I apologize in advance if the language, lack of political correctness, or content of this article offends you. Oh? Wait as second… no I don’t. If you are offended by the language, content, or lack of political correctness in this article – YOU are the problem. If you don’t like it: fuck you, piss off, go cry somewhere else, and stop complaining about stupid shit and blaming others for your problems.
Ultras are equal opportunity destroyers. Facing fears and enduring hardships in effort to reach a goal that most people never even dream as possible is at the core of the sport of ultrarunning. Surviving and persevering in spite of agony and despair – by your own choice – is what appeals to most ultrarunners. There is no place in this sport for whiners and wimps. With the rise in popularity of ultras there has also been a rise in runners complaining about every minute detail of a race they don’t deem as perfect. I have seen people whining about a few things that they should accept as their own responsibility. But there are a couple things that absolutely drive me nuts… HERE GOES.
Aid Station Food and Drink
How can you expect a race director to have everything you possibly want or need at every aid station? I actually HEARD SOMEONE in a 50 miler whining at an aid station that there were no hot food vegan choices. You think this is a fucking hipster restaurant? You choose a lifestyle like that, you better prepare to pack your own food! If you have a peanut allergy don’t bitch about the PB&Js, eat the fucking boiled potatoes! You need to plan for the possibility that the aid stations will have nothing of nutritional value for you – cause guess what – I have gone through aid stations that expressly stated there would be GUs and I ended up carrying a Dixie Cup of goddamn gummie bears and M&Ms. I fought nausea for a good hour and just about shit my pants in that 50K – but more importantly – learned a valuable lesson. Take nothing for granted. Now, I always carry at least 500 calories between drop boxes that are filled with other food options. There have been plenty of times where the aid was great and I didn’t use my own shit – and that is fine by me. I can either eat it later or take it home. No big deal. Please – take responsibility for yourself. Aid stations are to be an aid (no shit) to you, not your personal chef.
Holy shit. If it is cold dress warm. If it is hot strip naked. But please…. PLEASE…. do not piss and moan about the weather. Complaining about the weather in an ultra is like complaining about like complaining about dirt while gardening. It is dumb. Part of the fun of ultras is planning for, and overcoming, the unexpected turns that the weather can take the day before (or during) the race. If your hands are cold, that is your own damn fault. Whining about it will not warm you up. Making bad decisions and poor planning does not make it the volunteer’s responsibility to let you borrow a hat and gloves (seen it), give the poncho off their back (seen it), or give you a trash bag to use as a windbreaker (seen it). Awesome people working the events often do these types of things – but they shouldn’t have to. Don’t be a dick, be prepared.
I have to admit. I am guilty here. I have whined about the price of events. It is stupid. There are new events popping up all over the country every single day. All boast a different challenge, a different perk, and a different price. Let your money do the talking. If the event does not offer enough value for you – do something else! If it is a race you have done every year for 10 years, either pay or move on. There are charity races if that is your thing. There are for-profit high profile races and low key fatass events. Find what fits you and go with it. Don’t go around bitching how you got into a high dollar race – especially AFTER you paid for it. That makes you look like a total douche. “Hey man, it was like 400 bucks to get into XXX Ultra, total rape-job. I am gonna eat as much of that vegan chili as I can to get my money’s worth” It is a supply and demand system – let your $$$ not your mouth do the talking.
General Blame Shifting
If you fail you fail. Own it. Don’t make excuses about how the campers next to you kept you up all night or the hotel sheets were too scratchy to sleep. Some people are always looking to blame someone or something else. Work has been too busy… The kids need too much attention… The dogs didn’t feel like running… I had the sniffles… The course was too hard… The course was too easy… It was too hot… It was too cold… The RD was mean… My crew was unprepared… My pacer was boring… ALL EXCUSES. I had a middle school teacher who loved to say, “Excuses only satisfy those who make them.” He literally used to make us say it out loud anytime someone in class made an excuse. If you fail, for whatever reason, own it. Don’t try and make it not your fault – because in running ultras, the bottom line is that, yes, it is all your fault.
I could name several other things that the (still relatively small number of) whiners and wimps have been doing that just piss me off, but I feel like that I would be borderline whining myself. I will continue to ignore them, as it is not affecting me and my race strategy – but I just wanted to call them out. If you think this is about you it probably is. Toughen up or fuck off. Ultrarunning is not a sport for insecure, whining, petulant, entitled, fragile, weak-minded wimps. (edit – it was pointed out to me that pussies can indeed take quite a pounding and was not a good word choice.