I’ve never met a truly elite ultra athlete that I didn’t like. Ever. I know several, too. All of them have talent just oozing from their pores, world championship titles and records on their legs, and the most humble sense of self to top it all off.
But if you move a step lower than the ultra talented, sub 13 hour 100 miler dudes, to just a fraction lower…No. Lower…Okay..Just a little lower than that….STOP! BINGO!!! Right there at the almost-almost-not quite-elite-but-still-talented runners, you will find the hidden gems of serious ultra coolness. You can usually spot these shining stars decked out in their favorite brand errr their sponsor’s gear, and no doubt at the very very front of the pack, taking life-and all things running-very very seriously.
All though it is not advisable to approach these running greats to strike up a conversation, one can gain approval if he or she is careful. One must come prepared with finesse, wit, the ultra secrets of the universe, and the willingness to donate the shoes on your feet if needed. Intimidating, I know.
And friends, look, you can’t get your feelings hurt if these superstars just outright ignore your attempts to mingle with them. They are all things good and holy after all- and you- yes you in the old shoes and ratty tank- you are not worthy. You are ultra scum. You finish your 100’s at least 6 hours behind the winner and you are not even an honorable mention!
However, if you find yourself not only hoping to befriend such noble running creatures, but constantly craving to live life like the other more talented side, then fear not. There is hope for you! Just follow these simple steps at your next ultra! If followed correctly, you too, might be considered among the Ultra Cool.
1) You must be stuck up. This is easy. If a running acquaintance approaches you with typical hellos, and interest in your life- ignore them if they are a lesser one. If you must talk, name drop other more well known talented ultra runners you sort of know. Try to be brief, and be sure to include your last PR somewhere in the conversation. On social media- be sure it is widely known and accepted that you are Ultra Awesome. Constantly type about yourself and your running and winning as much as possible. Be sure people know the color of your urine and how healthy you are. During training- be sure to fill up your friends’ feeds with paces and mileage. They need to know how legit you are in day to day life. If you win something- SHARE IT WITH EVERYONE. EVERYONE! TEXT IT, TWEET IT, FACEBOOK IT. Take a picture of yourself doing a peace sign under a finish banner. The more the better.
2) You need to get a sponsor. It’s true, you really might not be that great of a runner. But nobody really needs to know that. It’s all about what people THINK. And if people think you’re ultra cool- then dangitt- you ARE ultra cool! Consider looking for donations from companies that have nothing to do with ultrarunning and call them your sponsor. BRAND POWER is where it’s at!!!! Do you camp before you run? Try Coleman. Do you use batteries in your headlamp? Duracell. Do you like to have fresh breath at a race? Try Colgate Toothpaste. Really anything that might be applicable in some way shape or form is perfectly acceptable, it doesn’t need to be running related at all. If you encounter someone without a sponsor- this is a huge red flag- they contain no talent at all. NONE. Avoid associating with them at all cost. ALL ABOUT THE BRAND POWER!!!!
3) Do not become elite. Elites do not act this cool, so all bets are off if you get excited and start training too hard. Move to step 4 if your true goal is to continue to be cool in ultrarunning.
4) Smoke old people on the trails. If you really want to feel good about yourself, try to map out the least competitive ultra races in America, and maybe even Malaysia. Consider infiltrating the crowds that frequent these to plant your seed of awesomeness. It is easy to rack up wins at low key events by beating several veteran ultra runners that could’ve smoked you in their prime (and probably still could if they wanted to)- but this no doubt will improve your overall awesomeness level.
5) Do not have fun. These things weren’t meant to be fun.These are your ultra dreams coming true! Consider this in your calculations as you are mingling with the aid station volunteers, eating fattening treats, and taking time to chat with friends as the clock keeps ticking. ULTRA FAILURE=LIFE FAILURE.. never forget that.
6) Lie about your running habits. Perhaps the best way to be ultra cool is to lie! Cut a course somehow, lie about mileage, claim a higher loop number at a race, never accept that you might suck sometimes, disrespectfully throw your trash on the trail, and in general, just be the best you can be.
TIP–Write all of these things down and laminate them next to your pace chart for your next 100 miler. If done right, you will be really..REALLY..ultra cool.
Just for laughs, as usual, guys! Please leave your comments! Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend running! 😉