What got you into this ??

I,m finding half marathons, and roads totally boring, and have started to really up the miles off road.Was  doing 30miles a week   and upping to 50 miles all off road now.Got a challenging off road marathon in May, then my next goal is an ultra,....how did you guys get into it.......how did you pick your first ultra..



  • I blame/thank books like Born to Run and Eat & Run for getting me into Ultra running. My  first ultra was the SDW50 last month and i have a 24 hour event in July. I just love running  and slow on trails image

  • I had to good luck to get chatting to a now good friend of mine one day at the gym where she worked, Jo Kilkenny is a world record holder for silly treadmill stuff, ex Caesars camp record holder and winner of various daft multi day events who got me interested in running long several years ago. 

     I was interested in a decent challenging sport after finishing my rugby career and the lure of spending time in the outdoors drew me in.

     My first race was the mightcontainnuts 30 in the black mountains and I've never looked back 

  • I went to the gym to lose weight, the calorie counters on the eqipment told me that the treadmill burned the most calories, the weather got nice so I stopped running on the treadmill and started to run on the roads around the gym, that got boring so I found a trail .........

  • Pretty accidental in my case.  I had done a couple of half marathons, and I wanted a summer event that was a bit longer.  The only events that seemed to take place in summer, were these things called ultra marathons.  Rather than wait until autumn for a 20 mile road race to come up, I decided to go with what was available, and the rest is history. 

  • roebyroeby ✭✭✭

    So flinging yourself into one and just doing it , sn,t entirely crazy ??image...........cos I really like a challenge and the www.racetothestones.com looks really goodimage.Shall I just dive in then ?????

  • robey

    I thought it was crazy when I did it, but it turns out that a lot of people on this site have done it.  When I worked in a running shop I persuaded a couple of my colleagues who had only done half marathons before to try a baby ultra, and I always got them round OK. 

  • i was a fat bloke 3 years ago who lost 6 stone and decided to do a bit of running which lead to doing long distance triathlon last year, i expected a better result than i got so as soon as i got home i entered a 70 mile ultra, had never ran more than a mara before,and it was 10 days after my ironman -  and came 6th. RESULT!  a few weeks later entered a 50 and came 6th again, did a 45 and a 35 in the following weeks and thats it. now im just about to do a double ironman in 4 weeks time and 2 weeks after that my first 100 - i hope image

  • My first Ultra was a 100miler which was local to me.

    I had entered a 50miler but was injured (well I think I talked myself out of it) then 2 months later the 100mile race came up seemed perfect so just went for it.

  • is it me misinterpreting or most people seem to imply that ultras are necessarily off-road?

  • FXF notnecessarily but most of us here are primarily off road runners, it just seems to be the forum demographic and you'll find that, in the uk at least, there are far more trail ultras than road ones

  • i really dont know if my joints could stand 100 miles on concrete ;( 


  • I randomly found one online, it was only a week away and entries closed that same day. I entered on a whim, turned up and pootled round 33 miles fairly slowly off the back of a 15 mile long run. Had done a few marathons before but was just coming back from a long 'training break'. Hooked on them now and have mostly ditched road running as high mileage on tarmac makes everything hurt...

  • FXF - I know of a 100mile Ultra on road, I did it and my feet were trashed. However I have run 145miles trail and only had one blister so for me its a no brainer.

  • I ran my first marathon expecting to experience this tremendous high and incredible relief that I'd witnessed, when I crossed the line. I was really quite pissed off when I felt fine and when I realised I was able to run more I decided to go further.

  • same here EKGO, ive never hit a wall or had a nirvana moment, maybe im not trying hard enough.


  • I blame the booze - I was looking at races online one pay day with a couple of pints in me and saw The Wall, which is in my neck of the woods, and thought "that sounds fun". That was last year, the run is in June. I persuaded a mate at work to enter too, and we got a bit of sponsorship together... hard to call the whole thing off as a moment of madness now.  image

  • Received my usual didn't qualify for the London Marathon magazine (2010) and just couldn't face another run around Stratford upon Avon, would of been my 5th in a row.

    Spent the Saturday morning reading the forum on RW when I came across the thread about ultras..............................long story short (just read Born to Run as well)

    Totally caught my imagination looked up ultra races and found the Cardiff Ultra 2011 and entered......................As they say the rest is history and next weekend I'm doing my third Cardiff in a row!!

  • I read about the Lakeland 50 and decided I wanted to do that - but I decided to work up to it, so last year a 50K, then my first marathon, then a 30 mile and a 50 mile. All being well, I'll be running the Lakeland 50 this summer (just need to get through NDW50 with my ankle not giving way first).

  • And trail is much more fun than road. image

  • There are road ultras? New one on me. I though they were all off-road.

    My first "ultra" was Lairig Ghru. Okay only 28 miles, but was (and is) stunning. Still one of my favourites.

  • Britain has an extensive heritage of road ultras, but they seem to have evaporated, and been replaced by trail ultras. 

    While my own passion is for trail events, I find it sad that this heritage has been completely lost. 

  • loulabellloulabell ✭✭✭
    EKGO wrote (see)

    I ran my first marathon expecting to experience this tremendous high and incredible relief that I'd witnessed, when I crossed the line. I was really quite pissed off when I felt fine and when I realised I was able to run more I decided to go further.


    Doner Kebab wrote (see)

    same here EKGO, ive never hit a wall or had a nirvana moment, maybe im not trying hard enough.

    im with you 2 above on this, i got into running by accident after doing a fun run ffsimage..really enjoyed it so kept up running 6miles every weekend ..then just kept running a bit further because i could -that was the simple answer!-soon it was 13miles every weekend and some in the week, then past HM distance and still feeling ok, heard about JW ultra and the thought of just keeping on  running appealed and did 1 mara before doing Northants 35 as my first ultra. loved it and wanted more.

    like EKGO i sort of felt a bit flat after doing mara so wanted further...image

  • loulabellloulabell ✭✭✭

    weirdly ive felt better after running ultras than after a mara..image but that could be down to the fsct off road is easier on your body etc

  • There aren't many road ultras these days probably because of the increased amount of traffic on the roads making closures/diversions a much more problematic business. The few road ones there are are often in danger of dying out due to small entries for whatever reasons. Maybe partly because some people do tend to think that all ultras are on trail and so don't go seeking out road ones.

    The Strathaven Striders club in South Lanarkshire put on the annual John Lucas memorial 50 mile race which (I think - may well be wrong!) is the ONLY Scottish road ultra. Usually held in August, and also in danger of being discontinued due to the low number of entrants. Last year there were only about 10 people running it... (Due to the high sensitivity to suspected spam and self promotion on this forum I'd like to point out that I've got nothing at all to do with this race and I'm not a member of the club.image)

    Also on road, if you've never heard of the crazy 24 hour loop races have a peek here: http://www.iau-ultramarathon.org/ for live updates on the IAU 24 hour World Championships taking place right now in the Netherlands. Britain's Lizzy Hawker currently holds the world record and is looking good so far...

  • image  running indoors for 24 hours - not one for the easily bored then

  • A test of a different sort of endurance...

  • When I got dumped by my gf I found myself with loads of time on my hands, decided to get back into a bit of fitness. Looked at marathons and thought the looked too easy so signed up to the London to Brighton, the rest is history. 

  • I can't imagine running a road ultra. The hard surface would kill my joints. Marathon distance is as far as I will go these days on road and I'm reducing those due to the above. Trails are far kinder to the knees!

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