Ultra Running: How Not to Run 55 Miles

[Editor’s Note: Today is the final day of iRunFar’s “Week of Awesome!” Each day this week, we brought you an awesome story from the wide worlds of trail running and ultrarunning. Someone to follow, something to learn, or a story to be inspired by, our hope was to add a spark to your day. Leave us a comment to let us know what you think of this project.]

It’s the weekend, you just did your long run, and there’s no hope of life beyond your couch today. A 35-minute video by BBC Radio 1 called “Ultra Running: How Not to Run 55 Miles” should entertain you while the dull ache of your training day subsides.

Spoiler alert: Skip to the next paragraph to miss the plot spoiler. Don’t go into this thinking you’re going to see the triumph of a ultramarathon finish line. We all have to wait for part two to see this guy even start an ultra. That said, there are enough layers to this story that the race itself is a bit beside the point.

BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Reece Parkinson decides to run an ultramarathon–ultrarunning goes British mainstream! His journey, however, is fitful. There’s the COVID-19 pandemic, which seems to complicate everything. And then there’s the type 1 diabetes diagnosis he receives after being hospitalized as he’s training for the race. While Parkinson may be a celebrity, his path toward ultrarunning is as crooked as the trails we all run. This is an enjoyable watch, thanks to Reece Parkinson’s candidness and light heart!

Meghan Hicks

is the Managing Editor of iRunFar and the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running.' The converted road runner finished her first trail ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places.