Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Life without ultras: A sad outcome, indeed

I have been looking back while gazing forward over the past several days.  Running the Rock Creek Trail in MD, at a slow methodical pace while my mind spins with thoughts about the meaning of life and how we get to the place we call today.

At right is master man circa 1981...rather thick and meaty from fatty eating and beer by the gallon.  I was, at that point, still attempting to race motorcycles, which was hard to do when running somewhere near last at every event.  I didn't have the skill and my mind and body were slushy from over-indulging.

Then came my epiphany, where in 1983 I dumped 45 pounds and found the endurance sport lifestyle. There have been ups and downs, but I can't imagine life without it.  It has formed my mind, my body, my goals.  I view life through the lens of an ultradistance race.  I have gone further than I ever thought possible...to the finish line of 100 mile races, through relationships, and more recently to an academic finish line with the PhD.

Ultras draw me back for more each year, in a way no other event or activity ever has.  I have the Frosty 50K and Terrapin Mountain 50K on the calendar so far this year and there will be quite a few others to come.  And I'm no longer a last place loser.  Ultras let everyone play the game, where we race against ourselves and the terrain.  I found a sport that's truly inclusive; if politics were more like ultras, we might be racing more and spending less.

So that's where I am for 2011 to date.  A glance at the photo above is always good for a hindsight view from then to now...and I like what I see.


  1. Well I hope you at least kept the pants for racing, those are pretty stylish, maybe a bit Cliftonesque.

  2. Love it !! Id guess KX 250/350 ENDURO 1980 ?