Miles to Go With Dean Karnazes: Running for the Soul

Dean Karnazes – Running For Good

Dean Karnazes is considered a living legend to many of us runners. TIME magazine named him one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World.” and Men’s Fitness hailed him as one of the fittest men on the planet. 


An acclaimed endurance athlete and NY Times bestselling author, Dean has pushed his body and mind to inconceivable limits. Among his many accomplishments, he has run 350 continuous miles, foregoing sleep for three nights. He’s run across the Sahara Desert in 120-degree temperatures, and he’s run a marathon to the South Pole in negative 40 degrees.

Badwater 135 and 10-200 Mile Relays: SOLO

On ten different occasions, he’s run a 200-mile relay race solo, racing alongside teams of twelve. His long list of competitive achievements includes winning the Badwater Ultramarathon, running 135 miles nonstop across Death Valley during the middle of summer, and racing on all seven continents, twice over.

50 Marathons 50 States 50 Days

 In 2006 he accomplished the seemingly impossible by running 50 marathons in 50 US states in 50 consecutive days, finishing with the NYC Marathon, which he ran in 3:00:00. In 2011 Dean ran 3,000-miles from the coast of California to New York City, averaging 40 to 50-miles per day.

Dean is the winner of an ESPN ESPY and a 3-time recipient of Competitor magazine’s Endurance Athlete of the Year award. He’s twice carried the Olympic Torch (2008 and 2018 Olympic Games).

Chicken Soup for the Soul

Dean was recently awarded the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award by The President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. And now, he’s out with a new book: Chicken Soup for the Soul, Running for Good.

In this episode, Dean shares with us some of his favorite stories from this book, his favorite and toughest runs, and his general passion for all things running.


Questions Dean is asked:

3:45 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite workout? 

6:36 When did you start running and when did it turn into Ultra Running?

8:09 What made you decide to do extreme running and how does it fit into the rest of your life?

10:22 Does anyone else in your family run?

11:03 Did you run the Golden Gate Relay solo several times?

11:35 How much do you currently run in a week?

12:05 How does your first book, Ultramarathon Man compare to your newest book, Chicken Soup For the Soul: Running?

15:26 What did it take to win the Badwater 135?

17:24 How did you inspire Michelle Barton to go from providing your support at Badwater to running it herself?

18:20 What’s the toughest run you’ve ever done and why?

19:54 What is the Atacama Crossing like?

21:54 Is there a most-beautiful race or run that you’ve done?

24:57 What are some of the special cultural experiences you’ve had from running all over the world?

27:31 What are some of your favorite stories from Chicken Soup For the Soul: Running?

31:38 What’s on the horizon for you?

34:52 What would like people to take away from Chicken Soup For the Soul: Running?

45:59 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite book(s), video or resource? 
  3. Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?


“Running has a way of kind of taking over your life. When a partner becomes a runner, it can do one of two things: it can either bring people closer together or it can blow a relationship into smithereens. I’ve seen both scenarios.”

“When my family travelled, we had a lot of fun. And it wasn’t just about me and my running, it was about doing a lot of other activities that everyone enjoyed.”

“ I don’t even consider myself as ‘winning’ the Badwater 135; I say, “I survived the fastest.’. I think anyone who can complete that run is heroic.”

“Some people say to me, “Do you ever fail?” and this is a prime example; I’ve been failing at this for five years and I’m going to continue failing at it until one day I succeed.”

“That’s what made this so special: it wasn’t about one guy going out there and pounding his chest like, ‘Look at me, I can run 50 consecutive marathons…’; it was about ‘Let’s have some fun. Let’s all get together and celebrate through running.’.”


Take a Listen on Your Next Run


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Mentioned in this podcast: 

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

Carbona Homepage

UCAN Homepage

Dean Karnazes Amazon Author Page

Book: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners

Badwater 135 Ultra Marathon

250-km Atacama Crossing

The Golden Gate Relay

Michelle Barton

Dipsea Trail

Book: To the Edge – by Kirk Johnson


Follow Dean on:

Dean’s Website





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