You Might Be An Ultrarunner If …

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This was originally published in the December 1997 issue of UltraRunning Magazine

With apologies to Jeff Foxworthy, but, just as there are Americans, and Southerners, there are runners, and ultrarunners, and:

You might be an ultrarunner if . . . your children have never seen your feet with more than five toenails, total.

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . you think Vaseline is a condiment.

You might be an ultrarunner if . . . you have a room in your house dedicated to old running shoes.

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . your entire wardrobe consists of race t-shirts.

You might be an ultrarunner if . . . you go out to run on a Saturday morning, and don’t get back till Sunday.

You might be an ultrarunner if.. . you overeat during races.

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . you ride an elevator to a parking garage, and drive to a park. To run.

You might be an ultrarunner if . . . you run 100 laps around an airport parking lot to keep from taking a day off.

You might be an ultrarunner if. .. you consider duct tape a medical supply.

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . you can spend an entire day in the mountains and never see anything but your feet.

You might be an ultrarunner if . . . you round off your PR’s to the nearest hour.

You might be an ultrarunner if. .. you refer to marathon runners as “those young fast guys.”

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . you look at a mountain and find yourself trying to locate a good route to the top.

You might be an ultrarunner if… the letters WS can only mean one thing.

You might be an ultrarunner if… the only significant feature of clothing is water repellence.

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . you think 50 runners is a big race.

You might be an ultrarunner if. .. every time a well known runner dies, 100 people send you copies of the obituary.

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . your mother has despaired of you ever “outgrowing this running phase.”

You might be an ultrarunner if. .. your wife (or husband) has despaired of you ever “outgrowing this running phase.”

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . you actually know how far 100 kilometers is.

You might be an ultrarunner if . . . you think Laura Dern’s father was a good 100 miler.

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . you stay in shape to run, rather than running to stay in shape.

You might be an ultrarunner if… you know the location of both the Wasatch Front, and Ouachita Mountains.

You might be an ultrarunner if . . . you have vowed to never run the Barkley.

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . you actually believe that you could.

You might be an ultrarunner if. .. everyone you know has seen you go down stairs backwards.

You might be an ultrarunner if… you have removed your shoes after a race, and then been unable to put them back on.

You might be an ultrarunner if… you have taken a break during a race—for a nap.

You might be an ultrarunner if. .. every time you see a road sign giving distances, you tell your passengers how long it would take you to run there.

You might be an ultrarunner if . . . you have a vertical leap of less than 10 inches.

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . you consume 7,000 to 10,000 calories per day, yet can still pass thru a standard doorway.

You might be an ultrarunner if.. . you have never been offered a lucrative “shoe deal.”

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . you hear mention of the “Trail of Tears” and figure it must be a new 100 miler.

You might be an ultrarunner if.. . you have finished a race more than a day behind the winner.

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . you have dumped in the woods in more than five states.

You might be an ultrarunner if . . . you have sent me hate mail.

You might be an ultrarunner if . . . you wear a wrist heart monitor instead of a watch.

You might be an ultrarunner if . . . you think someone else should do trail maintenance.

You might be an ultrarunner if. . .you never find the time to get things done on time.

You might be an ultrarunner if. .. ten-minute miles at WS seems awfully easy in February.

You might be an ultrarunner if. . . you have more than ten additions to this list.

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About Author

Gary Cantrell writes the “View From the Open Road” column. Gary has written for UltraRunning more or less continuously since his column “From the South” first appeared in Volume 1, Number 1 back in May of 1981. He is perhaps most well-known as the founder of the Barkley, a trail race in eastern Tennessee. (Although some would comment that it isn’t really a race, and others would add that those aren’t really trails.) He is also the founder of the Strolling Jim 40 Mile and periodically organizes a 314-mile run across Tennessee, the Vol State Road Race. He is currently the race director of the Backyard Ultra. In the real world he works as an accountant.

2 Comments

  1. Randi Young on

    Awesome list, Laz!

    “You might be an ultrarunner if …. the word Barkley makes you break out in bramble scratches.

  2. Krista Laursen on

    “You might be an ultrarunner if … you utter the words “never again” after completing a race and then several days later begin thinking about the next ultra you might register for.