Ultramarathoner — and by that we mean a guy who runs a marathon daily — Dean Karnazes tells Zap2it first today about a cross-country trip that will kick off Friday, Feb. 25 on “Live With Regis and Kelly.”
Karnazes, 48, is running across the country, leaving from Disneyland. He’s scheduled to run onto the “Live” set in Manhattan the first week of May. Though why anyone would run nearly 3,000 miles, and have every step documented by cameras, takes some explaining.
“First and foremost for me it is an incredible physical challenge,” he says. “I love testing the endurance of seeing how far the body can go. This is a made-for-television run, and different than anything I have done. My whole focus as an athlete has shifted to motivating and inspiring others to get more active.”
Karnazes will keep a blog on the “Regis and Kelly” website, detailing his average of 50 miles a day. He’s also going to tweet messages and photos from the road. He’s taking a route through the southern part of the country, hoping to avoid snowstorms.
Cities along his route will host “Run with Dean” 5K events and raise money that goes to benefit Action for Healthy Kids, which works to combat obesity in children.
Karnazes describes himself as “a reborn runner.” He had been a runner, but after earning his MBA and settling into his career, had developed a “bit of a paunch” and “wasn’t happy with my fitness level.”
Since an epiphany on his 30th birthday, he has run on all seven continents — twice. He has appeared on “Live” before, running 211 miles on a treadmill in 48 hours.
Karnazes prefers to run alone, and often for five hours a day, so having every step televised and people contacting him will be different.
“I would love to encourage people to meet me along the way,” Karnazes says. “A 5K is an approachable distance, 3.1 miles. The beauty of this is that it is inclusive, encouraging others to get active and come out and meet me. We can walk the 5K — for some people that is the most they have done in a decade.”
And for those who still can’t make it off the couch, they can always watch it on “Live.”