Written by Apostolos Baranowski - https://medium.com

Definition: There is a fair amount of disagreement within the running community as to what distance constitutes an ultra marathon. Some say it’s anything over the standard marathon distance. (42km) Others insist that the race has to be a 24 hour all night affair. In my humble opinion, an ultra distance is 100km or anything over that.

It doesn’t matter how well rehearsed you are. How meticulously you trained and how seasoned a runner you may be. Although these attributes are unarguably essential, the one thing you cannot escape, is the fact that things can (and often do) go wrong. During a competition you’re constantly fighting the pain, the fatigue, your mind begging for you to stop and end the madness! Even the most detailed and well though out plans can falter. The reason for this is simple: There are just too many variables in the equation, so many unpredictable events that can occur. -as in life.

Ultra running is a pilgrimage where the journey starts within, you travel though many stages to ultimately discover your real self. It’s here that one finds out what they are made of.

As I persevere along the route there are times that all I want to do is throw in the towel and quit. I’m at the half way mark, It’s three in the morning and day has long since given way to night. The other runners have thinned out along the course and I find myself alone on a stretch of road, with five more kilometres to the next check point. I’m Hurting, joints are swollen, the pain has been with me for what seems an eternity, and it’s my only companion. With so much more distance left to cover and I’m at breaking point. Physically I have nothing left to give. My once proud strides now resemble the careless steps of a drunkard, Staggering to find his way back home. Breathing erratic at best, a cumbersome chore. I double up, hands on hips and come to an abrupt stop. Trying to straighten myself and restore some decorum, I look up into the dark sky, the clouds swimming in a sea of sorrow. It seems inevitable that my adventure will end here. I feel clinically dead.

Resurrection. In the darkest of places in which I find myself, the universe presents me with a unique opportunity. It’s here that I am given the choice to turn my darkest hour into my finest. I must dig deep, deeper than I’ve ever dug before. Substituting negative thought with positive, visualising my father and the sacrifices he made. I know that there is still something left in the tank, and I start to move forward. The pervious steps are in the past and no longer belong to me. — gone and none of my business. The next steps are yet to come so I needn’t worry about them. From now on I will only be as good as the next step I take!

With the finish line now in sight, I quicken my pace to embrace it like a long lost friend. It does not feel like I’ve reached a destination but rather a continuation of a journey. Everything that has happened in those hours of running was for a reason. The walls I encountered where not put there to stop me from finishing, they were put there to see how badly I wanted to finish. In life It really doesn’t matter how many walls you’ll find in front of you, know that you have the courage to smash them down. You just have too dig in deep and believe that there is aways going to be something left in the tank that’s going to propel you forward. Always!

Ultra lessons for a successful life.

There is alway light at the end of the tunnel, you just have to have the courage and belief to find it

Never give up. Understand the situation and adapt

Sometimes understanding why something is the way it is, is better than trying to change it

walls are there not to keep you from achieving your goals. Walls are there to see how badly you want to achieve those goals.

It’s in your darkest hour that you’ll have the opportunity to shine the most.

Don’t worry about the past because it no longer belongs to you. Don’t worry about the future because it has yet to come. Concentrate on the present.

There is no such thing as failure. Accept it, investigate it (learn from it) and move on

The only limitations are the ones we set up in our own minds.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

My best selection of Ultra Running book…

 My best selection of Ultra Running books and Podcasts

Written by Kevin O'Rourke - http://ultrakev.blogspot.co.uk I read a lot of books. A huge amount of books. and when i'm not reading them i'm listening to them through audio books and...

Read more

How to run 100 miles in a day*

How to run 100 miles in a day*

Written by Dave Stuart - http://76thmile.blogspot.co.uk Or how to run a race and not get lapped by the sun  Things that are essential to do in the 6 months before you race -...

Read more

Overcoming Fear in Ultra Running

Overcoming Fear in Ultra Running

Written by Chase Parnell - https://chaseparnell.com “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” -Mark Twain Fear is in all of us. But it’s what we do with that fear that...

Read more

Running in Crete in the land of the Natu…

Running in Crete in the land of the Natural Born Heroes

Written by Kevin O'Rourke - http://ultrakev.blogspot.co.uk Chris MacDougall has got a lot to answer for. He first wrote the amazing book Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and...

Read more

The importance of fat metabolism in ultr…

Written by Mark Woolley - http://markstevenwoolley.blogspot.com.es Never has a topic, not just in ultramarathon running but in the nutritional world in general been subjected to a generalised pseudoscientific analysis as that...

Read more

The Importance of Down Time

The Importance of Down Time

Written by Chris Ellyatt for the URC I’m sure that we have all seen a thousand articles on how important rest is to any athlete’s schedule. Indeed, it has often been...

Read more

Tom Addison’s Top-10 Tips For Faster Dow…

Written by Tom Addison - http://team.inov-8.com There’s no greater buzz in running than nailing a downhill. It’s you versus the terrain. To win that battle feels amazing! Being able to descend with...

Read more

Skimo for Runners

Skimo for Runners

Written by Neil Bryant for the URC I’ll be honest, I had never heard of Skimo till three or four years ago when a certain Kilian Jornet exposed it to me...

Read more

A Guide to Buying a Running Waterproof

Written by Neil Bryant Questions frequently asked by runners are to do with purchasing a waterproof jacket. As seems to be the case with most equipment now, the choice is endless...

Read more

Expensive running shoes might not be wor…

Expensive running shoes might not be worth the money

Written by Jens Jakob Andersen - http://runrepeat.com/ Ultra-runners might be the group of runners that spend the most money on running shoes due to the many miles we log, but are...

Read more

Pole Etiquette

Pole Etiquette

Written by Clare Holdcroft - http://www.mountainsinmind.com Let me explain a little bit more about the meaning of my title above. By pole, I mean trekking pole, I’m not referring to a...

Read more

Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim Epic Adventure…

 Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim Epic Adventure!

Written by Brie Hemingway - http://briehemingway.com     It was less than three months ago but it seems like another lifetime. Did I really do THAT? It feels like a dream … a...

Read more

Could you run a 200+ miler?

Could you run a 200+ miler?

Written by Neil Bryant  I have run a few races that I class as really long. These being single stage races, over 200 miles such as the Tor des Geants or the Spine. The main difference...

Read more

The Trans-Europe Footrace.

Written by Neil Bryant Trans-Europe here I come, ready or not! In just over two weeks time I will be toeing the start line of the biggest most exciting adventure of my...

Read more

Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Written by Neil Turnbull - https://thefarsideofbeyond.wordpress.com So Chapter 2 was born after my failed attempt in Chapter 1. I won’t go into the details on this post as I have already...

Read more

Top tips to make you a better mountain r…

Top tips to make you a better mountain runner

Running in the mountains is hard. I’m certainly not going to say it’s harder than other running, but it needs to be treated differently. Many experienced runners get a sharp...

Read more

#YOLO7dayUltra

#YOLO7dayUltra

Written by Owain Thomas - http://www.ultrarunningmatelot.co.uk It's been 4 days since I finished this epic journey and as I still recover it's best to jot down some words whilst it is...

Read more

Cleveland Hills Challenge

Cleveland Hills Challenge

Written by James Campbell - https://jamescampbell78.wordpress.com The idea behind the Cleveland Hills Challenge formed in my mind in around October last year when I stumbled across the Wikipedia page for the...

Read more

Share This

Follow Us