To Be Chicked

‘To be chicked,’ I’ve looked it up. It’s not in the Oxford English Dictionary. It is, however, pretty prevalent on Google, though that may say more about the relevancy of Google compared to the OED in 2012 than anything else. It also seems to indicate that numerous male runners (and, I discovered, cyclists) have had women finish ahead of them in races and felt the need to coin a phrase for this. Or, shock and horror, female runners have happily used the term themselves when they are fairly content to have finished ahead of certain men in a race.

It’s evident that ‘being chicked’ is a phrase only used in endurance races like ultrarunning. I mean, have you been to your local 10k recently and heard of anyone being chicked? I would guess not, in part, because even in a mixed field of female and male runners in a 10k race, the event is very much considered two separate races – one for men and one for women. As such, neither men nor women are comparing themselves so closely to members of the opposite sex. When it comes to sports like ultrarunning, though, it would seem that the men’s and women’s races, although each having their own winners, are much more interlinked and so having a phrase such as ‘being chicked’ is more relevant.

There has already been quite a lot of debate over whether this is a derogatory term or not. Of course, 95% of the comments on this subject have come from men, but don’t let that make you think that women are not reading these comments, too. Maybe us ladies are just not commenting, because it is possible that we are less offended by the term than men. Men are the ones ‘to be chicked’ and, thus, find the word itself contentious as it implies they have done less well in a race than they had hoped, whereas it is women who ‘do the chicking’ and, thus, have a positive association with the term as they have presumably finished ahead of men they did not expect to.

Personally, I think it is one of those phrases that we shouldn’t over analyze. I’ve had many a guy, when I’ve been out on a race course, say that they know they are going at the right pace as they are usually at same pace as the top finishing females. The guys are just using us ladies as a gauge like any runner would when they are in a race and can see someone around them whose pace they know. I don’t think that I have ever had a male ultrarunner be disappointed with their result because they’ve been chicked, but I know, for sure, that in shorter road races some guys have been pretty upset when a well-trained runner, who just happens to be female, has beaten them. It’s one of the things I love about ultrarunning – who really cares whether you’re a guy or a woman – we’re all just runners. It’s also a phrase that has been around long enough that not everyone who uses it realizes the possible offence it may cause, it’s now just part our ultrarunning dictionary along with a whole host of other terms (drop bags, bonking, etc.) that the average person on the street would have no idea what you were talking about.

Case in point: I was out running with a male friend and when we bumped into other runners who asked about an upcoming race. My friend said that his goal was to beat me, so, of course, I took immediate offence that he had presumably said that just because he didn’t want to seen to be chicked, and storming up the trail I went! A few minutes later I was followed by a, “You do realize that I only want to beat you because you are a good runner.” Nothing more, nothing less. He didn’t care about being chicked or not, he cared about having a good race and his positioning relative to mine would be an indicator of that. Kind of like aiming to come top 10 in a race because you know the other competitors and figure that is a realistic goal to set yourself. And, after all, are we all not just ultrarunners who set up friendly rivalries and it’s about beating the competition, staying ahead of our training partner, and sometimes using the phrase ‘to be chicked’ is just to refer to where we are relative to a certain point in the race pack.

But, all said and done, guys – these days, if you want to be at that certain point in the race field of a competitive ultra where you are not going to have someone pass you who may be wearing a skort, I would suggest shooting for top 10 to be safe. Lizzy Hawker chicked all but 12 men at UTMB 2011, Anna Frost recently ran faster than all but 12 men at Transvulcania, and, at Western States 2011, I ‘let’ 16 men go ahead of me.

Comments please, chicks and guys…

There are 101 comments

  1. Bruce

    One of the things I love about ultra endurance is how older people regularly beat younger ones and how women can compete on such equal terms.

    I'd go a step further and admit to finding it a bit of turn-on when women show me a clean pair of heels in a race!

    Anyone else?!?!

  2. HP

    Fantastic read Ellie! When I think of the elites in this sport I never separate out men and women: it's just Ellie, Kilian, Anton, Frosty, etc.

    That's one thing that I have come to love about ultra running: at the finish line no one really cares about your gender; just how 'insane' you are to have run that distance that fast.

  3. Alex from New Haven


    I HATE the phrase. It's a phrase for little boys. In my experience, it is most commonly used in Triathlon and Road Running, and is imported to ultra by people who used to be "competitive" in those cultures. In my experience it is used THE LEAST by the people I know in trail ultrarunning. At my ability level (~24 hr WS100) there is almost no difference between men and women and in even longer races I suspect that my female partners would start to pull ahead.

    I know Ann Trason felt some frustration about ambiguous expectations: She was SO good that when she came in 2nd overall at WS (and Leadville I think) that people didn't celebrate her winning the women's race as much as discuss how close she had come to winning overall. I guess that's the price of being THAT talented and THAT tough ;)

    Good luck Saturday!

    1. Tim

      Yes, why would anyone want to discuss Anne coming so close to winning the overall race. Those people have such nerve to talk about her as an EQUAL to men.

  4. art

    I think the attitude of being "chicked" only really exists in the front portion of the pack, serious racers with serious attitude.

    Being in the back third, I take it for granted I will be "chicked" numerous times in each race I run so pay it no mind.

    Now being "olded" that's another issue all together …

  5. Sara

    I dislike the phrase too, though a lot of people I respect a ton (like you) are okay with it, so I try to chill about it.

    I just think it can (sometimes, not always) diminish the achievements of women like you, Kami, Nikki, Anna, etc. who I very much admire. It puts you in in a 'chick' category instead of simply an amazing performance category, period. I realize it isn't always intended this way.

    At the other end, what about the male runners who ALWAYS get chicked? What does it imply about them? People will probably say, 'nothing', but that doesn't make logical sense.

    So, to me it's disrespectful to the upper level of female runners, and *all but* the upper level of male runners. I'm not in either category, but it just rubs me the wrong way.

  6. mtnrunner2

    Good one. As a guy the term makes me uncomfortable, and at my level thinking about it is totally unrealistic anyway. Among top male runners beating all women in a race is actually a possibility.

    >"chicked", "olded"

    In CO, I'm more concerned about being "elementary schooled".

  7. Trail Clown

    Until a woman actually wins outright at a championship 100 mile race, I think there will continue to be a "I didn't get chicked" vibe among the top-tier male runners. Among all the other runners, it's basically just a "That's What She Said" (from the TV show "The Office") fun type of a joke. Personally I have won age group awards (M30-39) in races at which women, older runners and teenage runners have all blasted by me, despite me running fast enough to place in my age division. For runners who run lots of races, it's just expected. I will say that at shorter distances, not as many women or old runners blast by me. Something about ultras evens the field, big time. And that is a beautiful thing, that's why the sport is so great. You're competing not just against cohort groups, but every type of group in the population. Finally, when I am gutting out a race near the finish line, I don't even pay attention to what type of runner may be trying to pass me…I am usually too incoherent to worry about being chicked or olded or youthed.

  8. Gary Gellin

    Just don't replace "chicked" with the pejorative "ladied". Ellie – 16 men? at what mile? If that's at the first aid station, you're bringing all but 8 of them back at No Hands Bridge. I'll be pacing one of the favorites in the mens' field and with my luck could get a repeat chicking by Nikki Kimball.

  9. Mike Hinterberg

    In ultras, being around the top women, if I'm lucky, is a privilege, and a good vibe place to run. Often (but not always, this is just an observation), the leading females are running a better, tactical race, and are often more friendly and inspirational when sharing miles, than nearby males running in an arbitrary place. Sometimes I'll see the leading female behind me and use it as a sign for me to /slow down/ because I shouldn't be running faster than her!

    As for the term and the concept, I'm not a fan. Like others have said, it seems worse in shorter, road races and triathlons. I've also observed it more watching my wife finish races — having a fun time in the middle of the pack — where guys will noticeably sprint past her and other women but not as much past other men. It's noticeable, and it's weird to see a one-sided race like that. There's still too much of a mentality, among a long unfortunate history, of some men with egos that can't take being beat by a woman in certain endeavors.

    That said, while I don't like the term, it is enjoyable to see it happen!

  10. Tri_Danimal

    As a slower male triathlete and soon to be completing my first 50K Ultra and Ironman I totally do not mine being "Chicked." I used to race road bicycles in college and had the ego to match. But one day I was running with a friend and a SUPER beautiful young lady stormed by us on a local trail, I made a comment about her backside. My running partner just looked at me and said, “Being chicked is not all bad, right?” I just smiled and simply said, “Nope, the scenery just got that much better!!”

    Shoot the reason I took so much liking to trail running because the “vibe” is so much mellower. When I did my first marathon it was the Leona Valley Trail Marathon, is Southern California (the same people who put on the Leona Divide 50M/50k). Everyone at the event said I was bonkers for attempting my FIRST marathon on this course but nonetheless I toed into the starting line. They took my bib number and at every aid station they checked in on me asking if I needed anything else or if they could do anything else to make my day more enjoyable. This is the experience is what every new person to trail running, short long or ultra, should be able to experience. Since that day I have been hooked on trail running. Oh yeah I was not the last male to cross the finish line but EVERY woman finished before me and everyone was at the finish line waiting to high-five the stragglers.

    I think we are going to always have this issue of it being a put down to some people but the more we use it as males the less harsh the term becomes, if it bugs you.

  11. ken michal

    At my end of the pack, I'm only concerned with being "vibramed" (but why is it that I only ever see guys racing in them?)!! Can't wait to see a lot of runners get "Ellie'd" this weekend!!!!

    All Day!


  12. Jess Dagg

    I guess it could be taken both ways depending on who is saying it and in what context. I hadn't really thought about this phrase being derogatory until now though, but there are men out there who take it pretty personally if a woman beats them. I previously considered it to be a fun phrase meaning a woman is such a kick ass runner that men want to come in front of her because it would mean they had a really great run! But writing that down it sounds silly because you don't have to "beat" the first woman in order to decide where you stand. Yes, probably best not to analyze too much :-)

  13. Anne L

    "To Be Chicked" is a simply a funny way of describing the various reactions guys have when a girl beats them during a race – after a race you might go and congratulate your fellow runner and you will be met by various reactions – a “you go girl” type attitude, a congratulatory handshake which is accompanied by a comment like geeze you ate your wheaties before this race eh?!, an ignorance is bliss attitude (translation – I will ignore you and congratulate another male runner because I should have beat you), or a grudgingly-type handshake with furtive movement away from the gal (translation being – I am too polite to ignore you but I want to).

    "To Be Chicked" is just one of the many terms that exist out there when a runner targets some random girl/dude out there on the course/trail – because they are breathing too hard, their footsteps sound like a elephant, their iPod is simply too loud, because of the simple fact that they are wearing an iPod, he or she is wearing a lululemon outfit, has a window-washer running style, wearing a red/blue/orange/white/etc shirt, looks too much like a runner/doesn’t look like a runner at all, too young/too old, etc… I call these “running targets” – a marathon or an ultra marathon is a long way and our mind finds ways to keep the competitive mojo moving and things that you normally wouldn’t remark-on become our competitive focus during a race. During the race it is all seriousness, – but after the race I am always amused by how the mind works, really why was it so important to beat that one dude?!! I guess pinpointing a person rather than focusing on the seconds on the race-clock ticking away is easier for the mind and the body to handle.

    We are runners, we are competitors and it is all in good fun ;)

  14. Rorie

    Ellie, the late Cabillo Blanco told a great story of Ann Trason 'la Bruja' at Leadville 100 – she's been chickin' men for years! Run like The Witch this weekend Ellie! ;)

  15. Jamie Falk

    I usually call it "being beaten."

    There's not much more to it than that. The person in front either trained better than I did, had more willpower than me, or had more raw talent than I do.

    1. Sniffer

      I have the "greyhound effect" when I race. If something is in front I try and catch it. Just like that little white bunny. Gotta catch the bunny!

  16. Kent Keeler

    This phrase grates on me, but I can't point any specific reason. I just don't like it and cringe when I hear it. I compare my times to that of known female finishing times as a yardstick no differently than I compare to known men's times. This is simply a measuring stick. I don't feel any worse or better about my performance based on losing to, or finishing ahead of a female racer.

    1. Ellie

      And I would love to chick you Mr Sharman, except it would likley mean you were not having the best of days – which i would never wish on a running buddy :)

      1. Ian Sharman

        The phrase 'frosted' has already come about and being 'ellied' holds no shame either :) Best of luck to you to take the crown for UK/Canada (in that order ;))

    1. Scott S

      Me too! As a man running at the back of the pack, there's only a few people (men, women, and children) behind me, so I only seem to notice people 20 years (or so) older than me passing me by. Mostly I am just impressed that I still can't catch people my parents age!

  17. Tony Mollica

    I am not anywhere near the front of the pack. Where I am we tend to be supportive of each other, rather than hoping to beat one another. I have been passed numerous times by both men and women who have encouraged me to come with them, and I do the same.

    I am an Elementary Health and PE teacher, and I strongly dislike the term because I believe that it goes against what I teach the kids. we are all athletes when we engage in physical activity. It doesn't matter if you are male or female. It doesn't matter if you are young, old or somewhere in the middle. It doesn't matter what your skill level is. What matters is working hard and trying to get better! There is no shame in getting beat by another athlete, as long as you are doing the best you can with what you had to work with on that particular day!

  18. dogrunner

    The bell-curve of athletic performance is pretty wide for both males and females, with a lot of overlap, so it is pretty common for a lot of women to be faster than some men, for some women to be faster than some men, and for a few women (Ellie, Anna, Chrissie W. in triathlon, etc!) to be faster than MOST men. Same is true for men > men, women > women, and men > women. We just don't seem to need a special label for the latter 3 circumstances (we just say faster, slower). I guess that the first comparison gets a special label says something about how people view that outcome, and it looks like the opinions about that are pretty broad ranging ;)

  19. Jeremy C

    Ellie – I am glad you wrote this article, as I have been planning to pace off you at Squamish… now I will feel less guilty about it :D

    In seriousness though, your friend hit the nail on the head. “You do realize that I only want to beat you because you are a good runner.” Another point, is that I am always impressed with how well the top female elites pace themselves. My first ultra ever was KKNSTR last year, and I had studied the splits (including yours) of the top 20 finishers in the past 5 years. Your pacing on your CR was spot on. Same goes for many of your other finishes. Heck look at the Vancouver 2012 results… in the top 20 only 3 ran negative splits… one was you with a full 2 minutes!

    I think us dopey men with our go out hard and fall apart pacing strategy have a lot to learn from the likes of the best women.

    1. Ellie

      Would tend to agree jeremy, though if I am being nice I would say that in ultras these days the womens fields are still not quite as deep as the mens (hmm, maybe not for WS in 5 days tho!) so women can afford to run more conservatively in early stages where the men have to run hard from the start otherwise they may never get into contention. We can also blend into the race field more easily so less ego/ pressure to go out hard. See you in Squamish! (oh, and KK splits are more due to me having zero ability to be anything other than a snail up Black Mntn!)

      1. Jeremy C

        Interesting point about the elite women perhaps having a bit more luxury to pace conservatively from the start due to lack of depth, I had not considered that. If we know one thing for CERTAIN about Squamish, its that Jason will go out HARD, lol.

        I remember distinctly last year running up the hill towards Grouse from Cleveland dam, passing the lead woman and remarking to her that I probably had no business trying to pass her (despite thinking I felt good at the time). She put 25 minutes into me over the next 25 kms :) Hopefully I have learned my lesson.

        Good luck this weekend, you're an inspiration to us mere mortals, estrogen and all :)

  20. Terry Miller

    Ditto what Art and a couple others have said. I like the term myself, even though I assume I'll be chicked by anywhere from dozens to hundreds of women, and likely some girls and grandmas too, at any race I do. Only the guys in the pointy end of the field really care. I love it when a girl passes me, I think it's beautiful when a woman has enough drive and so little regard for stupid societal norms as to be a strong, fit runner. Great to get pulled along by the pony tail bobbing down the trail ahead of me.
    I got chicked by 70-something Libby James at my first 10k (Bolder Boulder) so I went home and friended her on Facebook. Keep it up ladies!

  21. Jeff Browning

    As a runner who is usually around the top women in a 50k and 50 miler, I would say that all the guys I know use it strictly as a fun term that really is a sign of respect. Dudes like to talk trash. The more competitive, the more trash…it's all in good elbow-jabbing fun.

    Some of us even going so far to give additional respect to women who are crazy fast, like Ellie, Kami and Krissy (to name only 3, there are lots) by not saying "chicked" but using their name….being "Kami'd" or "Krissy'd"…it's all in good fun and not meant as derogatory at all, but exactly the opposite. We all, whether up front or in the back of the pack, look for ways in a long race to motivate ourselves to finish as strong as we can on any given day and if I have a guy or a girl in front of me, I want to pick them off, gender does not matter.

    I had the pleasure (and pain) of being "Ellie'd" at Chuckanut this year when I caught her at the top of Chinscraper and when we hit the 3 mile gravel road downhill, I was running 5:30-5:45 pace and she proceeded to drop me like a bad habit. I kind of felt like Looney Tunes' Wiley Coyote when the Road Runner says "mee-meep" and proceeds to leave a trail of dust over the horizon. Truly strong work.

    Good luck at WS, Ellie. I hope you "dude" that geezer Sharman too. :)

  22. Sniffer

    Didn't Jurek used to wear a skort? I thought I read that somewhere. Would love to see all the ego's come out getting beaten by that. Good luck this weekend!

  23. David

    Ha ha! I don't race a lot and am a pretty mediocre runner, but at a recent 10k trail race I did, I couldn't swallow letting Vibram runners get/stay ahead of me.

  24. Bill Ahlers

    Another coined term is roadkill. All I know is I have a competitive nature and ego. Combined I really dislike being beat by anyone, chick or dude. Realistically I will always lose to someone chicks and dudes so it seems my mind uses the micro vision of who is in sight. Or my age bracket. I do especially feel accomplished when I pass a younger dude. However, I certainly don't feel duded or chicked when passed just slower. I think the phrase "being chicked" is a bigger deal for egotistical dudes and over sensitive chicks than the majority.

  25. michael

    If anyone is ahead of you male or female you have either not worked as hard as they have or you just simply are not at the same level. I probably will never win a race but I am certainly going to give it all I've got while I am out there.

  26. KenZ

    Term doesn't bother me anymore than any of the other terms that are commentaries on placing/life. From what I've seen, ultra runners are usually so chill about races (at least those of who are not winning) that sometimes you wonder if it's a race or just a giant athletic social event.

    It seems the shorter events have the larger egos, more testosterone-driven competitiveness, and in such a scenario I suppose the term, if used, might be used in a negative light. To a point: a good friend of mine ran a local race, I think it was a 5k, and pushed his daughter in the stroller. As he puts it: "I got second. Well, technically my daughter finished before me, so I got third I guess. But man, you should have seen the guy that finished behind me. He was so seriously angry that he got beaten by a guy pushing a stroller." That guy got "prammed," and while funny to us, he was not happy about it. I'll bet that guy, had he been beaten by a female runner, would not have used "chicked" in a positive sense.

  27. trigirl

    i love the phrase "you've been chicked" and often mumble it under my breath as i pass a dude! i have also been known to quietly say it as i pass a dude on the bike at an ironman..BUT the dudes always's hard not to as a black and pink bike with a pink feathers pass you! ;)

  28. adam

    What if someone said, "at least you didn't get "blacked" or "chinged"?" or fill in any color, race, religion, or creed? I'm not afraid to stand against it. Just like any other derogatory term of phrase it should not be tolerated.

    It's an old "boys" club thing and it sucks. If you care less, good for you. There are probably a lot of other things you care less about too. And, that gives you the freedom to do nothing about them. Social pressure will rid us of this BS as fast as we choose to let it. The sooner the better.

    1. Bryon Powell

      I think there's a key point that you're overlooking is context of at least ultras. I'd guess that a majority (and likely vast majority) of women running ultras don't mind the term "chick." No, it's not as neutral as "womaned" or "femaled," but, in this one context, "chick" itself is not used derogatorily (or at least VERY rarely). Montrail used to make "Run Like a Girl" hats… and they were always immediately snapped up.

      Maybe it's different on the roads.

    2. Terry Miller

      Could not disagree with Adam more. Chicked is not a sexist term like the others are racist. Race is an artificial social construct, and people who say one is superior to another are duly considered idiots and bigots. Gender is an obvious physiological difference, and no one seriously contests that males tend to be faster than females. We have more testosterone,lean muscle mass and less fat genetically. This is accepted in racing, which is why qualifying times and finishing places are always divided into gender classes. For the very top men to be beat by a woman would typically(possibly not always) mean they had a sub-par race. Just a fact. Generally the term is either used jokingly or as a simple reference to the placement of the top women. People need to not take everything so seriously.

      1. Mike Hinterberg

        I agree that it can be used positively, as Ellie does. It can be used as a compliment by other vanquished males, perhaps. But to use it as a benchmark for an automatic "sub-par" race is different.

        Terry, while your gender observations are true *generally* (comparing all males to all females), and I don't equate it to racism because it doesn't have the harm and antagonism usually associated with it, extrapolating *population* differences to all *individual* cases is, well, still the exact definition of stereotyping.

        Individual genetic differences also account for differences in hormone levels, muscle mass, and fat percentage/distribution — not to mention the training effect. A woman might beat a man simply because she runs twice the weekly mileage, eats better, and runs smarter. Why diminish her accomplishment by claiming a "sub-par" performance from the male?

        It's enough for me to know that it bothers some people. Why defend it's use in all cases?

  29. freddie pendergra

    Wow Adam, quite the PC warrior, eh? How come you are not upsed by the use of the word 'dude' on this page? Acoording to, 'dude' means:

    1. a man excessively concerned with his clothes, grooming, and manners.

    2. Slang. a fellow; chap.

    3. a person reared in a large city.

    4. Western U.S. an urban Easterner who vacations on a ranch.

    Additionally, the meanings of words change all the time, e.g., "gay." One modern definition of 'chick' means an attractive young lady. If you weren't so niggardly with your research, you homo sapien you, you would know this. (I bet you are really, really offended by that last sentence?)

    1. adam


      I dig what you guys are getting at, but i do think that in the interest of supporting a positive environment for all "chicked" is a shitty way to say it. Don't like the vibe implied or not.

      If something is so context specific doesn't that mean it's at least in a grey area? OK the way ultra folks say it but not road? Ok the way track folks say it but not on the playground?

      For me this is not an issue of political correctness. I've miss represented myself if you think I give 2 shits about that.

      1. Fernando N. Baeza


        What truly seperates this country from all the rest is our own people. Everyones view matters, especially amongst our close knit community of ultra athletes. Tolerance. Its as simple as that. We have different peoples, skill levels, ages at these events. To be 'chicked' is really a term you will become accustomed to in time if you frequent ultras. Its really a term of endearment; Im almost certain Ellie never meant it to sound derogatory in any sense, although it certainly has made quite the headlines! Id be glad to be 'chicked' by Ellie anyday, good luck Ellie! :D

        1. Mike Hinterberg

          "What truly seperates this country from all the rest is our own people. "

          Umm, I think Ellie's Canadian. Or Scottish. =)

          From what I've seen, good people are good people around the world. Boys, girls, you name it.

          Not because of where (or how!) they were born, but by being a good person.

          I think we all agree, let's focus on positive vibes all around! Peace.

      2. Darthrunner

        You're absolutely right adam. Only when we achieve absolute gender homogeny will we be a decent and civilized society. We should be ashamed of celebrating our differences and loathe to express anything that might hint at any difference between the sexes.

        Sure, we're different physically, emotionally, hormonally and culturally throughout all of human history but that doesn't make it okay to SAY that we're different. Only when we all learn to pretend that every human being is exactly the same will there be world peace and nobody will care enough about winning to actually show up to a race.

        Or you could just run faster. Then you wouldn't hafta be so upset about getting chicked.

        1. adam

          You seem to think this is a PC thing? Really hope it comes across that this is just running we're talking about after all. And, we are just talking about a lame way for slow men to justify their slowness(?) by not giving a faster woman her due.

          Maybe if it wasn't such a one way street? What do women say when a guy beats them? Nothing, cause it always happens? See, it's just a little unsettling that us guys get to sprint hard at the end of a race to not get chicked!

          Seems like a boys club thing with the, "ha ha" we say it, but it's not like the way they say it. As for you feeling this is about being PC or not….Congratulations Darthdude you're leading the charge for rich white male runners everywhere to call women chicks ;)

          1. Darthrunner

            Dunno what makes you think I'm either rich or white. Who's the one stereotyping here?

            But you're right, it is just running. Get over it, chick.

    1. Tri_Danimal

      I think it would just be called "Awesome!!" I could then tell the story and brag that I ran stride for stride for a split second with the great Ellie!!

  30. Phill

    "Chicked"! I long for the day when I get chicked. Having just started training with the local athletics club and not being fast enough for the top group, I spend every Tuesday as a 27 year old bearded man being "boyed" or "girled" by a selection of local teenagers that seem to only consist of a pair of lungs and legs. Either that or it's being "grannied" in a marathon… The list goes on, considerably.

    Ultra running is brilliant because the playing fields are levelled so much more and both sexes run together so when I see a lady over taking me (and taking Terry Millers thoughts in mind) I think about how much more dedicated and awesome they must be ^^

    I have a question though. If one of these talented ladies finish in the top 3 over all do they get double prizes? :? I would really like to see that happen. From my personal experience of all sports (probably limited) I don't think I've ever seen men and women on the same podium. ( I just read the comments and have been informed… awesome! ;))

  31. nrmrvrk

    When I listened to Jurek talk last week in Seattle on his book tour, he mentioned that his friend Dusty (of many a story) first coined that term many years ago. I was surprised to hear him attribute it to Dusty and not sure if I believe it. Ask Scott about it next time you chick him.

  32. Jon s.

    Can't wait to see how western unfolds… Ellie, you are the real deal, no matter what you are packing (or not packing) in your trousers… Movement is the key… The rest is just semantics… Thanks for taking the time to offer up your thoughts, Ellie, and kick some ass in California..

    P.S. I got chicked by like 18 seconds yesterday @ the Vancouver USA marathon… The lady finished strong, and I was just hanging on… I said ”go girl” as she was passing me during the last half mile… Do what you can and live with the results… The numbers don't lie…

  33. Tarzan

    "Chicked" "Geezered" "Stomped"… an Ultra, I could be passed by Monica Lewinsky carrying Lady GaGa on her back and i wouldn't give a hoot in hell…i just do the best I possibly can…if I can be within a certain amount of time of certain runners, male or female, very cool….I know a lot of male and female runners that are unbelievable athletes, chasing them or being chased, it's awesome just to be in the same race as them. All are an insperation. I once met Colleen DeRuck at the BIX 7 race 16 yrs ago…I was so inspired by her intensity and her dedication….I was within 5 seconds of breaking 40 minutes that day, but she stomped me by a few MINUTES… What an amazing athlete! GO ELLIE! YOU ROCK!

  34. Drew

    Having once lived in a ski town with 6 dudes to every chick I came to view any activity with fast, fit females as highly positive, weather they finished before or after me. Ellie, you keep stompin' the little boys and I'll keep cheering.

  35. kaprian

    So long as a given group has minorities and majorities, the inherent urge to compare and possibly be on equal ground is most likely not going to change. Ultimately it's a survival of the fittest scenario – those who can, will, those who can't, are happy to pass anyone. :)

  36. Scott S

    Rob, Many years ago at about the ten-mile point during my very first half marathon, the friends that I was running with were fine with letting Grandma pass us, but not me, I gave chase and managed to finish a couple of minutes ahead of her. Did it really matter? No, of course not. However, that (relatively old) lady gave me quite a new perspective on life that if I train well and take care of myself that I just might live a long and healthy life AND whoop up on some young folks in the distant future.

  37. Mat

    The first time the term was used in a conversation I was part of, was in the last mile of a tough 50k. I was burned out, and a woman caught me from behind, and encouraging me to finish strong, offered a "come on, you're almost there! Don't get chicked!"

    I didn't take offense, and watched in admiration as that "chick" powered on. I doubt the phrase bothered her that much either — she seemed to know that she was a good runner and that she was female, and saw no incompatibility between the two.

    The only person who I was glad to finish ahead of was the guy who was almost verbally abusive to the aid station volunteers because they didn't have gels, and the other guy who berated the RD for not having cameras at the finish to capture the sprint he pulled off at the end.

  38. Runnerjen

    I more mind when the men get pissy about getting "chicked". I am offended that some men feel they should be faster than me, just because they are men. So perhaps it's the un-sportsmanship attitude I have a problem with…like the guy who won't shake my hand, or look at me at the end of a race, because his ego has been bruised. Whatever.

    When I was running AR50 this April, I passed a guy who was having a bad moment. I asked him if he was ok, and his response was…"Oh man, I'm getting chicked???" Hah! You mean, "oh woman"? And he was actually "chicked" about 45 min prior by Ellie Greenwood! In any event, I decided not to wait around to see if he needed anything. I had some chicking to do.

  39. Chris

    I think it's a stupid phrase, made even more ridiculous when it isn't uncommon. If you are so fast that almost never get beat by a woman, then I suppose it can be a show of respect to say you got "chicked". If you say you got "chicked" when passed by a woman and there are already 20 or more ahead of you…'s just ignorant.

  40. Stormo

    I've got no problem with the term or with it happening to me, ultra or otherwise. In a recent 10 miler on Chuckanut Mt. I was "chicked" by Jodee Adams-Moore, as were all but two other runners. She, along with Ellie and several other fast women chicked me at Chuckanut 50k. I'm just happy I get to run in the same races as them.

  41. Johnnyroyale

    Chicked? Pah. Bring it on. Nothing is worse than being overtaken by a man dressed as a cherry tart – as what happened to me in my very first marathon. A good hard look at myself was taken on that day.

  42. fred p

    Could there be a more unfortunate name than "skort?" It sounds like 'spork,' a combination between a spoon and fork. Perhaps should have a contest to come up with a better name than skort.

  43. Dusty

    Well, since I've been accused of coining that phrase amongst the Ultra community. I will put in my two cents…

    I think it first started back when Ann Trason was beating the Tarahumara's. They did take it extremely personally back then and being the devils advocate I am, I might of even yelled it at them once or twice, maybe. The sport of Ultra running definitely has a equal playing field. It depends more on inner strength, desire, and mental toughness. And it is not uncommon where women aren't competing for the women's race, but for the overall race. (shit you almost beat Scott Jurek"s record) At least for my view it's more out of respect for women raising the bar for everybody. And maybe a little heckling for people who get offended by it… All in good trash talking fun!

    I'm with Mike.

  44. Waldo

    This term has also been used for quite a while in the SoCal mountain biking community where there is a significant contingent of fast and skilled female riders. It doesn't necessarily require beating a male in a race though; simply passing a guy on a fast section or a tough climb counts as "chicking." I know because my girlfriend and her friends all chick me on a pretty regular basis, and I'm proud of them for it!

  45. Keith

    Back in 1999 or so I was into Streetluge racing, like used to be on the X-Games -(yeah, I know)- and was racing in North Carolina with my girlfriend. After the first race, several of the male racers got "spanked by a chick" when she passed and finished ahead of them. Never heard that one before or since!

  46. Anonymus

    Over a decade ago I was a pro athlete in an endurance sport, and was blessed enough to be faster than every "chick" in the world. As I stopped my professional career and went to school it didn't take long until the best women in the world was faster than me. During that time my wife (then girlfriend) used to joke with me when I got "chicked" but always in a kind heart spirit. Nowdays it feels just silly not being proud about being "chicked" as if the right girls show up they will kick my a** every day of the week. A man that can't take being beaten by a girl should just run faster, or get used to it. To this day I personally prefer to have a girl pass me instead of a guy, because the girl is not fighting about the same awards or place on the podium, but the guy is.

  47. Dane

    Not to self-promote but my book which came out in May has a nice section on being chicked and how it is usually a good thing. But it is not just in ultramarathons where the word is used. That is a narrow view of the world which we all do with the sport we like the most.

  48. Susan - Nurse on the

    I personally love the phrase…and I can see that there are definitely mixed emotions among the men out there. While I'm definitely not (ever?) qualifying for the Olympic Trials, I like to think I can hold my own in a race. I usually run in the top 5% of women (doesn't feel like it, ha!), so I tend to be at the point where spectators (especially women!) are excited to see females coming through, so they yell my name (if I have my name on my shirt, I'm certainly not famous). Men around me sometimes joke, "Ha, you must be Susan!" since there aren't too many other women around. At other times, in smaller races when some aid station volunteers count off what place you're in and yell, "You're the 12th female!" some men turn around, look, and take off. If I'm on the 12th female, we're certainly not running slow!

    It's a strange difference. Running is a sport that attracts all ability levels, from (almost) two hour marathoners to seven hour marathoners, and we (males and females) cover the entire spectrum. I love that I can have male training partners or females up ahead to chase. And yes, chicking is definitely fun.

  49. Oscar

    Yeah, I once lost a 5K by one second to a girl named "Andrea," and was interviewed over the P.A. system after finishing. I was very upset about "Getting Chicked," especially by only one second, but when asked about it I just smiled and said how when you're out there on the course, you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery and running behind Andrea provided that and blah blah. I had to bite my cheek for that one, but what the heck else could I say? I didn't want to reveal my true feelings, it would have taken away from the overall mood of the crowd.

Post Your Thoughts