You Know You Are an Ultra Trail Runner If:
1.You return form your standard run with dirt in your mouth and nose. -Yes 2.You occasionally stop by the emergency room on the way home form your standard run. - Yes 3.You only record hours in your training log. Miles are irrelevant. - Yes 4.You have mastered the skill of moving rocks and sticks around in your shoes so you do not have to stop to remove them until the end of the run - Yes 5.You did not fall on your standard run. If you did, you would be dead. - Yes (around here only in some places) 6.You take a new pair of running shoes out for a test run and the shoes look old when you return. - Yes 7.You don't need a trail map on your runs. If you get lost you have enough stuff in your pack to survive for several days. - Yes 6.You head out to your favorite run route because you are under and severe thunderstorm warning and Tornado warning. - Yes 7.You wonder why they don't make all running socks a dusty brown color. - Yes 8.Your idea of a fun date is a 30-mile training run. - Yes 9.You can expound on the virtues of eating salt. Actually I do not eat salt, just a lot of Enlyten strips. -NO 10.Your ideal way to celebrate your birthday is to run at least your age in miles with some fellow crazies. - Yes - but not on my birthday. 11.You run marathons for speed work. - Yes, occasionally, however they are usually to short to fit in my training schedule. 12.You run 50K runs for speed work. - Yes, absolutely. 13.You have more fanny packs, water bottles, gaiters and flashlights than Amelia Marcos has shoes. - Yes, and that is probably not much of an exaggeration! 14.People at work think you're in a whole lot better shape than you think you are. - Yes 15.You actually are in a whole lot better shape than you think you are. - Yes 16.Your weekend runs are limited by how much time you have, not by how far you can run. - Yes 17.You think of pavement as a necessary evil that connects trails. - Yes, I only other time I run on pavement is during triathlons. 18.You really envied Tom Hanks' long run as Forest Gump. - Yes and if I had time I would try it. 19.You carry money around in a Zip lock bag because store clerks complained that your money's usually too sweaty. - Yes 20.Your entire life is organized in Zip-lock baggies. - Yes - Yes - Yes 21.You put more miles on your feet than on your rental car over the weekend. - Absolutely 22.You start planning the family vacation around races, and vice-versa. - Yes (Imogene Pass Run, 3 times, Triathlons all the time, Leadville) 23.Your races end in a different area code and pass through several different Zip codes enroute - Yes 24.You don't finish on the same day as the winner. Not yet, Although I am slow I am not that slow or have not run that far. 25.Your wife asks you the morning after your 50 k if you're still planning on that 100 miler in five weeks, and you say "Sure!" - Yes 26.People praise you to the high heavens for being able to finish a marathon, and you feel insulted. - Absolutely 27.You're running a marathon and at mile 20 say to yourself, "Wow, only 6 more miles left, this is such a great training run!" - Yes 28.You go for an easy 2 hour run in the middle of a Hurricane and think it is fun to get wet, muddy and run through the rivers that were once trails. "Oh yeah! that was July 21, 2008, except it was a tornado not a hurricane". 29.No one believes you when you say "never again". - Yes (Actually, I only say that to myself about 3/4 through a very long race. By time I finish I am planning the next 50 or 100 miler) 30.You number your running shoes to distinguish old from new, since they all look dirty. - Yes (Buying different colors helps, too) 31.Everything in your life, everything, is organized in different sized zip-loc bags. Oh yeah! I already mentioned that! - Yes 32.You think a 100-mile race is easier than a 50 miler because you don't have to go out as fast. I am not sure about that one. I can almost run a 50 miler on a whim - 100 miles certainly takes a lot more planning,and training. 33.A girl changes her tank and her bra in front of you and all you do is take another drink of water, look at your watch, and tell your pacer "Let's hit the trail." Actually, I have never had that happen. But when you notice a woman runner off the side of the trail, you politely do not look! 34.You've started a race in the dark, run all day, and finished in the dark (if your lucky). - Yes 35.You are falling asleep on your feet during the early morning hours on the second day of a 100 miler and lay down (anywhere) and it feels so comfortable. I haven't done that either but I understand some people do. 36.6 am is sleeping in. - Yes, absolutely 37.You can recite the protein grams by heart of each energy bar and drink mix, and the sodium content. - Yes 38.Someone asks you how long your training run is going to be and you answer "seven or eight ... hours". - Yes 39.Someone asks how long your next race is. When you tell them, they ask how many days is the race. Then they look at you like you have lost your mind.- Yes 40.You have! - Yes, that is very likely. 50. The park police try to arrest you during your 7 hour (night) training run at the local state park because they think your are spotlighting deer. Why else would anyone be out on trails in the woods at 11:00 PM, miles from anywhere.- Yes
In the ultra running community the wearing of race T-Shirts has become a sign of accomplishment and fashion. Choosing just the right T-Shirt for that special occasion can be a daunting and difficult task. The following guidelines have been compiled to help the responsible T-shirt wearer avoid potential embarrassment and/or elevate their status.
1. A shirt cannot be worn unless the wearer has participated in and finished the event. (crew, significant others and volunteers are exempt)
2. Never wear a race shirt form any race shorter than the one you are participating in.(Exclusions: Pikes Peak Ascent and Imogene Pass Run at road Marathons)
2. T-shirts for any race, less than a marathon distance, shouldn't be worn to an ultra event. It simply doesn't represent a high cool factor and sends a red flag regarding
your rookiness. If you set a PR at Pikes Peak Marathon, definitely wear that shirt whenever possible.
3. When returning to a race in which you previously finished, then wear the shirt from the first year you completed the race. Don't short change yourself by wearing the shirt from the year before. It doesn't adequately display the feat of accomplishment or the consummate veteran status that you are due.
4. Never wear a race shirt from the race you are about to run. It displays a lack of running integrity and real runners will think this is your first race.
5. Wearing a T-shirt of the race, while currently running said race, is discouraged. It's like being at work and constantly announcing "I'm at work". Besides, you wont have the correct post race shirt then.
6. Never wear a shirt from a run that you did not finish. To wear it is to say "I finished it".
7. A DNF'er may wear a race shirt if... the letters DNF are boldly written on the shirt in question.
8. During a race the wearing of shirt from a previously completed year is acceptable. Wear the oldest T-shirt you have (see guideline #3). This is probably a good practice because you now have no excuse to drop out since you've done it before.
9. Runners should buy all crew members and, as appropriate, significant others (they let you run the race in the first place) T-shirts which can be worn without regard to running the race. (see guide #1)
10. Volunteers have full T-shirt rights and all privileges pertaining thereto.
11. No souvenir shirts! Friends or anyone else not associated with the race may not wear a race shirt. If mom thinks that the Leadville shirt is lovely, tell he to send in her application early for next year so she can earn her own.
12. Wear the race shirt of your last race at the current race pre race briefing. The more recent the race the better. This is a good conversation starter. However avoid the tendency to explain how that it was a training run for this, and this is just a training run for the next, etc. It just sounds like your rationalizing mediocre performances. Sometimes it's best to live in the here and now. ("I've never been more prepared for a race! this is the big one!)
13. It must be clean (dried blood stains are okay)
14. If you've finished Hardrock 100 then wear it as often as possible, since the race is so damn hard. (You are exempt from guideline #15)
15. Never wear a T-shirt that vastly out classes the event you're running (exception: see guideline #14) Example: Never wear a Western States 100 T-shirt at, say, Cool Canyon. Too many roadies will feel put down. It's okay to wear a WS100 or Leadville or Wasatch T-shirt at ultrarunner cult events such as Gibson Ranch or Jim Skophammer 24. It's probably not okay to wear your Trans-America footrace T-Shirt to your local around-the-lake Fat Ass 50k unless you want to psyche out the competition.
16. A corollary: never wear a blatantly prestigious T-shirt downtown. People will just think you have a big head, which you do.
17. If you don't know what things like DNF, WS100 or Crew are, then you shouldn't wear any race shirt until you know what they mean. T-shirts must be used sensitively. Worn responsibly, they can help expand one's consciousness and immerse you in a great conversation with your ultra brethren. Worn stupidly, they can cause blisters, vacant stares, sprained ankles, and cause social anxiety. NOTE: Publicly these guidelines will be denied and possibly ridiculed by ultra runners, but privately and when discussed confidentially, they sing a different tune.
Creative Responses to the question "Why do you run ultras?" or "Why would you want to do that to your body?"
1. If it gives me happiness and a sense of fulfillment and harms no one, how could I not do it?
2. You now how some people say, "life is passing way too quickly". Well, during a long ultra you can really slow things down--TIME CRAWLS!
3. You do a lot more harm to yourself by not exercising than you do by running ultras. Why would you do THAT to yourself?
4. It's crazy... but other than that, it's kind of fun.
5. Any idiot can run a marathon, but it takes a special kind of idiot to run an ultramarathon!
6. It's no more foolish than chasing a little white ball around a big lawn and trying to hit it into little tiny holes!
7. If we didn't run like this, how would we know how far we could go?
8. I do this because it is the only thing I have found that gives me such incredible pleasure and incredible pain that I feel completely connected to my own existence.
9. Because I'm a bad person and deserve pain, and running a 100 miles is my penance. I know, there is some deep psychological disorder but at least it seems like a healthy outlet for those feelings.
10. "If you have to ask, you'll never understand".
11. My mother dropping me on my head.
12. What? You mean everyone doesn't do this!?
13. It gives me the chance to practice singing Alice's Restaurant till I get it right.
14. You can sing to yourself “Run for the Roses” for 25 straight hours.
15. Hell, I spend $50 to run a marathon and all they have at the aid stops is water.
16. The devil made me do it.
17. To those who know, no explanation is necessary .... To those who do not know, no explanation will suffice.
18. I do it for the fame and fortune and wild sex from all those ultra groupie women.
19. How else am I going to reach the finish line, duh?
20. I just went out to jog a mile and I forgot to stop.
21. It is just so beautiful- the trails, the sky, the feelings throughout, the joy at finishing.
22. I haven't found anything else that gives me such a feeling of pride.
23. Really, I have no idea!!!