by TJ Hooks
What does it take as a teenager to not only race UltraMarathons, but consistently place high?
My name is T.J. Hooks, I’m sixteen years old, and I run Ultras.
If that were true than I’d be completely qualified to write this. Unfortunately the truth is closer to…
My name is T.J Hooks, I’m sixteen years old, and I’ve run three 50Ks. Actually, with one being Karl’s baby, SpeedGoat, this would be more accurate…
My name is T.J. Hooks, I was fifteen years old, and I ran fifteen miles, speed hiked five, and then crawled up five just to find out that I’d only gone twenty-five miles, and there’s still a brutally steep four mile climb that didn’t exist according to the last aid station volunteer who may, or may have not been, laughing at my surprise and despair as I dragged myself up the mountain for what must have been the sixth time by my last count, or was it seven…?
My point is that I’ll need some help with this; and also that when the race is SpeedGoat, thirty two miles is pretty, really, painfully far.
Thankfully, I know some incredible people who may be able to explain what it is that makes us so different from the average teenage XC runner… [..]
by Karl Meltzer
“100 miles is not that far” but what about 200 miles? Or even further? Perhaps 2178 miles? Why do we do it? And what is the attraction to punishing our bodies for 15-48 hours? Is it really necessary to run 100 miles to catch the “runners high”?
Hmmmmm, all these questions. I’d be willing to bet we could come up with 100 answers pretty easily. I’ll let the readers fire away on these questions.
My simple answer in one word? Addiction. We are all addicted to something, whether it’s Speedgoat coffee when we wake up, or watching Seinfeld at 630 every evening? A routine of what we like to do feels natural. So here’s my first tip of the month: If you like to push yourself to run 100 miles, or hike the entire Appalachian Trail, become addicted to running first (trust me It’s easy), fit yourself into a “routine”, it soon starts to feel “natural”. We soon start telling ourselves, “100 miles is not that far”.
By Jacob Puzey
Each year, more and more people of all ages, abilities, and experience levels want to challenge themselves to do something beyond the traditional marathon distance. The recent growth in popularity of ultrarunning has to do, in part, with the fact that many off-road in the wild, often remote places. John Muir observed, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; the wilderness is a necessity.”
As the majority of communities to grow around population centers it is only natural that counter-communities grow up in defiance of the trend toward centering our lives on urban life. One such community is the ultra community. Those who take to the trails find a welcome reprieve with others that intentionally try not to bring with them the fast paced craze of the work world – leading to a much less egotistical, much more egalitarian community that embraces others who enjoy hours in nature with tasty treats and drinks.