"The purest essence of running ultra distances is outside the confines of sanctioned events that cater to your needs…."
Outside the Confines of the Race Format
I don’t think that I actually found running til I was in my early 30’s. But in my youth, the passion was beginning to show signs of its existence. We lived for a few years in the mountains of Western North Carolina in a city called Brevard. Mom didn’t allow us to just stay in the house. So I spent my days building trails in the woods. Then I would see just how fast that I could run them afterwards. It was a climatic finish to all the hard work put in with axes, shovels, and rakes. And even when I wasn’t doing that, our days were spent running to the top of the mountains nearby. I ran track for one year in school, and I soon lost the passion I had for it. Only to begin my cycling days. Racing mountain bikes…
Fast forward to my early 30’s running was soon back in my life. Only I wasn’t doing any races. I just loved to run for hours all night after work. And I mean hours…many hours. It was more than running. I found it gave me peace.
Soon running developed into both a place for peace, as well as another challenge. I would begin mapping routes to the next city. Or a route to somewhere that normally I would drive in the car. How far can I go today? How far can I go tomorrow? It became something very personal to me. To see just how far that I could push myself.
Fast forward a bit more…I don’t want to write a book. In 2013, I ran my first ultra event, having never run a 5k, half marathon, or marathon. I went in with a plan to just run my own race. With the only expectation being that I would finish in the top 100. I finsihed 9th I believe it was in this 50k. Had I been properly hydrated that day, it wouldve been 6th. I lost a few spots just before the end, when I crampled up severely in my quads.
Three weeks later I ran a 12hr event, with the the goal of top 100. Went on to win the event.
There would be more events to come, but in the end for me it has more rewarding outside of the confines of the “sanctioned” event. Events are for me just the communal element. And although that is needed sometimes because of the competitive side of me, it wasn’t where my love for pushing myself through running.
Over the next few years I would find ways to use running to also give back through 24hr and 72hr runs that I hosted and ran.
Ima Wo Ikiru...
Ultrarunner | Adventurer | Minimalist | Free Thinker | Philanthropist