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Southern California native to run coast to coast on live TV

February 23, 2011 |  2:03 pm

Dean_400 Runner Dean Karnazes is about to set out on what he calls "without a doubt the most intense endeavor I've ever undertaken.”

For a guy whose running resume includes 50 marathons in 50 days in all 50 states, that's saying a lot.

But running a mere 26.2 miles every day for less than two months is nothing compared with what he's setting out to do Friday from Disneyland. His plan is to run from California to New York, a trip of nearly 3,000 miles that will require up to 14 hours daily and an average of 50-60 miles a day.

And he's doing it on live television. The nationally syndicated show “Live! With Regis and Kelly” will be tracking his progress all the way, starting with a live sendoff during Friday's broadcast. A bus carrying a production crew will follow Karnazes, enabling the show to check in with him almost every day.

“We plan to document this entire journey,” executive producer Michael Gelman said. “We're a live show, and this is going to be a live, real-time drama. We're really going to cover it.”

Karnazes is expected to cross a finish line at the "Live!" studio in Manhattan around May 11. Before that he will pass through 17 states and Washington, D.C., and expects to go through some 12 pairs of running shoes.

“I think uncertainty is part of the appeal,” said Karnazes, who was born in Inglewood and grew up in Diamond Bar and San Clemente. “I never feel certainty when I start one of these endeavors, and I feel doubts along the way. Let's face it, the stakes are high this time. There are a lot of eyeballs following this thing. I've kind of put myself in a scary situation and I've never felt more intimidated.

“But I've never felt a tingle like this. Let's get out there!”

A second bus carrying Karnazes' trainer and support team as well as his home base will also be on the road with the 48-year-old runner and fitness advocate.

Along the way Karnazes will also update his blog, make various media appearances and a series of charity running events benefiting Action for Healthy Kids, starting with a 5K run in Riverside on Saturday.

-- Chuck Schilken

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Dean Karnazes, left, is shown with hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa on Monday's episode of "Live! with Regis and Kelly." Credit: Disney-ABC Domestic Television / Associated Press