You know you’re an ultra runner when…

Ultra runners come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life, but once you start ultra running there are certain things we all have in common! You know you’re an ultra runner when…

1. Your toenails don’t always match the number of your toes, and come in a fetching array of shades from pink to black

2. You have more running shoes than everyday shoes, and can always find a reason you need another pairDSC_0195

3. Your longest runs are measured in days, not hours

4. You find yourself declining nights out because you have to get up early for your long run

Getting up early for a long run has its perks

5. You have to remind yourself not to just nip behind the nearest bush when there’s a queue for the toilet

6. You decide the day before to enter a local marathon because you fancy a training run

7. When deciding on a location for a family holiday you secretly check out the area for good local trails and races

8. You spend an inexplicable amount of money on Vaseline…

9. You need to provide a personal photo and the only photos you have of yourself are running ones

10. You spend hours on the internet asking total strangers for advice on everything from kit and diet to bathroom habits

11. You suffer a serious injury and seriously consider whether you might still manage that race in 4 weeks’ time (and of course seek confirmation from the aforementioned strangers that this is a good idea)

12. One of the cupboards in your kitchen resembles a kids’ sweet shop

13. You never go anywhere without a Buff


Never without a Buff, especially a race branded one!


14. You will never admit to being properly prepared for a race, always arriving with a long list of excuses about how you haven’t trained, or your leg is about to fall off

15. You’re not sure if your legs are looking darker because of a sun tan or mud stains

16. You consider pork pies and jam sandwiches to be the pinnacle of sports nutrition

17. You spend every spare minute checking ultra-marathon race calendars or reading blogs about ultra races

18. You slow to a walk for the hill at your local parkrun and are surprised to see everyone run past you

19. You count your physiotherapist among your closest friends

20. You own a pair of rose tinted spectacles with the ability to filter out the pain of previous races and leave only warm fuzzy memories of stunning views, amazing camaraderie and the pride of achievement

What else have I missed that defines the ultra runner? Please let me know in the comments below!

Warm and fuzzy memories – at the finish of my first ever ultra!

19 thoughts on “You know you’re an ultra runner when…

  1. Remember breaking my arm and stupidly ran a 6 hour race two days later. I mean what could possibly go wrong??

    I now live in Spain. Why we’ll train in the winter months in the hills and trails in the warm, then race in the English summer.


  2. I used to run long long distances…longest run was a R2R2R (about 40 miles) and after hanging with a group who did 100 mile races I had to quit hanging with them as this was their only focus, and I had many other interests- one being a dedicated teacher to special needs kids and I couldn’t afford tons of shoes, going to races and really didn’t see the point of it. So while I understand a little bit of the ultra running scene (I placed first woman at several 50ks locally a long time ago) I never had the time nor reason to run longer than I did…but happy running.


  3. When someone at work asks for sponsorship for a marathon, worrying if they will finish it and you think or say “it’s only a marathon, I do training runs longer than that most weekends”


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