serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

What makes Dean Karnazas a Trail Runner

posted by Chris Barber


Since our transition at to provide information on everything trail running, we decided it was time to revisit one of our inspirations, Dean Karnazas, by watching the movie, Ultramarathon Man.  After watching the movie I began to think about what makes Dean Karnazas tick.  I noticed that the movie speaks a lot to Dean’s personality and not just his running prowess.  In case you didn’t already know, Dean Karnazas started his amazing long distance running career by running an impromptu run on his 30th birthday, for 30 miles.  He hasn’t always been the ultramarthon man, but he may have had the right personality for those long runs.  So what makes Dean Karnazas want to be a trail runner?

In the movie Dean Karnazas mentions that after taking the Miles Briggs personality test he realized how much of an introvert he really is.  You would never be able to tell with all of the appearances, movies, and blogs that he does.  Dean admits that he does all of these appearances and meet and greets not because he enjoys them, but because it allows him to do his passion for a job; long distance running.

So what makes trail runners like Dean Karnazas really tick?  Well, running in general is an individual sport and trail running seems to be an even more individual sport than road running.  Rarely do you ever see a group of more than two trail runners on the trail; however, there are thousands of road running clubs and group runs across the nation.  Although roads are more abundant and are wider than singletrack trails, I believe that the reason trail runners don’t often run in groups is because trail runners are typically more of introverts than most road runners and enjoy the individualism of the trail.


Trail Runners often point to the commune with nature as a reason for trail running.  In order to obtain the Runner’s High from surrounding nature you must be aware of your environment, which is difficult to do when you are running with others.  Trail runners are more about the experience of the run, not necessarily their distance, time, or calories burned.  They are often pursuing the intrinsic feeling they get from being one with the environment and their run, not setting a new PR.

Although all types of runners have similar personalities, trail runners seem to be a bread of their own, much like Dean Karnazas is.  Dean says, “When you stop moving forward you stagnate and die.”  We’ll keep running trails and improving  Domi Arigato Dean.

If you are new to trail running and want to try a trail run by yourself, please take the necessary precautions to avoid any dangerous situations.  Here are some tips on avoiding dehydration, avoiding injuries, or finding your way back if you become lost while trail running.  Happy Trails!

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