When I first heard of ultra marathons, the thought of running long distances day after day, in the same clothes, carrying your own food and sleeping under the stars sounded about as appealing as pouring acid in my eyes.
I actually never for one second thought that I would do anything of the sort.
I was then listening to a friend explain in some quite gruesome detail the discomfort of these races physically and mentally as he wrapped up his account explaining how he had contracted disentry during an ultra he had done. What a sales pitch.
Sales pitch it did turn out to be as it started some thought process in my head. I’m not sure what the first thoughts were really. Perhaps a weird focus on the fact that during these races you wore the same clothes and didn’t shower for up to 7 days despite part taking in grueling physical activity. I was now intrigued. Intrigued by the potential discomfort both physical and mental that my friend had explained, intrigued about this whole world of ultra that unbeknown to me at the time would bring so many positives into my life.
So I started, I started with running and things snowballed. If it’s long and potentially uncomfortable then I’m interested and I think I will continue to be interested for some time.
So why ultra then? In three simple points.
1. The physical and mental challenges are beyond anything I have experienced before.
2. It’s a real life simulation of life. It’s hard, fun, things go wrong, all sorts but you keep going.
3. You constantly question who you are and why you are there. It makes you figure that out and your greater purpose in life pretty quick.
Anyone can do an ultra, I don’t have any special skills that makes me “good” at it, all I have is a desire to keep moving forward and learning.
If I can do it then so can you. Enter an ultra and let’s have a chat, it will change your life in so many positive ways.
That’s why ultra!
Side note: Ultra when it comes to running is anything longer than a marathon, when it comes to other sports such as cycling I am not sure if there is a clear definition. However if you look at it and go “wow that’s a long way” then you can class it as an ultra I guess!