A Runner’s High: My Life in Motion

Millions have turned to running during the pandemic for an array of both life-enhancing and pivotal reasons: better physical health, mental health, and for a sense of freedom and clarity. Iconic superhuman endurance runner Dean Karnazes leads the way with his unparalleled perseverance pushing the limits of one’s own body and mind. A two-time New York Times bestselling author, Karnazes has gone well beyond inconceivable limits of the human body, accomplishing such feats as running 135-miles nonstop across Death Valley, running a marathon to the South Pole, and running 50 marathons, in all 50 states, in 50 consecutive days. In his latest memoir, A Runner’s High(HarperOne; April 20, 2021), he shares his stories and hard-won wisdom from three decades of running and competing across the globe.

For millions of Americans — even more so since the advent of lockdown — running is a hobby. Yet Karnazes knows it is so much more. Running is a conversation, an education, a revolution, an awakening. We learn who we are through the movement of our bodies. Running builds character while also revealing it in new and courageous ways. The runner is stripped of pedigree and pretention and what emerges is honest and true; a version of self much closer to that which we are.

In A Runner’s High, Karnazes captures the intimacy of running in a way that speaks to everyone. His story is both propulsive and reflective with stratospheric highs, devastating lows, and great achievements intermixed with heart-wrenching defeat. All the while the reader is pulled into the journey, cheering the triumphs and feeling the sting of loss and failure. In the end, Karnazes shows that what matters most is not the accumulation of trophies and medals, but having the determination, no matter how difficult things become, to keep going.

Dean Karnazes is a bestselling author, prolific speaker and icon in the running world. Men’s Health magazine called him one of the fittest people on the planet. TIME magazine named Dean as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World.” He is the winner of an ESPN ESPY, three-time winner of Competitor Magazine’sEndurance Athlete of the Year, and recipient of the President’s Council and Sports, Fitness & Nutrition Lifetime Achievement Award.


“Runners are sure to be captivated by this account of an unconventional endurance athlete who tenaciously challenges physical and mental boundaries.”-Booklist

“Dean Karnazes’ writing wakes up the appetite to run long distances. In this book, Dean takes us on a lifelong journey of ultramarathons, through the ups and downs, the friendships and lonely moments, and the struggles and rewards of each race. Dean writes in a direct and intimate way that keeps us reading like he runs — without stopping.”-Kilian Jornet, World Champion ultramarathoner

“Dean Karnazes’ latest book, A Runner’s High, is an unfiltered look inside the world of endurance sports from the original Ultramarathon Man. Dean has lived many lifetimes during his storied career and he takes us on that journey with all the detail, honesty and introspection of a man that’s lived in those shoes. The narrative is snappy and humorous and we get a behind the curtain look at what it takes to live a life of adventure and all that comes with it: the good, bad and ugly but also the beautiful and sublime when everything magically comes together and you achieve something truly mind-blowing. I thought I would quickly glance through it, but the book sucked me in and when I reemerged it was with a smile on my face and dreams of adventure in my mind.”-Michael Wardian, Guinness World Record Holder & 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents record holder

“This metaphor and imagery-filled romp through the ultramarathon of life is a must read. Are you a younger runner still discovering the beauty of a life lived exploring the world with the power of your own two legs? Or are you a veteran with thousands of miles under your belt, wondering if you still got game or if running is even still relevant and useful? Either way, Karno’s latest book has some answers for you. We need more books like this about running — the ones not simply about training and winning, but the ones that explore running as a way to get to our most human selves, and running for running’s sake. Dean Karnazes in A Runner’s High shows us the deep love and respect for what the sport has given him — and what he has given in return to this sport is immense — a sincere demonstration of diplomacy, tenacity, grit, and the appreciation of discovery in all stages of our running lives.”-Mirna Valerio, runner, speaker, author

“Normally I think of the feeling I get when finishing a marathon as a “runner’s high.” I always thought that there was no stronger or more profound feeling of a runner’s high then when finishing a race, a marathon or an ultra-marathon. That is, until I read Dean Karnazes’s recent book, appropriately titled, A Runner’s High, because it captures that exact same emotional state when you read this amazing story… Dean’s accomplishments, his stories, his tenacity, his advice and his wisdom shine through in A Runner’s High and will inspire the reader to believe that anything is possible if you believe in yourself, have the courage, and run with your heart.”-Dave McGillivray, Race Director Boston Marathon

“As someone who one day intends to complete the Western States 100, A Runner’s High both excited and terrified me. As always, Dean shares an enthralling story that you just cannot stop reading. I loved the vulnerability Dean exposes in his journey to show the reader that despite all the superhuman feats, he is human like the rest of us. His words have the ability to leave us wondering, what am I capable of? If you love stories about the power of the human spirit, this book is a classic.”-Tina Muir, Running For Real Founder and Professional Runner

A Runner’s High is a powerful narrative on life, running and finding meaning through perseverance. Every runner should read this book.”-Jason Koop, Coach and bestselling author

“Dean Karnazes’ writing is as inspiring as his amazing running accomplishments. His Greek heritage and the pursuit of excellence through running and athletics shine through brightly in this new book. After reading A Runner’s High, I had to go out and run!”-Jeff Galloway, US Olympian & creator of the Galloway Method