Ultra-Marathon: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

by Dean Karnazes
277 pages, Biography/History
Reviewed by bookRacoon

Inspiring and energizing bio, but with language.


In this book ultra-endurance athlete Dean Karnazes details several of his astounding feats (such as running a marathon in -30 weather, running 200 miles without rest, running from Death Valley to Mount Whitney), and how he got started in the sport of running. He also tells readers about his childhood and wife and family.


This book is mainly about Dean and his family, and they are supportive and loving. As for running, running in itself is neither positive nor negative but is the center of this book.

Spiritual Content

Dean is not a religious man - I daresay that running and his family are his gods.


Some of Dean's runs beat him up pretty badly - he falls of a hill, nearly gets hit by a truck, falls and burns his hands. His first 50-mile run caused him to vomit for 30 seconds straight over his car. Dean faces severe cramping often.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Dean and his friends drink quite a bit, but they are all legal legal age grown-ups.

Sexual Content

A woman tries to seduce Dean, while both of them are married (thankfully Dean comes to his senses and leaves the bar).

Dean says that sometimes female ultra-runners hit on the men to try to get food or water.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

F--k, d--n, a--, s--t. Language used throughout the book, not in describing an event but usually in his conversations with other friends/family.


This book was quite an enjoyable read and encourages readers in exercising. It is also written in an engaging manner and enlightened me to how some of the fittest and, in the author's own words, insane, athletes in the world think. However, the bad words and misuse of God's name was unnecessary.

Fun Score: 4
Values Score: 2.5
Written for Age: adult

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