10 Reasons NOT to Run an Ultramarathon
Moldy Camelbaks, mud-stained shoes and the endless questions about why someone would ever choose to run for hours on end
Photo by Flickr user NickP // Creative Commons
1. It’s dirty.
You have to use the bathroom in the trails or, if you’re unfortunate enough to do an ultra in the street, on the side of the road. Your Camelbak will never be clean, no matter what kind of bleach or organic cleaning product you use. You will eat with your hands. If it’s raining, your calves and butt will look exactly like the trail. Whatever color your shoes are now, forget it, because they’ll soon be brown.
2. Your feet will look like aliens.
No pedicure can save them. They will be calloused and blistered and your skin will never grow back the same way again. Your feet will swell and shrink. You will lose your toenails. First the pinky, and then, depending on the length of your race, every single one.
3. It’s expensive.
You’ll have to find a way to cover your grocery bill, which grows every time you move up to a new training bracket. You’ll have to buy a new wardrobe once your clothes stop fitting. You’ll need to buy rain gear and snow gear and first-aid kits, and then you have to pay for the race. You have to buy trail shoes. Then you have to buy new shoes after yours wear out.
4. You have to travel.
Where do you live? There’s a better ultramarathon two hours away. If you don’t live near the mountains or the hills, there’s no option except in the next time zone. The race goes from the fifth to the sixth and then you have to drive and acclimate and meet new people. You have to take pictures. Sometimes you’ll have to learn a new language. Then you have to run in a new language. Impossible.
5. Planning your social and running calendar becomes a science project.
It’s easier to get new friends who train, or just stop having friends.