Karnazes Wins ESPY for Best Outdoor Athlete

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The Outside Blog is reporting that Ultramarathon Man Dean Karnazes has won the ESPY Award for “Best Outdoor Athlete”. The awards were handed out on Wednesday, but the show isn’t televised until Sunday on ESPN.

Karnazes was recognized for his 50 marathons in 50 days in 50 states campaign that he did with The North Face last Fall. He also attempted, and failed, to set a new record for most miles on a treadmill in 24 hours, while in Time Square. He managed to run 127 miles falling short of the record of 153. Still pretty impressive though.

Dean beat out Mike Iaconelli, a fisherman (I’m sorry, I enjoy fishing too, but anglers are not athletes), Samantha Larson, the 18 year old mountaineer who became the youngest to complete the Seven Summits, Ian McKeever, another mountaineer who recently set the new speed record for climbing the Seven Summits, and Lance Mackey, the musher who won the 2007 Iditarod.

Of the names on that list, Karnazes is clearly the most well known and marketable guy, and considering this is a fan vote, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise he won.

Kraig Becker

10 thoughts on “Karnazes Wins ESPY for Best Outdoor Athlete”

  1. Hey Kraig..

    Have to disagree with ya on the fisherman thing..Go to a B.A.S.S. tournament or deep sea fishing..

    I guess it goes back to the age old question..Are Nascar and Indy Car Drivers athletes?

    Grab a Flyrod, head out to the grand Alaskan Rivers and give it a go…

    Just because there is Beer in the boat doesn’t mean your not an athlete..lol

  2. Actually, I don’t think NASCAR or Indy Drivers are athletes either. Yes, yes, I know all the arguments, and I’ve had this discussion before, and I still don’t buy it. Racing is indeed a rigorous activity and it is a challenge, but the machine does most of the work.

    As for fisherman, I’ve been fishing plenty of times. Again, it can be a challenge, and it is indeed a skill, sometimes it even requires the use of strength, but it is not an athletic endeavor.

    In fact, and Joe off the street can fish, and many do. Many can also drive a car at 200 MPH on a track. I’m not saying they’ll be competing at a high level, but they can do it. However, not everyone can run a 4.3 40-yard dash or hit a 95 MPH fastball. Not everyone has the athletic ability to dunk a basketball, or pedal a bike 120 miles over five hours up a mountain in the Alps.

    As much as it pains me, I’ll quote Jim Rome on what is or isn’t a sport. If you can do the activity with a long neck in one hand and a non-filter in the other, it’s not sport. 😉

  3. Ok..ok…perhaps you have a point..

    Perhaps ESPN should reevaluate it’s lineup…


    How about Horse Racing? Kind of in between..?

    Perhaps I should send them a letter discussing the merit of what is considered a sport and by what standards they hold on this with…

    By the way, Joe off the street can grab a ball and shoot it through a hoop, though…Joe can also hit a baseball…and Joe can ride a bike..To be honest when you break it down, it doesn’t take much to do any of these things….but to be Good is another question..

    That takes Dedication, Perserverence, and Drive…Going by all this, Driving and fishing would definately be a sport…

    But Golf…now there is one I am not so sure of…haha…just kidding..

  4. LOL! We could probably debate back and fourth on this for some time. And it is the age old question of “What is a sport”. I’ll agree with you on Golf. Not a sport. It’s a skill. And it’s a maddening one at that. 😉

    My examples of comparing Joe of the street with the “athletes” was comparing them to the top of their game, yours were them just picking up a ball to shoot. Driving at 200 MPH is scary, and obviously you have to have steady nerves, but Joe of the street can do it. In fact, many drivers say that when everyone is traveling at those speeds it’s all kind of relative.

    But I see your point as well. I just prefer my sports as ones where the person is actually performing, and not a machine, or a horse for that matter.

    I’ll also admit it’s tough to draw a line and have everything fall on one side or the other. It’s an interesting debate though for sure.

  5. Hey Kraig,

    Haha…I was just trying to have a little fun. I do agree with you as well…and yes it is an endless argument..but I will let it die, as I am no Jim Rome..


  6. Though Karnazes failed on his attempt to set a new record. He is still the best outdoor athlete. He is truly a great man.

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