Sarah Lavender Smith April 24, 2012 TWEET COMMENTS 2

Behind Ultramarathon Man - Page 3

Photo by Corey Rich

But I had to wonder, with everything else he has going on, why did he open a fro-yo shop? “Good question,” he said, laughing. “I never looked at it as a money-making thing, really. I wanted to invest in the community and bring some jobs in, but at the end of the day you still have to pay the mortgage.”

Over the course of our run and in subsequent conversations, he would reflect on how his goals have shifted over two decades as an ultrarunner and why he’s on a mission to change people’s lives by getting them to run. He would also open up about the criticism that his celebrity status has sparked. But for the first several miles, we kept the conversation light as he relished the climb up the mountain’s back side—“Isn’t this the best place in the world? It’s insane!”—and bantered about his two kids: Alexandria, 16, and Nicholas, 13.

Alexandria, Nicholas, Julie and his parents have crewed for him on numerous ultras over the years. The whole family would follow Dean in an RV dubbed “The Mother Ship.” When he did the Endurance 50 project in 2006—50 marathons, 50 states, 50 days—the kids traveled around the country while Julie and the grandparents home-schooled them on the road. “They used to love traveling to ultras, and then it was kind of, ‘I don’t know if I want to because my friend’s having a party,’” he said. “I don’t want them to be like, ‘Dad’s dragging us to another thing.’”


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