Monday, March 19, 2012
Marathon runners are arrogant, narcissistic, self centred babies
Hello Marathoners, hows it going? Right now many of you are preparing for Boston a race you have wasted countless hours on and or years in training to finally get that qualifying time for. Congratulations, it takes a certain type of sucker to swallow the Boston pitch hook line and sinker. I know you think you have achieved something, working so hard to get some made up arbitrary time that gives you a false sense of accomplishment. Its amazing that you can run a marathon in a time that is actually by any real standard incredible slow and still beam with pride just because some race director tells you that your awesome. Its really pathetic that you need such a thing in order to have those feelings of being better then others. But hey now you can strut like a peacock waving your Boston bib around and propping up your arrogantly swollen head. For those of you that failed to make your BQ or were so slow you didn't even try don't worry you still have many years of wasting your time jumping for the brass ring like a trained seal. Maybe someday you will make it too and be able to prance around in your Boston Jacket letting everyone know just how incredible you think you are.
So did that make you mad? No, then maybe you should go back and read it again, I will wait. How about now? Did this make your blood boil? Are you ready to track me down and lynch me, leave a nasty comment or stop following my blog. Good welcome to my world as an ultra runner.
To be clear everything you just read is a lie. I don't believe any of it but I wanted to see your reaction. I wanted you to understand that words are a powerful thing. Even though I am telling you its a lie some will still be pissed off at me but I wanted you to step into my world for a few minutes. You see according to some out there in the running community I am not a real runner. Apparently because I run trail and love ultra racing I somehow am of less value than a marathoner. I mean we all know that those guys are the real runners. Oh sorry only the marathoners that are fast. I am not talking to all you slow marathoners, in fact if some had their way you wouldn't be allowed to race at all. Oh sorry did I say race, my mistake in the view of some you are not racing. Hell you are way to slow to race.
Apparently I missed the board meeting of the Running A-Hole club which oversees the running world and decides who is a legitimate runner and who is not. I wish someone had told me earlier before I wasted my time running on average 6 days a week and more then 13,000 km in the past 3 years. If I had known I would not have punished myself with all those hill repeats, tempo intervals and track sessions. What a waste of time when I could have been warming my ass on the couch.
In the last few months I have dipped slightly back into the road world and although there is a great deal that is good about road running there is also a holier then thou ugly side that you rarely see in the trail running world. It seems that the endless pursuit of shaving seconds or minutes off of a race time causes some people to go a bit mental.
First there was a blog by Tim Tollefson crossfit vs ultrarunning. which is more nauseating, then a blog/article in Canadian Running Magazine called 5 prescriptions for saving the sport. Then most recently a blog by a runner in my club called Slow Down
For the life of me I cant understand why runners feel the need to attack other runners. Maybe they want attention or it makes them feel superior. It's even worse when the claims fall to stand up to any kind of real scrutiny. So lets try that.
This one didn't bother me much at all but it sure upset a lot of Ultra Runners. He tries to play the whole thing off as a joke and I took it as such. The only problem is that its not funny, not at all. Maybe if you found Full House or Saved by The Bell funny you laughed at this one too. I see this as funny the same way a jock bully at school finds it "funny" when he gives the smaller less athletic kid a wedgie. Its not funny its just pathetic but it sure makes him feel good.
Houston we have a problem. Oh and Tim you know all that crap you wrote running down the ultra elites? You are a great runner but I saw the results from the Marathon Olympic trials in Houston and you finished behind a number of crappy ultra guys. Some running times from some "crappy ultra runners" at the Houston trials:
Josh Cox (US 50k record holder) 2:13:50, Max King (2011 US Mountain Running World Champion) 2:14:36, Michael Wardian (2011 IAU 100k World Championships silver medalist) 2:21:50, Ryan Bak (Second place team at 2011 GORE-TEX TransRockies Run (with Max King)) 2:15:12, Chris Lundstrom (3rd 2009 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 mile championships) 2:22:03.
Kind of Ironic don't you think? Oh well you will get them next time.
I am not going to comment on the Canadian Running Blog right now as I have devoted an entire blog to it. I was going to be posting that one today until Dan Ways recent blog. I will put it up in the very near future but will add that I didn't realize that the sport was in trouble and needed a cure. I was out on a run yesterday and everything seemed fine.
So then we had Dan's blog. Now I don't care to much about the barefoot running part or most of the other content. The part I care about is what was said about Ultra Running and Ultra Runners. I have included this in Italics below.
The doc also highlighted another fad in running; that being the ultra-‘running’ craze. Calling this running being a stretch. There are a number of 'real' ultras like Comrades and Two Oceans, in which people actually race and run fast for long, consecutive periods of time. Some people have come to be very good at them and I have a great deal of respect for these athletes. Then there are 'other' Ultras which involve climbing up mountains, through forests, across deserts, the Arctic, or the Amazon. These events don't really emphasize running at all and are really just a combination of walking, hiking, jogging, mountaineering, and orienteering at a slightly faster pace than most normal people would do them and an excuse to eat and drink as much as one desires. They are unnecessary and unnatural acts of attrition that feature elevated egos, delusional self-discovery, masochism and melodramatics. And they too are growing in popularity.
So clearly a lot here to get even the most stoic Ultra runner fuming. Relax there ain't nothing in this opinion that a little bit of factual deconstruction cant expose. Maybe you think this opinion is brilliant or maybe you think its moronic but I leave that up to you.
Ultra Running is a Fad - Sure it is just like marathoning. The Western States 100 was first run in 1977. The NYC marathon was first run in 1970. Boston was first run in 1897 but was not open to be run by the general public. Boston allowed women to run in 1972. Are we to argue that womens marathoning is also a fad? I would not call anything with a 35 year history a fad but hey to each his own. Comrades was first run in 1921 but for some reason thats a "real ultra".
Two Oceans and Comrades are "real ultras". So I guess that's because they are run on road? Or is it the distance? If someone walks in Comrades are they disqualified? What about if they walk in Boston? What exactly defines these as real? As far as I can tell these are only real because road runners tend to run them. I guess for some that makes them more legitimate then Leadville or UTMB. IF you think that some don't run fast and long at Western States well that is just a product of ignorance. Also fast is relative someone running a marathon in 2:10 would not see a 3 hour marathoner as fast at all. Oh and just for the record one of the best Canadian road runners out there M. Leduc ran Comrades and was reduced to walking at 45km although he still finished in 8 hours. He walked some, my god what is wrong with that guy. I don't know how he looks at himself in the mirror in the morning.
Other "ultras" - These don't emphasis running. According to who? Just because you say it and you don't get it doesn't make it true. Almost everyone in these races runs as fast as they can in order to complete the distance. If you think they do it slightly faster pace then most normal people would then well I got no reply for that one (except that all runners are normal people). If you want to ignore what happens to ones body in these events thats fine but it leaves me with a simple question.
If I can run a 15 minute 5k then I can run a 1:03 HM right? I mean I just have to run the same pace. If I can run a 1:03 HM then obviously I can run a 2:06 marathon right? No? Why not? Why is it that the marathon crowd can understand that physiologically a runner is not able to run their 5k pace for 42.2k. Its widely excepted and we all understand that this is because physically the way our bodies work make this impossible. Yet the same people seem to not understand the same biological rules when it comes to ultras. They are run at a slower pace because they have to be. You could run them faster at the start, tearing up and down every hill but you will crash and burn. Just like you could race out of the gate at 5k pace in your next marathon, I say give it a try and see how that works out for you. Why is pacing in a marathon (read going slower then you can run) totally alright but having to do the same thing in an ultra something different?
They are unnecessary and unnatural acts of attrition that feature elevated egos, delusional self-discovery, masochism and melodramatics
Kettle meet pot, pot meet kettle.
And they too are growing in popularity. - Yes they are and its making it really hard to get into Western States. The reason they are growing is many Marathoners eventually come to a place in their running lives where the importance and or obsession of clocking a slightly faster time holds no value for them. They are actually more interested in running to run instead of clock watching and there is no where more natural to do that then on a trail.
So if you are one of those out there that seem to think that you are somehow superior to those that choose to run other races, other distances, different terrain or happen to be slower due to age, injury or genetics I would suggest that you reread the title of this blog. Its actually meant for you.