Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why You Should Run Ultras

Prize money?

No.  Even if you win, you probably can't even pay for the food you ate during the race.


Nope.  People will think you're crazy... and not the “the party doesn't start until you arrive” kind of crazy.


Not even close.  I usually feel about twenty years older after finishing a race.

So why bother?  It comes down to one simple fact- you'll never be this young again.  There's nothing more empowering than completing a race 99.99% of the human population would never even consider, let alone attempt.  You'll forever compare an ultra finish to difficult life events.  You'll realize you really can accomplish far more than you expect.  This empowering experience can be life-changing.

There may be other reasons, too.  You get cool swag, like shirts, belt buckles, and beer mugs.  You get to experience nature up close and personal.  You get to brag to your friends.  You can say douchy stuff like “You run marathons?  Awwww... how cute!”  You meet incredible people and bond over your mutual struggles.  You get to poop in the woods.  And the groupies... can't forget the groupies!

Still not convinced?  Start hanging out with ultrarunners.  Volunteer to work at an aid station for a local race.  Google “ultramarathon race report”, then read a few.  Crew or pace a friend as they complete an ultra.  I guarantee you'll catch the bug!



  1. when i have a race coming up - anxiety dreams... ever actual 'fear'. when else in my yuppie lifestyle do i get to experience fear. the anxiety of knowing i'm going to do something that will hurt very much. a chance to dig deeper than my cubicle life allows :)

  2. I run ultras for the camaraderie as well. It's not unusual to show up to a race and know most of the people there, or speak to the RD personally. It feels homey and people watch your back on the trail. Something that I've never experienced on a marathon.

    Trail ultras are also easier on my body - I can run longer and feel stronger than when I run road marathons.

    Definitely spending time in nature and on the mountains is a big reason for me.

    Finally, marathons are becoming so damn expensive and crowded. You get crap food and frustrating experiences. Ultras are the new marathons :)

    That's why I run ultras.

  3. You should run ultras if you are bored and are looking for a good way to spend your weekend. You get to walk around for like 30 hours, eating chips and cookies and drinking soda water. If you drank a lot of beer during the race, no one would frown on you, actually it's highly encouraged. Also, if you don't feel like running anymore, you can just quit and hang out at the aid station and get drunk all night and laugh at everyone.