In Dean's first day in Uzbekistan, he met with the Uzbekistan Paralympic Association, inspiring and encouraging the young athletes. Afterward, he spent time meeting Uzbeks while running to various cultural sites, including the Opera and Ballet Theatre. Dean also conducted several media interviews to discuss the 525 kilometers that lie ahead through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. He capped off the day sampling local cuisine. In Dean’s own words:
“Despite the jet lag and lack of sleep, I thoroughly enjoyed my first day in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The time difference is 12-hours from San Francisco—halfway around the world—and it feels very exotic and different here, unlike anyplace I’ve visited before.
The people are very warm and hospitable. My Russian is limited, and I have only picked up a few words of Uzbek, but they just laugh at my attempts good-naturedly (and correct me in English).
The kids at the Paralympics Association were curious and intrigued with my adventures. They asked many intelligent questions and wanted to run with me. Of course, I have no problem with that!
Lastly, the fresh food in Uzbekistan is extraordinary. I was expecting a harsh desert with limited choices but discovered a rich oasis of fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices.
All of this, in just 24-hours! Stay tuned for more to come on my Facebook page, Dean Karnazes and Instagram page Ultramarathon!"
Learn more about the Silk Road Ultra Marathon Run, with Dean Karnazes. #Dean525
June 29: Silk Road Ultramarathon Photos