"Ultramarathonman" Dean Karnazes wants you to listen to his advice. And then ignore it.
The internationally recognized endurance athlete knows you'll have questions when he comes to Columbus tonight.
That's only reasonable. Most runners would love to mirror Karnazes' achievements.
Like running 350 continuous miles. Or running a marathon to the South Pole in negative 40 degrees. Or running 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days.
Sure, Karnazes can give you some tips. But he won't cry if you find a different path toward success.
"Listen to everyone, follow no one. Find what works best for you," Karnazes said in a recent phone interview.
He appears tonight (Aug. 3) at Big Dog Running Company in downtown Columbus. Runners can participate in a free training run with Karnazes. A 10K and 5K route will be available. It's open to all paces and experience levels.
"We don't want to intimidate folks," Karnazes said.
After the run, he'll sign autographs, answer questions and discuss The North Face Endurance Challenge, which comes to Pine Mountain in October. The challenge spans a variety of trail races in distances ranging from 5K to 50 miles.
The races are appealing for a variety of reasons, ranging from the scenic natural beauty to an absence of noise distractions.
"The jewels in our crown are these endurance challenge events. Once you try it, you almost instantly become a believer," said Karnazes, who has been involved with The North Face for over a decade.
Whether you're training for a trail race or road race, Karnazes understands the heat- and humidity-based challenges that currently plague most runners in our area.
Hey, he's run across Death Valley in 120-degree temperatures.
Karnazes recommends simple techniques to handle the heat -- things like chewing on ice during a run and selecting a sunscreen that doesn't clog your pores. "The one thing that is very helpful is getting up early (to run)," he added.
Karnazes' opinions on recent running trends mainly fall into the "listen to everyone, follow no one" category. His thoughts on a recent focus on minimalist footwear? "It works for me. It's very polarizing."
Among other running trends, Karnazes says he's seen a surge in female interest in organized races -- both endurance challenges and standard road races.
"Not only are they female, but they are kicking some serious booty," he said.
Amid his achievements, Karnazes doesn't have a hard time giving advice to people who are new to the running world.
Regardless of your experience level, he recommends tackling a race with this mentality: "I'm going to give it my all. I'm going to leave nothing on the course."
"Don't be afraid to fail. Embrace failure, celebrate failure," Karnazes said.
Sonya Sorich, 706-571-8516.