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.