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Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss [Hardcover]

Dean Karnazes
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 1 2011
In his follow-up to the best-selling Ultramarathon Man—which Sports Illustrated called “fascinating” and the New York Times said was “full of euphoric highs”—world-renowned ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes chronicles his unbelievable exploits and explorations in gripping detail. Karnazes runs for days on end without rest, across some of the most exotic and inhospitable places on earth, including the Australian outback, Antarctica, and the Tenderloin District of San Francisco.
From the downright hilarious to the truly profound, the linked stories in Run! create an unforgettable tableau, providing readers with the ultimate escape and offering a rare glimpse into the mind-set and motivation of an extreme athlete. Karnazes addresses the pain and perseverance and also charts his emotional state as he pushes the edges of human achievement. The tales of the friendships he’s cultivated on his many adventures around the world warm the heart and are sure to captivate and inspire readers whether they run great distances, modest distances, or not at all.

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Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss + Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Price For Both: CDN$ 31.89

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Product Description


“Dean is not an athlete of clichés but a man who deeply inhabits his life as a runner. He does that with a really solid sense of humor and an understanding that life…and running…can be very entertaining!”
—Bill Rodgers, winner of the Boston and New York City marathons
“Iron man Dean Karnazes is no mere mortal.”—Time
“Running with Karnazes [is] like setting up one’s easel next to Monet or Picasso.”—The New York Times
“The undisputed king of the ultras, who has not only pushed the envelope but blasted it to bits.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
“A ‘short’ run with Dean could land you far from home.”—The Washington Post
“The indefatigable man."—Esquire
“Ultrarunning legend”—Men’s Journal
“Money and fame aside, Karnazes [is] motivated by a primal need more than anything else.” 

About the Author

DEAN KARNAZES was named by Time magazine as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the World. He has appeared on 60 Minutes, The Late Show with David Letterman, and the Today show. A New York Times best-selling author, he has written for Reader’s Digest, Runner’s World and Men’s Health. Dean lives with his wife and family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Run by Dean Karnazes July 1 2011
By Nigel
This is a great book for anyone who needs motivation to run. As always there are some great inspiring stories. I would recommened this book to any one who likes to read. Dean is a great man.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  97 reviews
80 of 83 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dean, Where Did You Go!? April 1 2011
By PapaBear615 - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Ultramarathonman" hooked me on Dean. While clearly he is not the world's elite ultrarunner, the book motivated people, inspired them to get fit, to challenge their belief in their own capabilities. He wrote in a style that was refreshing, bold, and passionate. "50/50" was a far cry from his first effort, and when I first heard about "Run!" I was hoping for a rebound from what I would refer to as his sophomore slump. I need to premise this by again acknowledging the positives that Dean brought into my life as an individual, but I must give an honest review.

Dean, what happened? Early on in "Run!" the thought began creeping in my mind that you've started taking yourself far too seriously, and that all of the steps you take in your runs are after nothing but the mighty dollar. This book, at best, is a series of short stories better suited for a free blog as opposed to qualifying it as a full book. Some of the stories are entertaining, but many, and I mean many of them are self-righteous and plain boring. The further I read, the more my letdown turned to anger--Dean, you've lost your way, man! While I'm certain you'll have a fourth effort looming before too long, I encourage you to return to your roots--become an inspirational story teller and avoid trying to make yourself a writer. "Ultramarathonman" worked, "50/50" was just that, and "Run!" simply misses the mark.

I'm willing to give you another shot, Dean, but don't do it for the money, because I'm onto you!
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Better Titled: "Run: How I'm Really Great" March 24 2011
By supercleary - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Perhaps I had higher hopes for this book. Perhaps I was expecting something else, but frankly, I did not like this book.

First off, I was expecting what was pitched "26.2 short stories about running." What I got though was 26 snippets - with a few fuller "stories" included - in there about how Dean Karnazes is A) the greatest ultra runner ever, B) how Dean Karnazes thinks he's the greatest adventurer of all time C) and finally about how many other people think Dean Karnazes is great.

Now don't get me wrong, he's quite a guy and most people will never come near his level of superior running, but the 272 of self congratulatory stories, page after page, made me cringe countless times.

One of my favorite traits of this book is his ability to write about how he is "humble," doesn't like the spot light, and doesn't think he's great. But then conveniently, the next line is always some friend, family member, or fan praising his amazing accomplishments.

An additional issue I find in the book is his constant use of "us runners" or "we runners" or "only fellow runners understand" as a gimmick to tie the author closer to the reader. Let's face it, "runners" and what Karno does should not be confused. The weekend warriors that are getting winded doing a 5k don't understand what he goes through, and vice-versa. It's been a long time since he and his "fellow runners" were even on the same planet. He runs at such an extreme - and impressively so - that he shouldn't belittle his achievements by pretending I have any idea what sort of training and focus he has.

What frustrates me most about this book though is at its core, there was a great story to be told. This man has done amazing feats of endurance and running and I want to hear about it. I want to know every detail about his trails and his triumphs. I want the whole picture, and I want to decide what kind of guy he is. 4 of the stories chronicle the amazing desert endurance race series. The first tale covers the brutal Atacama event in great detail. Those pages I was captivated by. But the next 3 races he basically glosses over and tells us few details beyond where he was placing, and a few points on how he was feeling. I don't even know how many miles most of these events were. Why not include a few facts too? Those 4 races alone, interspersed with a few more personal accounts of how he became the runner he is - his friendship with Topher and his marriage to his wife - would have created an epic book written by an amazing runner.

But instead, we're left with fluff that comes off as "look how great everything I do is."

If you want a great book with short stories on running, check out the Runners World anthology "Going Long." Now that is a collection of short stories on Running.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Run March 7 2011
By kimeli - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fast read, not as good as Ultra Marathon Man. Seems like there is a lot of padding with short stories, ok read not great.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring April 22 2012
By Artemis Bets - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an inspirational book from start to finish. I needed a boost to restart my running career, and this book did it. The author is a tireless athlete with a heroic attitude. His writing teaches us to live with the courage to break through all limitations. Love this book!
16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as Outrageous as Ultramarathon Man March 6 2011
By takingadayoff - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Dean Karnazes' first book, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner, has an easy style, written as if he had nothing to lose. Although I read that book several years ago, I still laugh when I recall his story about having a pizza delivered in the middle of the night as he ran along a barren highway. The picture of a runner balancing an entire pizza and a cheesecake, along with a thermos of coffee, and consuming them while continuing to run - was he pulling our leg? True or not, it's a great story.

Karnazes has lost some of that easy storytelling style in his most recent book, Run! The writing is a bit more self-conscious, as if he's aware now of being a Writer. And it seems he told all his best stories in the first book, because the tales here are padded and not very outrageous. They would be good stories told among friends over a beer, but many tend to fall flat in print. For instance, he tells of trying a balloon-like device that allows him to run while floating on water. He takes it to the beach and onto the water, to the astonishment of sunbathers and small children. Offshore he encounters a fin in the water - a shark! But no, it's just a sunfish and there's no danger after all. And that's it.

There are some good entries here, such as his account of entering four desert races on four continents in one year, including a harrowing competition in Antarctica.

Karnazes introduces the book as 26.2 chapters that will coalesce to tell a complete tale. The individual chapters seem like blog posts that are self-contained. The whole was no greater than the sum of its parts and the parts could be read in any order.

Run! is a pleasant read, if not as memorable as Ultramarathon Man.
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