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Published February 28 2011

Wagner: Karnazes’ exposure getting to be too much

It seems Dean Karnazes is a pretty popular topic on running websites and message boards these days.

In fact, when someone doesn’t have something worthwhile to say, they’ll decide to blather on about the self-proclaimed ultramarathon man.

It’s guaranteed to spark response and controversy.

And for a couple years, I’ve avoided bringing up his name. Just when it seemed he couldn’t be any more overexposed, somebody decides they’ll give him the spotlight.

Now TV is buying into the hype.

His latest journey, Regis & Kelly’s Run Across America with Dean Karnazes, started Friday. Am I the only one wondering if it’s over yet?

Yes, the self-promoting endurance athlete ran the 2010 Fargo Marathon, in a respectable 3 hours, 44 minutes. He may have even mumbled something to a friend who cheered him along the way.

But there’s something not-so-endearing when a person works so hard to promote himself. It wouldn’t be so bad if one didn’t get the impression that every new endeavor was an attempt to write and sell another book.

Part of me feels dirty for just writing about it. But more than anything, I just want everyone to quit writing about the guy.

Of course, I’m sure this column will now encourage friends – and strangers – to bring up Dean’s name when they see me at the next race. Another reason I’ve been avoiding the subject.

Speaking of the next race, my hopes are for some warmer weather for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day 5K, which starts at 3 p.m. March 12. Check out www.lakeagassizpacers.com for more information.

For those trying to decide on your marathon plans this year, here’s a couple things to keep in mind.

Grandma’s Marathon, the charming classic Duluth, Minn., race, is celebrating its 35th year. So far, 5,800 runners have signed up, and registration closes when the marathon reaches 10,000.

The Twin Cities Marathon, in its 30th year, also is filling up. The early October race has filled about 40 percent of its 11,200-runner field.

And for those who haven’t checked the Fargo Marathon website lately, the post-race concert is returning at a new venue. Hairball and Dirty Word will play at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds, which opens at 6 p.m., plenty of time for runners to clean up and take a nap before celebrating their accomplishments May 21.

Forum News Director Steve Wagner writes a running blog, which can be found at runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached at (701) 241-5542 or swagner@forumcomm.com.