Ultrarunning Humor

This evening one of my coaching clients sent me an email that made me laugh. It made me laugh not only because it was funny, but also because it reminded me of the wonderful attitude so many runners have. Whether we’re at the front of the pack (see, Ian Sharman) or admittedly back of the pack, we’re willing to laugh at ourselves. With that in mind, I’m sure you’ve  seen some great ultrarunning humor or come up with some yourself. Please leave a comment that’ll make us laugh, whether it’s original or a link to something you’ve seen before. Have at it … or read the comments for a good chuckle.

To get things started, here’s the inspiration for the subject. Sidney Chen recently thought of the following reasons why he wanted to finish dead last during the hard climbing sections of his first ultra, the Chabot 50k. At the time he thought he was the caboose… it turns out he failed his mission by one place. Better luck at American River, Sid!

Top Ten Reasons Why You WANT To Finish DFL
10. You get to run your own race.
9.  No need to check around you before a farmer’s blow.
8.  You get lots of time to enjoy the scenery.
7.  No need to go “off-trail” for pit stops.
6.  Aid station volunteers are grateful to see you since they can go home after you leave.
5.  It’s the better racing value – more race time per entry fee dollar.
4.  No getting passed in point-to-point races.
3.  If you’re also a cyclist, you can pretend you’ve “won” the “Lanterne rouge” (a Tour de France reference).
2.  More time to pig out at the aid station smorgasbord.

And the #1 reason why you WANT to finish DFL:

1.  No problem finding your car in the NOW empty parking lot. ;-)

There are 5 comments

  1. Michael Owen

    I agree, there is a lot of good ultra-running humor! I recently had a discussion with a friend who is mostly a 10k runner who I am trying to convince to run a ultra. She's not up for it, saying its not competitive enough for her. She later said… (this is kind of funny since Bryon, you are actually writing a book about ultra-running).

    "If anyone wrote a book on training for ultra running, it would read:

    Ultra Running: A way of Life.

    Chapter 1: Running. Run whenever you can, as often as you can, as far as you can, at whatever pace you can in order to repeat this week after week after week after week.

    Chapter 2: Eating & Drinking. Eat when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty.

    Chapter 3: Racing. Don't go out too fast. Complete race.

    Chapter 4: Recovery. Rest after your Ultra, or don't rest — who cares you're probably so BA you can continue running.

    Chapter 5: Repeat. Repeat steps 1-4 again until you are satisfied or too injured to walk. If injured go to chapter 6.

    Chapter 6: Injury. Rest, or run on it; Either way ice and take Vitamin-I.

    Chapter 7: Blogging. Start a blog about running or nutrition."

    I thought she needed to add some more chapters to her book so I filled in the rest:

    "Chapter 8: When you start hallucinating, do this….

    Chapter 9: Can Elite Marathoners be Elite 100 Milers?

    Chapter 10: The proper way to walk in an ultra.

    Chapter 11: How to convince 10ker's and marathoners to take the step up

    Chapter 12 : Finding time for a social life or family

    Chapter 13: Financial advice for washed up ultra-runners

    Chapter 14: How to carry gels and chews in your shorts efficiently

    Chapter 15: The proper way to carry water while running

    Chapter 16: The Ultra-Running World: Elites, Non-Elites, and Dean vs. Tony

    Chapter 17: The last 5 miles"


  2. James Adams

    I wrote this a while ago to help a friend giving a best man speech to an ultra-runner. COuld not be too rude obviously. Ian you might find some of this familiar :)

    "So you are marrying an ultra runner.

    Hopefully you have been warned of how your new husband is going to be different to the husbands of your friends.

    Where you might dream of a romantic gesture such as rose petals in your bed you are more likely to find toe nails.

    We have all just witnessed you promise to look after him even if he becomes a crippled slobbering wreck who can barely remember his name and control his own bowels. Well you get to do this EVERY Sunday evening.

    And you've probably promised to love him and cherish him and be there to pick up the pieces when he is broken. Well, that's not a metaphor, there WILL be pieces.

    And you can forget about breakfast in bed. In fact get used to phones calls on saturday morning saying "Darling, I went out running and I got lost. I'm somewhere near highway *** around 30 miles away. Come quick and bring food."

    You'll still get those lovely notes left on the fridge. Like "gone for a run, if I'm not back this time tomorrow call 911".

    You may find instances where where he's confused your $100 a tube skin re-generation cream with his two dollars a gallon petroleum jelly. And you're not going to want to ask what he did with it.

    And you know those 2 spare bedrooms in your new house. You realise that they are for trophies? Right?

    But it's not all bad. You can claim to be one of the very few females to have made an ultra-runner stop running for long enough to say "I do".

    You'll get to see some of the most spectacular places in the world. You'll also get to spend lots of time mapping our their elevation and relative humidity scores.

    At least you got one of the fast ones. You'll only have to stand out in the rain cheering for 12 hours at a time. Spare a thought for the wives of the fat ones who have to stay out there for 3 days.

    You love to cook don't you? Well, this guy sure is going to eat.

    And the best thing is that when he does not come home one night, you know he's not in a bar somewhere getting drunk. It isn't good for his training. You don't have to worry about him chatting up women. All he has to talk about is running. I mean seriously? What girl is going to go for that?"

  3. George O

    I was DFL at the Squak Mountain 50k which has a total elevation gain of 8300 ft. I started cramping at around mile 17 and at around mile 20 I was brought to a complete shuffle of my feet just trying to move forward and keep from cramping. With each step, I felt jolts of electricity piercing my entire body!, There were only 10 entrants for the 50k and one was a DNF. That only left 9 of us and I was DFL. There was a 9 hour cutoff time which I was lucky enough to coast under at 8:50. It took allot of willpower to continue the event from mile 17 when the cramping started. I learned allot about myself and how far my body can be pushed. Upon finishing, the entire parking lot was empty except for the RD who was waiting for me.It was a lonely and gratifying feeling at the same time. Gratifying since I was able to push forward and not quit.

    Run free


  4. nadine

    hey, some ultra-running friends asked me to officiate at their wedding… light, fun stuff… does anyone have any ideas? ian?


  5. Sock Runner

    Runing humor. LOL. I think you need it to keep running. It lightens the mood, actually. LOL at Michael's ultrarunning book chapters. I would love to get my hands on it once it's out. :)

  6. Anonymous

    these are the same reasons I am okay with being a slow swimmer in tris. the empty transition areas are the best ;)

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