Today Dean started the day with a running tour of Tashkent visiting important local sites including the Minor Mosque, the International Business Center, the Japanese Garden, and the Memorial of the Victims of Repression.
Hundreds of Uzbeks turned out for an opening ceremony to launch the Silk Road Ultramarathon in the Tashkent city center. From there Dean hit the road for a 13-mile run to the border between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan crossing over to be greeted by hundreds more Kazakhstanis. Youth and adults of all ages joined Dean for the 25-mile run into Qazygurt where he was welcomed by the Embassy sponsored access group.
"Today begins the Silk Road Ultra Marathon. I've always said that running transcends borders, but I've never had an experience that encapsulates this wisdom so literally. My day started with a running tour of Tashkent. What a city! Modernity and antiquity mix to give this city a unique vibe. As I concluded, I ran across the border into Kazakhstan. There, I was greeted by cheering fans and treated to a band playing traditional Kazakh music. I didn't have much of my usual running products to hydrate me and replenish my nutrients, but I didn't need it. Today, I fed off of a different kind of energy. All along the road, local runners joined me. A year ago, they never thought they would meet me, and I never thought I would be in Kazakhstan. But, for one beautiful day, we shared the same road and baked under same rays of sun. Friendship doesn't come from sharing a language or life experiences; it comes from moving forward, together. Today, I consider the hundreds of Kazakhs who gave me the strength to move forward my friends." - Dean Karnazes #Dean525
Tomorrow Dean embarks on a 47-mile run through Kazakhstan. Stay tuned!
Learn more about the Silk Road Ultra Marathon Run, with Dean Karnazes
The First Day of the Silk Road Ultramarathon with Dean Karnazes
July 1: Silk Ultra Marathon Photos