Ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes to run the Silk Road to unite people

Dean Karnazes is a man who once fell asleep running. He is an ultramarathon runner who essentially never gets tired, or at least his brain never tells him he’s tired.

With that wonderful trait, Karnazes has done some incredibly lengthy runs like 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 straight days and a 350-mile run without stopping. On Wednesday, Karnazes is going to embark on his latest epic run: the Silk Road.

The route that Dean Karnazes will be taking. Photo: Courtesy of The New York Times

The route that Dean Karnazes will be taking. Photo: Courtesy of The New York Times

As Karnazes divulges in an interview with The New York Times, it’s going to be an extremely taxing endeavor. The Silk Road is an ancient trade route that connected the west to the east from China to the Mediterranean Sea.

Dean Karnazes doing what he's best at: running. Photo: Courtesy of Ultramarathonman.com

Dean Karnazes doing what he’s best at: running. Photo: Courtesy of Ultramarathonman.com

Karnazes will be running a 326-mile portion of the Silk Road through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. He was approached by an official with the sports diplomacy program that wants to celebrate the 25th anniversary of these countries gaining their independence from the Soviet Union.

Karnazes told The New York Times:

“The idea is to link these three countries together on this footpath. The power of running — it unites people, There's a magic in running. It's so simple, it's a commonality we all share as a species. We're divided by the color of our skin, divided by the God we believe in, socioeconomic level, whatever else, but running's a great democratizer. The idea is to get people to come out and run along with me, to show together the power of running.”

Despite this humanitarian goal, there are certainly some major hurdles for Karnazes in this run. The first is the heat — Uzbekistan is desert and it’s 112 degrees there. The second is altitude — the route he’s taking is nearly 12,000 feet high.

To combat these problems, Karnazes has been doing the simple things of running in the middle of the day, dehydrating himself and running in a lot of mountains.

Make sure to follow Karnazes’s humanitarian run here and check out the full New York Times interview here.

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