Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ultraman Dean Karnazes

I attended the one night showing of Dean Karnazes' movie 50 Marathons, 50 States, 50 Days last Thursday. It was outstanding! My first thoughts are that I hope that it does come out on DVD soon because I would like to watch it over and over again. Also, many people who could not attend that night missed an opportunity to see an elite runner really bring marathon and ultra-marathon running experiences to life through a very realistic lens.

Dean's goals were to raise awareness for youth obesity and to get America active. The movie captured the incredible journey that actually did take him to all 50 states. To run a marathon in all 50 states and also involve individuals of all ages in that in that journey was very meaningful. Many individuals joined Dean during all or some parts of each of the marathons and some even met up with him more than once. Some ran a few miles and some ran the entire marathon distance with Dean. Their comments were both thought provoking and sometimes humorous. In between the clips of each marathon were short segments of Dean running and talking about many things involving running. The movie also showed how much his family supports what he does and how important that is to him. There were several clips that illustrated how his family has contributed to much of his success. It was great to just hear him talk about so many things and how he got to where he is today and why.

It goes without saying that Dean pushes the limits of human endurance. But as I watched school children cheer him on and sometimes run with him and adults of all ages and abilities running with him it was very easy to see how he has inspired so many people over the past few years to start running. Thousands of people joined him across the country. It united people of all ages and abilities to "take the next step".

A lasting memory for me was one morning shortly after the New York City Marathon, the 50th, Dean headed down the hotel elevator in his running clothes, with a credit card and his cell phone back out into the early morning buzz of New York City to start the trek back where it all started with that first marathon. He said that he needed to "clear his head". To understand a runner. To understand running. One has to understand the training, the passion and the dedication.

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

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