The title of “fittest Quarterly curator” is hotly contested these days, but it’s hard to argue with the guy who runs 100 miles up a desert mountain in 120-degree heat. And wins. That would be ultra marathoner Dean Karnazes, who just sent his first box and whose brain we were eager to pick. We chatted with Dean about inspiration, the U.S. mail, and his favorite Quarterly curator.
#RUN01 from Dean Karnazes featured a master kit for runners: Vizlet LEDs, a Petzl E+Lite, Nuun electrolyte tabs, chocolate-covered espresso beans, Bodyglide, Road ID, and his book Ultramarathon Man.
1. How did you come up with the idea for #RUN01?
Dean: I went for a long run and it just came to me. (laughter) Seriously, I wanted to design something that would provide a new experience for folks, a chance to take a step into the unknown. While the items in the box are terrific and are a great value for the investment, the experience they will provide is priceless.
2. What’s the best thing you’ve ever received in the mail?
It was illegal, so I’ll exercise my 5th on that one. (more laughter) Actually, it was a science kit I got when I was a kid. It unlocked a whole new world of exploration and adventure for me.
3. What’s the worst thing?
I once ordered a big bag of chia seeds from Amazon and when I opened the box the container had burst inside and millions of tiny seeds went flying all over the place. I’m still digging out chia seed from the carpet years later.
4. What’s your longest-running subscription?
Probably Outside magazine. I think I got a copy of the first edition and have been a subscriber ever since.
5. Which other Quarterly contributor intrigues you the most?
Probably Timothy Ferriss. I’ve known Tim for years and I remain fascinated by his ingenuity and unquenchable pursuit of deeper understanding and insight in the multiplicity of endeavors he takes on. The guy’s a revolutionary in many ways and I consider him one of the true Renaissance men of our time.
Thanks to Dean Karnazes for standing still to answer our questions! For more good stuff from Dean, you’ll just have to subscribe to #RUN02.