Somebody runs an ultra, and now they’re bad-ass. The social-media confetti showers down. And compared to the baseline fitness of our wide-butt culture, they are. Butt! You’re comparing yourself to a demographic that walks 200yds and has to refuel. On pavement. At a theme-park.
Leaving that behind, now you’re in UltraLandia. But not so fast with that Bad-Ass Prom King or Queen crown. Here’s a convenient checklist to help out.
If you… had a drop bag for a 50khad pacers for a 50-mile or 100khad a crew for a 50-mile or 100kFinally, If you had pacer[s], crew/entourage for a 100Then you aren’t bad-ass. You’re competent.
Try running a 100mi solo. You get to manage your own shit. All of it. You don’t get to drift along behind/in front of your pacer, who might be muling shit, etc. Afraid of the dark? Problems with being lonely? This gets right to the core of it all.
Do a bunch of these like that and then, maybe, you’re bad-ass.
Don’t get me wrong—pacers can be fun and all the rest. But don’t get ahe…
Ultrarunning lost a giant today. "Uncle" Hal Winton, co-RD of the Angeles Crest 100 since its 1986 founding, died this morning. He had just completed his 35th Avalon Benefit 50 this past January. RIP.
I first met Hal in 1990, at a 35mile fun run around Mt San Jacinto near Idylwild, CA. I was an ultra newbie and he was already a legend in Southern California ultras.
Back in those days, he was instantly recognizable with a cross "bigger than the one Christ came down from" [in the words of my ultra mentor Tom Pontac] and wore a t-shirt saying "Winton 4 Jesus". Over the years the cross got smaller, but it was a mighty diamond of no-bullshit faith. One story I heard was that his church was debating getting new carpet. He reportedly stood up and asked why they were thinking of carpet, when there were hungry people out on the street. But if they wanted carpet, then he'd find another church. The carpet idea died. Some bio infoOriginally from Indiana…
is mystified why modern ultra Bobs & Betties burn out after 3
years. Every new crop of young champions rise, burn brightly, then fall
out of the heavens back into darkness, as everyone stares at their
phones. Jason Koop has some sharp observations on this.
It boils down to race proliferation, #FOMO, social media, and sponsors wanting max exposure. If you look at Ann Trason’s peak career, or Tim Twietmeyer you’ll see they didn’t race all the time. Or maybe some races didn’t make it into the database.
have changed mightily in thirty years. What used to be low-rent is now
high dollar on both ends of the spectrum. We’ve gone from aluminum lawn
chairs and a stopwatch to blowup arches and timing chips.
the arc: hot young Bob or Betty wins a name ultra. They become a
social-media influencer. Winning is a stoke, kid you not. And they race.
And race. The season never stops.
exhaustion sets in. The runner in question begins to realize its hard