Book Review: “A Runner’s High: My Life in Motion” by Dean Karnazes


A Runner’s High: My Life in Motion is ultrarunner Dean Karnazes’s fifth book. Despite the title, the book doesn’t encompass his entire life. Instead, it’s a more focused memoir of two memorable races: the Bishop High Sierra Ultramarathon, in which Karnazes ran the 100K, and the Western States 100-miler. 

Affectionately called “Ultramarathon Man” by his father and others, Karnazes is probably most known for running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. A casual runner myself, I have yet to attempt anything over a marathon, but I love reading about ultrarunners (an ultramarathon is anything over the 26.2-mile distance of a regular marathon, so an ultrarace is anything from 30 to 100 miles).

Karnazes’s tales of ultra racing are fun and wild, and while they maybe didn’t sway me any closer toward running an ultrarace, I had a great time reading them. This book is only about 250 pages, so it won’t take you long to devour, and you’ll finish it having a better idea of why some people choose to run absolutely insane distances.

Karnazes’s writing is accessible, and it’s very fun to follow along as he tackles 100 terrible miles. If you’ve ever been curious about ultrarunning, this is a great place to start. I haven’t read any of his other books, and now I plan to put them on my TBR. If you enjoy memoirs or books about running, this a great one. 

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, HarperCollins, for review.

Buy on Bookshop Buy on Amazon