UltraRunning’s Statement on Racism


With the recent tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, it is clear that systemic racism continues to exist in our society. We condemn these acts of brutal violence, and believe that racism, bigotry and discrimination in our country is a major problem and needs to be eradicated.

Our sport seems far from police brutality and racial injustice, but the small number of Black participants is a reflection of systemic racism in our country. We are committed to working to encourage and help increase the participation of people of color in our sport as a way to contribute toward meaningful change.

What makes our sport so special is its ethos of inclusion, support for every participant and the bonds of a special community. We think ultrarunning makes the world a better place. At UltraRunning, we make an effort to be inclusive of all participants. But we know we have fallen short. The pages of our magazine and our website have not included enough people of color, and the sport is woefully non-diverse. Black people are 17% of the US population but represent well under 1% of ultrarunners.

Some actions UltraRunning is taking include: increasing the diversity of our content by requesting and soliciting more stories, articles and images of ultrarunners who are people of color; seeking and adding columnists, ambassadors and contributors who are people of color; and making a contribution to the NAACP on behalf of all ultrarunners.

Our sport has grown­ every year since 1981, and that is because it transforms people’s lives in meaningful ways. We hope that increasing the diversity of our sport will help create a more inclusive and just society. We have a lot of work to do.

-UltraRunning Magazine





  1. Can you explain what you mean by this sentence: Our sport seems far from police brutality and racial injustice, but the small number of Black participants is a reflection of systemic racism in our country.

    Does that apply to all sports? So if one race is represented in a sport more then the other its systematic racism? Does this include sports like Basketball?

    Can’t you just represent the sport as it is and not try to make a statement about “muh diversity?” Can’t escape this rhetoric anywhere now.

  2. Bob McCready on

    Thank you for your position and commitment to taking action Ultrarunning! Plenty of folks seem to be uncomfortable with this, but most of us in the trail running community have your backs. Its time to learn, listen and take action on dismantling systemic racism.

  3. tyring to understand on

    I believe there is systemic racism in certain parts of our society. I think racial bias is everywhere and in just about everyone.

    I have been trying hard to understand different viewpoints, which is especially hard given my whiteness.

    I don’t understand though how ultrarunning can be systemically racist just because of the low participation level of people of color. People don’t get into ultrarunning because there were a lot of white people. Do people of color choose not to participate because of this? Maybe they do.

    I like people of all color, and would love if ultrarunning were more diverse (all the more interesting for middle of the night conversations.) Marketing more to them is a good idea.

    I am get tired of being considered racist for just about anything I do, say, or get involved in. I admit to racial bias, but I think labeling the ultrarunning community as racist is going overboard.

    If I am somehow wrong in my view I am open to getting straightened out.

  4. Kunlong Cousin on

    Hello UM writer,
    My name is Kunlong and I was on the cover of UM for your November issue 2017 for finishing High lonesome 100. I would love to talk to you, could you email me if you are interested.

  5. Retired Marine on

    Dear UR Staff,

    I found UR a few years ago and it was a refreshing change to read just about running topics. Running is an outlet for many of us to escape the noise and conflict of our regular day. I don’t condone racism or unfairness of any kind, but I also don’t want to be preached to by UR. So, I don’t care about your social policies/beliefs because I don’t work for you. I am a paid subscriber so I think my input is valid since I have a right to expect a service without non-running commentary.

    Someone commented on FB that they were surprised by lack of comments on this posting. Really? Cancel culture prevents honest social media feedback and this overwhelming lack of response should tell you a lot. It takes a lot to change a person’s fair minded belief system and as much as so many in media want to do that very thing for inclusion or agenda–It just won’t happen. You WILL create silent dissent and overall lose customers to your great magazine. If you don’t believe me ask an impartial researcher to look at NFL viewership/consumership drop over last 5 years.

    As food for thought, in your Nov 2001 article “ULTRARUNNING: BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER SEPTEMBER 11” you kept the focus on running and the brave spirit of running in the face of threats. You never delved into the geopolitics of international terrorist even though 2,977 people were wiped out by terrorists–and rightfully so. Please keep politics and all social agenda of all kind out of your UR content.

    Thanks for providing what is certainly the best running magazine in the world.

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