training runs, how often he rested, what kind of running injuries he picked up on the way (if any), what his actual race times and positions were, what his height, muscle percentage, body fat and visceral fat percentages are, and nothing on the progression of his times over the years. Nothing about the kind of stride he runs to preserve energy and work efficiently. No info on what kind of running shoes he preferred and the clothes he used for training. We know that he liked pizzas and slushies while running, but what about his day-to-day diet? Carbs? Fruit? Meat? Vegetables? Vitamin supplements? It's all blank.

We're left with the bare facts of his incredible, almost-inhuman feats and have no idea how he did it. A shrug and the occasional "It hurt a lot" just isn't enough. I'm not denigrating what he has done as a runner and a human being; that's completely beyond reproach. He's an amazing, unique person. But as a writer of a book you might find useful to read? Can't find enough in it.

So it could be that he's going after the "live your dreams" readers in need of something inspirational. And that would be fine, except that this, too, falls down through not having enough carefully considered information. He repeats over and over again that it hurt, but that it was life-affirming. Okay, fine. But what about the problems he would have faced over the years? Any frustrating training/racing injuries that he couldn't shake off?
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