Dean Karnazes

Sick of living the life others said he should be living, Dean Karnazes started living life on his own terms on the eve of his 30th birthday. Instead of drinking the night away like he originally planned, Dean walked out of a bar and just started running, winding up 30 miles away after not having run in 15 years. This single act changed the course of his life. He eventually left behind the corporate world and made running his new passion and vocation.

Ever since he started running for a living, it has been a wild ride for Dean. He has participated in hundreds of marathons, once ran 350 continuous miles, ran 135 miles nonstop across Death Valley in 120-degree temperatures, ran a marathon to the South Pole in negative 40 degrees and even completed 50 marathons, in all 50 U.S. states, in 50 consecutive days, culminating with the New York City Marathon, which he completed in three hours. After the race, he ran 1,300 miles to where he started his 50/50/50 challenge — St. Louis, Mo.

About the same time Dean started running to decompress, he also started reading. Thanks to a gift from a boss who cared about more than just business-related performance, Dean found Chicken Soup for the Soul. Dean found similarities between running and reading; they both nourished his inner spirit and complemented each other perfectly. Now Dean has teamed with Chicken Soup for the Soul to create the brand's first book especially for runners, triathletes and other endurance athletes.

"The Chicken Soup for the Soul series is a collection of uplifting and energizing short stories. The concept is simple, yet powerful," says Dean in his introduction. "Running, too, is simple, yet powerful. By its very nature, running is a moving experience, both literally and figuratively! As any athlete can attest, running conditions the body. The stories I started reading daily in Chicken Soup for the Soul were perfect cross-training for the soul. When I was feeling lazy or unmotivated, reading a stirring and heartwarming story reinvigorated my sense of passion and commitment, and off I'd go on a run!"

Known as the Ultra Marathon Man, Dean Karnazes was named one of TIME magazine's "Top 100 Most Influential People in the World" for his message of following your heart and living life with passion and purpose. He is the New York Times bestselling author of his autobiography Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner and 50/50: Secrets I Learned Running 50 Marathons in 50 Days — and How You Too Can Achieve Super Endurance!, as well as a regular columnist for Men's Health. In addition to athlete and author, Dean is an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and a devoted husband and father of two.

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