Trail/Ultra Runner vs Road Runner?
When I'm asked by a road runner after a race: "So what was your time?" my response is always: "My time? Oh I had a GREAT time!!!!" They usually look at me incredulously, not sure of how to respond.
The post below is so hilarious and true I just had to put a link to it here. It is about road running from the point of view of a trail runner. Barry is a friend of Haliku's whom I've not yet met in person but whom I feel as if I already know. I felt exactly the same at all of the few road events I've ran.
We trail and ultra runners are a small close-knit family. Enduring great pain and overcoming impossible obstacles brings people together. We run WITH others, NOT AGAINST them. Elitism, arrogance and bravado are frowned upon. Show us what you can do, don't tell us. Actions mean more than words. That includes not only how fast you run but also your attitude and how you treat others. Ultramarathoning is as much a philosophy as it is a distance.
That is why some of those more well-known "ultramarathoners" who write books and always seem to be on TV are viewed suspiciously by many in the ultrarunning community. All of the elite ultramarathoners I know are among the most humble, supportive and generous people I've ever met. These are the true heroes of the sport, not those with book deals running high profile events scrambling for media attention.
There are so few of us trail/ultra runners that after a while, we all begin to know each other. If we don't, then odds are we have a mutual friend in common. When one of us does something great, we share their joy; when one of us is lost, we mourn.
Many of us run for similar reasons. For us it's all about the journey and what we learn from the experience. Having a great story to tell is an added bonus. Trail running and ultrarunning IS NOT and HAS NEVER been about the goody bag, being trendy, how you look or trying to show off to others.
As trail running becomes more popular and commercialized- I worry- will it lose it's soul and become trendy like road racing? That's doubtful, its simply too challenging for the faint of heart and those following the crowd. Going mainstream is even more unlikely to happen with ultramarathoning.
As the saying goes: "Any fool can run a marathon, but it takes a special kind of fool to run an ultra."
What is most ironic is that for many of us, trail/ultra running not even all that much about the "running." Don't get me wrong: we wouldn't do it if we didn't love it. However, for us running is a tool to reach that which we seek- not an end unto itself.
Whether in first or last place, every ultra finisher is a winner.
Check out Barry's blog, I'm still chuckling about it: