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Improvisational Dean Karnazes
CREATED: 06/15/09 by mosered REPLIES:
mosered's ravatar mosered    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1653
Improvisational Dean Karnazes
POSTED: 6/15/09 11:40 AM

A brief anecdote for a Monday…


…On Sunday, I did a Dean Karnazes.

You’ve likely heard the story. The Ultramarathon Man, in the midst of a hundred-mile run, will call up a pizzeria, and have the deliveryman meet him in the middle of nowhere with a large pepperoni, then consume the thing while still chugging along.

For my far more modest endeavor, a long hike around the Potomac Basin, I employed a similar stratagem. It started around mile 8, on the Key Bridge heading for Georgetown. Inspired by the great athletic feats that day at Eagleman and on the Bay, the thought emerged that I might be able to keep right on going into a marathon walk, some 26 miles.

But I was already hungry, and the stop at the Seven Eleven for beer nuts and ‘Ade wasn’t doing the trick. So I took out the cell phone, called Mister Smith’s on M St., ordering a cheeseburger and mashed potatoes to go. I explained to the friendly waitress that I was in real hurry, and wondered if she could meet me outside the bistro with the take-out. Puzzled but amused, she agreed.

60 seconds from Mr. Smith’s, I called again, telling the waitress my arrival was imminent. Like clockwork, she emerged as I strode up to the door, brandishing a big plastic container holding the feast. I slipped her cash, with a nice tip, and kept right on going. Passersby seemed amused by someone eating a full meal literally on the go.

Around mile 13, on Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon, I was getting hungry again, and executed a modified version of the same tactic. At the Faccia Luna bistro, a worker, as part of a promotion, was handing out free pizza slices to folks strolling by. Naturally, I gladly accepted the Karnazes-like victual, and headed up toward Ballston. On the return trip, mile 16 or so, the pizza giveaway continued. I happily grabbed a second slice, much to the amusement of lingering clientele outside, who remembered me from the first freebie.

So, with 20 miles approaching, I was quite full, and full of energy too. However, my neck and lower back were growing stiff and sore, their habit of late, so I brought the lengthy constitutional to a close.

Still, I hope to mount a full marathon distance hike later this summer. During it, the “Dean Karnazes” gambit will again be employed.

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