Silk Road Ultra
In 2016, the U.S. Department of State sponsored ultra-marathon legend Dean Karnazes while running the ancient Silk Road.
Dean ran 525 kilometers in 11 days from Tashkent, Uzbekistan to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan to Almaty, Kazakhstan as part of the Sports Envoy program, to mark the 25th anniversary of these countries’ independence from the Soviet Union.
Running an average of 50 miles per day, Dean connected with people along the way on behalf of the United States, conducting running clinics, giving talks, and inviting people of all ages to join him in fun runs.
Dean’s journey through Central Asia provided a unique opportunity to show the power of sports diplomacy in bringing people from different cultures and nationalities together.
Dean became well known in 2006 when he ran 50 marathons, in all 50 US states, in 50 consecutive days. 12 years later he’s still going strong.
Dean was living the “perfect life” until his thirties…..
“I thought if I went through University and I got a good job and I was making a good earning that I would be happy. And I did all things and I was miserable.”
One day he thought “either you’re gonna spend the rest of your life on wishing you were not doing what you’re doing now, or you’re gonna make a radical alteration.”
Dean wrote many blogs and books not only about his incredible achievements, but also about the importance living actively and of cleaning up our daily & travel routines and being outdoors.
In California, where Dean lives, the air quality is very good usually, when there are no bush fires. But for a lot of people the reality is that the air quality is not good at all. There are countries where many months during the summer it is not healthy to run outside. In his inspiring role as sports ambassador Dean experienced this himself while traveling.
“It was good for me to live and do that because it gave me a sense of the reality for a lot of people across the globe, and to me it’s really sad and it’s something I hope that we can reverse.”
You can check out more about Dean Karnazes and his latest journeys on his website: