Why do you run Ultramarathons? Why Why Why……

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Hosted by
Don Freeman

We have all been asked, “Why?”  Let’s face it, there are times that it is painful, it’s cold or hot, you may even experience “flu like symptoms”.  All of this and you still have the second half of the race to run!  So it’s time to go on record……..

WHY oh WHY do you do what you do?


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  • I do it for the mental challenge, to explore uncharted territory on the trail and in my mind. It pushes my body to places I never imagened I could reach. I certainly enjoy the team aspect of the community. But why I run is because it challenges me and puts me in fight mode where I am constantly challenging myself physically and mentally.

  • Did the first one just for the experience and to do it with friends. I accomplished a 50 miler, and to be honest, I don’t care if never do another-marathons are long enough. But, the friends didn’t finish it, so I’m running with them until they complete one and get that monkey off their backs. We’ll see if I find a different motivation after that.

    • Okay, my buddies told me that my post was lame and insulting. So, here is take 2: I run because it inspires me to be a better person in other areas of my life. The perseverance and grit that it takes to finish an ultra is the same that I need to be a better dad, husband, friend, and minister.

      • Dan I like both your posts……However good friends deserve a little trail love. I give the nod to your first post!

  • If I try to figure out why I run Ultras, I may not like what I discover. So I’ll just keep on running them until I no longer am able to.

  • i have done 4 ultras – 50k – 60k w/ my closest/best running friends. i do it because they do it & it gives us an opportunity to get closer – become closer friends. secondary why is to test our limits (more so during training than the actual race).

  • The look on a persons face when they see a shirt with the 50K distance on the front. I have had a few ask,”5 OK, what distance is that?” I say,”No, 50 K as in 31 miles.” Ohhh… they reply.

  • My trite answer is, “Because it feels so good when you stop.” My sincere answer is that we are all capable of far more than we allow ourselves to believe and that ultrarunning provides me with a tangible means to challenge my capabilities, with application to any challenges in life.

  • Because I (still) can ….. and don’t for granted one single step on the trail or the family of friends I’ve been blessed with over the many years in the trail running community.

  • I echo Mark Berry’s response. I also have to add that I love the freedom I feel when I’m out on the trails, it allows me time to get away from the things on my mind or to give them deeper thought. I love the challenge running something that others find insane brings (“if your dreams don’t scare you, they are not big enough.), it helps that I was a goalkeeper so I have a couple of screws loose already. =o] Once an athlete, always an athlete and as Ken said, “don’t take for granted one single step”. =o]

  • It reminds me that every challenge begins with a single step. The desire to carry on, the passion to stick with it, and the amazing sense of accomplishment from trying-not always finishing-but knowing I pushed harder today that i thought I could, and worked hard to get where I am.

  • Ultra running provides good balance to the stresses of life. Work, commute, family, obligations, etc., can all be balanced by lacing up a pair of shoes and hitting the trail. Trail running friends are the best. The physical and mental benefits of ultra trail running are unmatched.

  • I enjoy the escapism and stress relief offered by the trails. I have a very stressful job in a highly specialized area of cardiology. I’m always challenged to balance meeting the needs of my patients and those of the physicians I work with. Ultra running offers a level playing field where everyone has the same challenge against the elements and terrain.

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