Recently my wife Erika gave birth to our daughter, Evelyn Rose. There is no way to fully describe the feeling and process of a new person coming to life. It is intense, transformative and beautiful. In my experience the world is always made better with the arrival of well-loved babies. Evie and her mother are doing great – they have been in blissfully sleep-deprived agape since November 20.
Once the dust settled after a harrowing birthing process, I saw an opportunity to perform a bit of research for the sport. I asked Erika the question many of us non-mothers have considered after a grueling ultra: “Is childbirth similar to running an ultra?” Erika, who has done about 50 ultras and pushed herself to the edge in many of the them, responded: “Oh my gosh no, childbirth is 100 times harder than any 100-miler.” Having observed her during both, I should not have been surprised by the answer. Amazingly though, like for every other mother (and ultra finisher), she says it was totally worth it.
This issue of UltraRunning is also a new baby of sorts.
The Ultrarunner of the Year (UROY) issue of this magazine is always one of our biggest celebrations of the sport. Not only do we recognize the top performers, we also include a compendium of the prior year’s stats and a review of the year that was. With yet another year of growth that brought North American ultra finishes to over 100,000 for the first time in history, what a year it was…you can read all about it starting on page 18.
To keep up with all the growing aspects of the sport, we’re publishing the year’s most notable Fastest Known Times (FKTOY) in this issue as well starting on page 58. Also in terms of new, we recently added several great columnists to our team, and you will see their first articles for us in the following pages. We hope you enjoy the greater coverage of UROY, FKTOY, year-end stats, more photos, as well as the new columnists.
Fitting all of this into one issue has been a challenge, so we gave our regular columnists and race report contributors a break from this issue. Beginning with the March issue and the rest of this year, UR will include our new and existing columnists together to make the magazine’s scope and content even broader and richer. As always, your feedback and comments provide the data and impetus for improving, so please let us know what you think.
Although we are in the depth of winter, spring is around the corner and with it another great year of new ultrarunning stories and adventures. We’re excited for it and hope you are too!
May your every run be a great one,