August 15, 2006

Runner to take on 50 marathons in 50 days

By Nichola Groom

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Dean Karnazes insists he's not
crazy. He just loves to run. A lot.

This fall, the 43-year-old long distance runner will tackle
one marathon a day for 50 consecutive days, running a total
1,310 miles in 50 days. And for each 26.2-mile

race, Karnazes and his family of four will travel to a
different U.S. state.

Arguably the world's best-known ultramarathoner, Karnazes
has already run 350 miles in one stretch, run a marathon in the
South Pole, and raced across the California desert in the
middle of the summer.

With this fall's challenge, however, Karnazes said on
Tuesday he is going a step further in testing the human body's

"I'm curious to see what the limits of human endurance
are," he said in an interview. "I still haven't found them."

To train, Karnazes said he logs anywhere from 80 to 175
miles of running a week around his home in San Francisco. He
has also picked up the pace of his racing schedule in the last
five months, averaging about two marathons a month in addition
to a range of ultramarathons, or distances longer than 26.2
miles. This week, he'll tackle a 100-mile

race in Colorado.

"It's almost like designing an engine that can go 200 miles

an hour for a 100-mile(161-km)-an-hour race," Karnazes said
of his aggressive training regimen, adding that he averages
about four hours of sleep a night so that running does not get
in the way of spending time with his two children, Nicholas, 8,
and Alexandria, 11.

Beginning September 17 with the Lewis & Clark Marathon in
St. Charles, Missouri, Karnazes' so-called "Endurance 50" event
will take him to 8 official marathons and 42 "re-created"
marathons across the United States.

Each marathon is expected to take around three-and-a-half
to four hours, Karnazes said.

Runners of any ability are encouraged to join Karnazes
along the way and can sign up online at the event's Web site,

Karnazes will end his quest with the ING New York City
Marathon on November 5.

"I might actually log a couple extra miles," he said,
adding that the logistics of getting from race to race are
almost more challenging than the running itself.

Still, Karnazes insists that he's not crazy and that anyone
could undertake the types of physical challenges he has.

"I've had a couple of jaws drop," he said. "I really don't
consider myself to be gifted in any sort of way ... I just
really love to run."