Friday, September 24, 2010

When I Knew I was an Ulrarunner

Some years back I participated in the local American Cancer Society Relay for Life where teams of runners get pledges for walking on a track. Over the years, a number of runners have used the venue to run their portion of the relay (see Note 1 at end).

In the early 1990s I needed a 25 mile training run and decided to do it as part of the relay. To minimize impact on the walkers I started about 3:00 am and stayed in the outside lanes of the 6-lane high school track. Well, sometime around 3 ½ hours or so I was approaching my 25 mile goal, and I had plenty left in the tank. Having come from the typical marathon base, the thought entered my mind to go ahead and add 1.2 miles to make it a marathon.

I had the time and the legs and the mind to do it, but I just smiled and said, I’m stopping now. Right then I knew I was no longer a marathoner, but an ultrarunner.

Note 1. About 5 years ago I got my pledges and decided to run for the entire 24 hour duration of the event (4:00 pm Friday to 4:00 pm Saturday) OR for 100 miles, whichever came first. I reached the 100 miles at 23 hours, and I can honestly say that the time flew by. Boredom?—Nah!  You oughta think about trying it.

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