The many crazy, wonderful people that I have met while running or volunteering at ultras have overwhelmingly been of extremely high character and integrity. They have also shown a willingness to share and sacrifice in ways that may actually make things harder on themselves in order to help someone else reach their goals. Ultrarunners are tough, hardcore, and sensitive all at the same time. Even amateur ultrarunners can be meticulous planners and organizers and execute a game plan like a professional athlete. Ultrarunners can train relentlessly and grind thru the tough times in tough conditions and get the job done. They are fun as hell and can joke and tell stories with the absolute best of them. And beer… don’t even get me started on the variety and quantity they can consume. They are a truly unique breed. The bottom line is that ultrarunners are freakin’ awesome!
BUT – nobody is perfect – and chances are that if you start to think too highly of yourself and your abilities – you will be a total dick sometimes. So, read closely, and don’t “be that guy”.
Here are the 5 Ways that Ultrarunners SUCK.
1. They smell awful. When you are constantly training and drenched in your own salty sweat and other bodily secretions, you get pretty immune to it. Your favorite running gear only gets washed up a couple times a week (or month) and is usually just hung up to air dry. After all, you will be running again tomorrow. And the shoes… You run a few hundred miles and a pair of shoes, and they reek. End of story. Then the funk gets transferred to the car. It does not come out. And no guys, spraying some Axe Body Spray is not helping. Do us all a favor, throw those shorts away and invest in a car with leather seats.
2. Their relationship with food will drive you insane. They will eat it. All. Assuming of course it is on the newest diet they are on. All fat, no fat, no animal, no sugar, no carb, high carb, all plant, organic, grain fed, free range, all powder, all fast food, keto, paleo, Karno…. and so on and so forth. Don’t spend too much on that initial “new diet” shopping trip because your ultrarunner spouse will likely be on a new one in a month or so – a diet that suits training for that flat course WAY better. And if they are like me personally, it’s not the composition of the food, but the vast quantity. My brain knows I don’t need 5000 calories after a 4 mile run, but it does not seem to care.
3. They are know-it-alls. Sorry people, but it’s true. Basically every single one of my articles is telling you something I think you don’t already know. The ultra-community has a propensity to think that because something works well for us that it is universal law. They also realize that it is absolute fact that because, “this one time a gel gave me the runs” that it is poison. Not quite. Keep experimenting folks, maybe you will find something that you can push on other runners as the best (or worst) ever. Or better yet, you could keep it secret to maybe gain a little edge.
4. They will One-Up you on everything. If someone is telling you about this really steep hill they climb on long training runs, it is not totally required that you tell them about the place that is twice as steep and uphill both ways. We get it… You work hard! Great job. It is the same with races. If someone just got done telling you about how hot and humid your last 50K was, telling them that it was way hotter than that in your last 50 miler kind of makes you look like an ass. Swapping stories can be a lot of fun, but please don’t do it to try and diminish the accomplishments of others or try and make yourself look like some sort of immortal douche.
5. They take way too many selfies. Ultrarunners and selfie pics on the trail go hand in hand like tortillas and Nutella. Me on a mountain, me in the desert, me at the finish line, me on the largest damn crater on the Moon! Hell yeah you look good, and that is a kick-ass race – but please stick to posting the excruciating detail of your daily workout and leave the photography to the pros! And no, thirty-two hashtags don’t make it better. #wealreadyknewyouwereawesome Ultrarunners and social media could be a whole other article.
Please keep in mind that I am including myself in all of the above listed items. Hell, I should have started each list item with “we” or “I” rather than “they” or “their”. Before you send out a lynch mob of ultrarunners with torches and pitchforks (how scary would that be?) just keep in mind that I found it very hard to come up with this list. My running friends are basically the best overall group of people that I have ever been around. But like I said earlier, taking yourself too seriously and treating others poorly is really the only thing that will truly make you suck.
Until next time… Be Epic!