Ultrarunning – The definitive definition





1. The art of enjoying being as miserable as possible in beautiful places while spending as little time as possible in those beautiful places due to speed of travel.

synonyms: masochism


This is something that came to me the other day as I was thinking about next year’s goals.  In retrospect training for Ironman was not the best use of my time this year as it severely limited the amount of time I had in the mountains both running and climbing this summer. “I know what I’ll do!”, I happily thought to myself, “I’ll run more ultras next year!”

I sat there for a moment content with my excellent strategy when flashes came to mind.  The first flashes were of the beauty I’d see…


And some of the easier “challenging” moments I’d face amidst the glorious natural beauty …



And then it started flashing to the reality of the race. The stomach funkyness from a pound of good and stinger waffles…


The sheer exhaustion I’d face when it would be a legitimate battle with the urge to lay down on the side of the trail and take a nap…


The pain… the misery… the fact I’d ignore this beautiful I was in for long stretches of time while I did everything I could to get out of that beautiful as quickly as possible…




Then the strangest thought of all occurred to me: all that would be fun.  I’m not sure what that says about me or ultrarunners in general since I am a tourist ultrarunner at best.  It’s strange how that struggle and those internal battles can be so appealing. I suppose it wouldn’t be as rewarding to finish if it was easy, and if you’re going to struggle and battle, then it may as well be in as beautiful a place as possible.


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