Podcast on the Identity of Ultrarunning

In this special series on the culture and identity of ultrarunning, we kick off with Gary David from Bentley University for an in depth discussion on ultrarunning and the research findings he’s uncovered.  What does it mean to be an ultrarunner?  We also talk about the growth of our sport in terms of it’s impact on race events, the environment, and the participants themselves.  Download this baby and take on a run with you.

Please let us know what you think.  We love discussion!

Podcast et-Gary David

And here’s the direct link to subscribe in iTunes to our podcasts:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/elevation-trail/id627559479?mt=2

Also, here’s the link to the survey we discuss if you’d like to take it:  www.spiritofthetrail.com

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10 thoughts on “Podcast on the Identity of Ultrarunning

  1. Holy crap. You guys are posting daily? Sweet.
    ;)

    Nice cast. No Mattie C?

    Why is it that there seems to be such a nudge to determine what the ultra identity is? Within track there are wide variations in “identity” between distance runners and sprinters, throwers and jumpers. But that is all track, right?

    Favorite point of the cast was when GD wondered how nice we’d all be if we had to compete for those buckles in a manner based on place, rather just on time.

    • I am not saying asking the question is dumb.
      The formation of some organization certainly does not mean an identity needs to be determined. USATF – heck does that have some identity? Maybe in the east, but not so much in the west, eh? And certainly less so in the MUT space.
      I guess I wonder why we are so eager to create some specific identity as a sport. I guess I don’t care what the identity of the sport is. I care what your identity is and how that story is moving forward. . A community one way or the other comes out of that.
      As Young Money has said – “it’s just running.” \
      In any case, good cast and continuing to look forward to more.

  2. Ooo, I loved this podcast… I’m not a new runner, but new to ultras and find the whole psychology / sociology of the sport fascinating to muse about. It would be great to see Gary back on the show from time to time for more of that good stuff.

    Regarding those runners who don’t have a coach, for those like me who want one but can’t afford one, there seems to be plenty of wisdom that can be gleaned in books and online. I follow a lot of coaches and experienced URs and take their advice and incorporate it into my training. I’m convinced that my first ultra went really well from just following the sound advice that I hear over and over from people who know how to run long successfully. I listen to interviews with runners, read their blogs and pick up all sorts of good stuff.

    Case in point, when you (Tim) wrote about the importance of downhill repeats and Talk Ultra talked extensively about them in their recent episode, I made sure I had them in place this week and really watched my form. Now it’s a part of my weekly training, along with tempo runs and back-to-backs as I gear up for longer races.

    Looking forward to more…

  3. Boy you are setting the bar pretty high for future pod casts with this one. I really appreciated this one, especially since I probably would have answered the questions the same way that they were described on the pod cast. Also, I have a couple of friends, one a cyclist and the other who is road runner, who will be running there first 50K this year. There approach to the competition is so much different than mine, all about speed and placement. As summed up in the discussion, I am competitive in the goals I set for my self as but not necessarily there for the competition.

    It is definitely going to be interesting to see if the trail running community can maintain its core principles as more transfer in from other sports, mind you that I have only been in the sport since 2008. My money is that it will since there is more that feeling of belonging, sharing the stories,and the pain and agony, and the beautiful country we cover.

    Thanks for sharing this subject. And keep up these kind of podcasts!!!

  4. Thanks for a fascinating podcast. It’s super interesting to hear more substantive analysis applied to trail running, rather than the anecdotal based stuff.

  5. There is the middle of the herd, and everyone on the outside. Locally I did 2 half marathons, 2 30k’s and no one said word one to me at the races. then did my first 50k, yo-yo’d with 3 people for about 20 miles. Learned there life story, got a hug at the finish line, sat at a table with them as I gathered myself and talked about what we just did. It was weird because I just came to run. Ultra is not my lifestyle, this is short term goal stuff. I think it’s great and all to have the “it’s a special group, and it’s getting changed”. Everything changes.

    It takes a lot of time to train for 10 plus hours a week, and the needed rest. You have to push maybe other things aside. I have perspective. I want to do this now. When I don’t ill have already dreamt up my next adventure and it will be this fun to.

    The one thing that stuck out to me in the podcast is when he said (paraphrase) people who feel extremely individual ( i hear special) still find themselves in this very small (i hear exclusive) but tight group activity. I.e. I’m a lone wolf, but I run with the pack. I thought that was the perfect conflict description.

    When I was researching doing a 50 miler, which is my goal. I started reading blogs and listening to podcasts. Everyone lamented after dean and the born book, the sport is changing, now I can’t get into that race, blah blah. When you could get into any race, it made you feel like not many people chose to do this crazy stuff, which makes you special. For every race you did not get into, somebody else did and they suffered like you would have, which makes you less special, and a new special someone has done it.

    Good podcast.

    • Hey Nooneyouknow (I know you! :-)

      Thanks for the comment and personal insight. You hit a couple of points that I wholly agree with and identify with personally. The lone wolf occasionally running with the pack to feel a sense of belonging is something I’ve witnessed both in myself and as a race director and seeing it in participants.

      And your last paragraph is a common one. I raced the very first North Face Challenge 50 miler and lined up next to Dean Karnazes. 26 people finished that race. It was small and special. Now look at the series.

      By the way, you’re going to ROCK that first 50 miler in May…!

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