Skip to main content

Celebrity Running: Dean Karnazes at RAM Racing

Last year I got to be part of a Q&A with Krissy Moehl at Patagonia in April and then run with and hear a lecture by Scott Jurek and Chris McDougall at Fleet Feet in June.

Wednesday night, I was once again reminded why I love running "celebrities" when I expanded my celebrity runner/running store connections at RAM Racing by going for a run and then being part of a Q&A with Dean Karnazes. If you don't know who he is you can find out more by reading my blog from when I became BFFs with him last year at the Chicago Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon expo, but that was a pretty quick greet, shake, sign kind of thing and this was a whole evening.

It started out with a 3- or 5- mile run (depending on what participants wanted to do). I chose to just do three because of my IT-band issues but it seemed like most people did five, and Dean ran with the five mile group. We started at the Running Away Multisport on Clybourn and followed Webster to the lake before turning around.

Afterwards Dean was introduced and then talked about his experiences at Badwater two weeks ago (in brief: 135 miles, 131 degrees). He then took questions and gave (what I thought were) very candid answers. He came across as a really genuine guy and even a bit of a running nerd. He had a number of great quips (he's always touring and speaking so I'm sure he's built up a good repertoire over the years) but my favorite was in response to how to train for different distances he said:

"With a sprint distance... like a marathon..."
Dean Karnazes giving a Q&A at Running Away Multisport
But the most honest moment of the night to me was when someone asked him how he maintains balance in his life in regards to his family and friends and he responded by saying, "Did I say there was balance?" and then went on to say that his life (as is the case with most high-achieving individuals) is defined by chaos and a lack of balance.

At the three mile turnaround point in Lincoln Park
What I really liked about his answer here was that he first pointed out a "flaw" in his lifestyle by saying how unbalanced his life is but then kind of bragged on himself by saying that he was a high-achieving individual. Both of these things are true. And I like that he put that out there. Especially because he could have very easily just said, "Oh, I maintain an excellent balance and always find time for my family." I think that genuineness is what makes him an especially likable figure to follow. Well, that and he's been declared a Superhuman by Stan Lee.

He also talked about two pretty exciting projects on the horizon. One is his upcoming book about Pheidippides, which is his first foray into fiction and actually sounds pretty interesting. And the second is his goal (starting with the New York City Marathon next year) of running a marathon in every country in the world (204 countries) in one year. He's currently working with the UN and the state department to make this a reality and has teamed up with National Geographic to film the whole thing. Right now only around 100 countries have organized marathons, so he's working with various countries to establish marathon routes. He's even got North Korea, Iraq and Iran all on board. And his marathon in Vatican City will be on a treadmill...

At the end of the night North Face did a raffle (he's in town promoting the upcoming North Face Endurance Challenge) and everyone received a signed poster of Dean. Not bad for a free Wednesday night event. I won't be hitting up the Endurance Challenge this year, but maybe next year, once Dean and I have met up at a few more events.

Comments

  1. The balance response is so honest! Glad you were able to give a recap of this. Treadmill marathon at the Vatican?! YIKES.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I appreciate that he's honest about not living a balanced life. Personally I'm sick to death of the whole healthy-living trend of finding "balance." Do what you enjoy. Find happiness. Who cares if it's not balanced. What does that even mean?

    ReplyDelete
  3. 204 marathons in a year. Wow. That's 102 times more than I've ever run in a year. :)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Daily Guide to Chicago Comedy Shows in April 2018

April 1: Character Assassination presents The Roast of Disney Princesses at Laugh Factory

The latest entry in the Character Assassination roast show series pits a collection of Disney princesses -played by Chicago comics - against each other. Starring Allison Dunne, Alex Kumin, Sarah Shockey, Gena Gephart, Audrey Jonas, Eunji Kim, Samantha Berkman, Stephanie Weber and Mandee McKelvey.

April 2: Comedy Overload Open Mic at Gallery Cabaret

A weekly open mic open to all forms of comedy that takes place at a sweet venue in Bucktown.









April 3: Shake 'Em Up Comedy Showcase at Shakers on Clark

This free two-hour comedy showcase is hosted by Darrick J and Nate Galloway. Comics get between four and 10 minutes each and the hosts let comedians know a bit needs work by hitting a bell and "shaking 'em up."


April 4: Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O'Toole's

Really you should be catching this weekly showcase at Timothy O'Toole's every week. This week's two hour …

Sunday double-header!

After the Run to Remember yesterday, today was a double-header, starting off with the 4-mile C4 Miles at 8 this morning in front of Peggy Notebaert and wrapping up with the 5-mile Cinco de Miler at 9:30 in Montrose Harbor. I was a little nervous about being able to make it to both, but I ended up with time to spare (thanks to the help of a cab that dropped me off at the packed turn-off to Montrose Harbor). Biking from the first race to the second would have been ideal... but I don't have a bike. And I wasn't about to run the three miles between the races carrying my gear check bag.
Anyway, my complete reviews of both races are up on Newcity.com: C4 Miles reviewCinco de Miler review The races really couldn't have been more different:
C4 Miles was a quiet, relatively casual event, with probably around 350 participants (half running/half walking) and no pace groups. Since runners quickly got spread out, other runners on the trail sometimes seemed confused about what I was d…

Warrior Dash or It's Not Always About Speed

My parents were in town this weekend from Texas. We rented an I-GO (actually, even better than that, I won the WEGO 10 monthly competition for 10 free hours with an I-GO, which was very sweet) and drove out to Channahon, Illinois for the Warrior Dash. This was my first "mud run" and I was pretty excited about it, because I've been creating an image of the mud run in my mind as a pseudo-hardcore fun run. I would say that I still feel that after running it, but I think now I see it as intentionally not hardcore. They're asking people to have fun, not to kill themselves.

My full review is up at Newcity - I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I expected, but most of that was just based on seeing it in a different way. This isn't really a run for runners. It's a run that tricks non-runners into thinking running is fun. More on that later (like several weeks from now later, not like later in this blog post).

Anyway, I ran with Brynn, and we made sure to take our req…