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 e

Carrera de los Muertos - Race of the Dead

When we signed up for this race I had a feeling it was going to be a good one just based on the website . Carrera de los Muertos?! Race of the Dead?! Sounds sweet right? And it definitely was. Check out my Newcity review for more of a breakdown on that front. There were a ton of great costumes (mostly skull-face painting) and the base camp was in the parking lot of an UNO Charter School in Pilsen, with sweet decorations, music and food for sale. Lots of partying going on for such an early morning on a cold November day.

Life of Pi: The Pi Day Pi K Returns to Fleet Feet Stores Across Chicago

I have run a grand total of ONE time since crossing the finish line of the Chicago Marathon in October of last year. I know, I know, I'm disgusted with me too. So when I got Fleet Feet's notice about the Pi Day "Pi K" Fun Run this coming Monday evening (3.14 - PI DAY, get it?) it seemed like a pretty solid way to get back out on the running trail without getting myself up super early or registering for a timed race where I would embarrass myself. Also, my wife and I ran this race back in 2014 and had a great time. Plus, after an article I wrote for the Tribune about xkcd creator and all-around baller Randall Munroe speaking in Chicago at an Illinois Science Council (ISC) event , I know a little more about the organization behind the Pi Day Pi K and their mission. Quick excerpt from the Trib article: Founded in 2006 by nonscientist Monica Metzler (who also serves as executive director), the ISC was created to help engage adults in science and technology