Ultra-marathon man Dean Karnazes continues to explore the boundaries of human endurance this week with back-to-back events. Today in New York City, Karnazes is running on a treadmill located on a platform attached to the Reuters building above Times Square. The 44-year old from the Bay Area is attempting to break the world record for a 24-hour distance run on a treadmill, currently set at 153.76 miles. This challenge is benefiting the organization Athletes for a Cure, which is dedicated to finding a cure for prostate cancer.
By 5:00 a.m. on Saturday, Karnazes will be back on the west coast, at the starting-line of the 34th annual Western States 100 Endurance Run. The WS100, dubbed the “ultimate challenge,” begins at an elevation of 6,200 feet in Squaw Valley and ascends 2,550 vertical feet in the first 4.5 miles. Runners continue west, along trails originally used by the gold and silver miners of the 1850s, climbing another 15,540 feet and descending 22,970 feet to the finish line in Auburn, California. The 2006 winner, Graham Cooper, crossed the finish line in 18 hours, 17 minutes, 28 seconds, while Karnazes, finished 15th overall with a time of 21 hours, 38 minutes, 34 seconds. It will be interesting to see if Karnazes’ performance this year will be influenced by the 24-hour distance run.
This epic undertaking is just another day in the life of Karnazes, who completed a remarkable 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states this past year along with entering and completing a 200-mile relay race alone. Karnazes is an advocate of healthy and active living and has inspired many people, including myself, with his endearing persona and ability to encourage others to strive towards one’s personal best. Go Team Dean!