Tuesday, 19 August 2014


I get a little worried when I talk to non-runners about upcoming ultras and events...even past ultras and marathons, actually. I’m aware that a lot of people don’t have a clue what I’m going on about and absolutely hate running and that’s okay, I’m not trying to be preachy, just trying to spread the running love. But, some people look so shocked. I’m not sure if it is shock over the actual act of running for over 100 miles or completing 100 marathons or the fact that I don’t really ‘look the part’. 

I’m not super skinny and I don’t wear Lycra 24/7. I’m slim and I think I’m fairly toned with adequate muscle, but I’m not what most people would consider a marathon runner to look like. I don’t look like what you see on the tele when some championships or other are being aired. And I guess I am a part of a unique little running community. I’m not sure what people who run crazy distances and hundreds of marathons are supposed to look like. I’m not sure that an exact formula or image has been worked out for that one in the general media or society. I admit that when people act so shocked and have lots of disbelieving questions I panic a little. 

I know that I know more than they do, but it still leaves me a bit unnerved sometimes. For a few moments I wonder if I am completely capable or not. I have a little worry that maybe they know something I don’t know. I know this is irrational, but then again, there isn’t always a rational aspect of running so far. We just do it because we can. The question isn’t ‘why?’, it’s ‘why not?’ And there’s always pre-race Guinness (and recovery Guinness...)

Edit: George added that 'it's also a real shame that people are so shocked by it - its such a fun wonderful thing to cover long distances on foot and see some amazing countryside and scenery and build up a big appetite for some yummy food and some well earned beers - it should be commonplace really'. I agree. It shouldn't be commonplace that people exhibit shocked 'smacked by a trout' expressions. Also note: some people are nice :)

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