The Perfect Human
Wednesday, December 27 2006 @ 11:01 AM PST
Contributed by: mday
Dean Karnazes continues to get more publicity than any endurance athlete, with the possible exception of Lance Armstrong. This month Karnazes is featured as the Perfect Human in Wired magazine. He is also on the cover of Outside magazine, which declares that Karnazes is America's Greatest Runner. The accolades seem to continually get more spectacular. I never thought that Karnazes would have such staying power. I always figured that folks would find ultrarunning boring and move on to the next instant celebrity. It hasn't happened, and it won't. Karnaze's fan's don't care about the reality of ultrarunning, they are attracted to a charismatic individual who holds himself out as a physical specimen, a freak of nature.
Karnazes is a relentless self-promoter, and a good one. This is what bothers me, although it shouldn't. When Karnazes went down to Texas last month for the Ultracentric 24-hour race, he toed the line with John Geezler, who ran 300 miles at Across the Years in 2004. Karnaze's only mention of Ultracentric in his blog was about two guys who came to see him run and how cool it was that they were inspired by him (Karnazes). It would have been nice if Karnazes made mention of Geezler for one. Karnazes own incredible performance at Ultracentric was exceeded by three other athletes, including 58 year old Roy Pirung (how's that for an inspiring story?). A nod to those folks by Karnazes would have been very classy, and I don't think it would have detracted from his attractivinesss.
I admire Karnazes for his talent and his ability to inspire others. I don't appreciate his unprecedented publicity machine, nor his reluctance to acknowledge other athletes.