Thursday, September 07, 2006

There needs to be a movie.

from Runners World interview of Karnazes:
Three midrun hallucinations he recalls to this day: 1) Small roadside animals, during his 350-mile run last October, which were invisible to the people traveling alongside Karnazes in a car. The animals looked to Karnazes like possums, raccoons, and skunks, but only at first. "Have you ever read Maurice Sendak's children's book Where the Wild Things Are? They started morphing into little Wild Things." 2) Glowing snake eyes advancing upon him in the darkness, during his September 2000 199-mile run to Santa Cruz, which was designed as a 12-person relay but which Karnazes decided to run alone. The snake eyes turned out to be the headlights of distant cars. 3) The 19th-century gold miner he watched cross the road in front of him in the middle of the night the first time Karnazes ran the Badwater Ultramarathon. "Typical '49er. Beard, gold pan in his hand, and mumbling. He was saying--" Karnazes affects a hoarse, desperate whisper--"'water!' So I poured some from my water bottle into his gold pan and heard it sizzling on the ground, and I realized it was a hallucination." Pause. "That was a good one."

What a person such as Dean Karnazes puts on his To Do list after he finishes running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days:
"Okay. I want to run from California to Hawaii." Pardon? "Check this out." Karnazes gets up, walks carefully upstairs to his office, turns on the computer, and calls up a photograph of a man wearing a wet suit, atop ocean water, inside what appears to be a giant hamster wheel. "That's me," Karnazes says. "It's called a Hydro Bronc. It's inflatable. I actually caught a wave in it while running." He says he figures the run to Hawaii would take a couple of months, with a boat alongside in which he would spend the night sometimes, the way people do when they windsurf across the Atlantic. Wait. People windsurf across the Atlantic? Karnazes nods distractedly, and says, "Look, here's another device I recently came across that I think would let me do it faster," and pulls out a magazine photograph of a small person-powered hydrofoil that shoots forward when its rider jumps up and down on one end. He studies the two pictures--hydro-jumping to Hawaii, hamster-wheel running to Hawaii. He hasn't made up his mind. "I also want to climb Mount Everest, eventually, but starting in Katmandu, and not using porters or oxygen or animals to transport stuff," he says. "And this is something not that far off--I want to paddle around the Farallon Islands, on a big board, surfing style. It's about forty miles." The Farallon Islands are in the Pacific Ocean, 27 miles off the San Francisco coastline. They are inhabited only by researchers. They're known as a feeding region for white sharks. "Big ones," Karnazes says. He looks very happy. "Yeah! Lots of big sharks."

Here's the link to the article.

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