Quotes About Ultramarathon Running

Trail runner
Jordan Siemens/Getty

An ultramarathon (often called "ultra") is any race over 26.2 miles, so it can cover a broad range of distances and conditions, from 50K races in cities to 150-mile runs in the woods or in the desert.

Ultrarunners have a lot of time think while they're out there training and racing. Here are some thoughts from runners who have gone the distance.

  • "If you start to feel good during an ultra, don't worry, you will get over it."
    -Gene Thibeault, ultrarunner
  • "You can be out there having your worst day, but at the same time the person next to you is having their best day. So there's really no room for crankiness in the sport. At least I try to minimalize it."
    -Suzie Lister, on the Western States 100
  • "We ultrarunners alternate between depression and stupidity."
    -Don Kardong
  • "There are a lot of times it's just not fun. It's a lot of discomfort, There must be something I'm searching for."
    -Scott Jurek
  • "How to run an ultramarathon? Puff out your chest, put one foot in front of the other, and don't stop until you cross the finish line."
    -Dean Karnazes, ultrarunner and author
  • "Training to run 100 miles is like training to get hit by a truck."
    -Luis Escobar, 7-time finisher of the Western States 100
  • "Surprisingly, the 'idea' of running a hundred miles didn't frighten me. Instead, it awakened in me a curiosity, a wonder in myself, my ability, my strength, both physical and mental, and a quiet want. I simply let it live inside me for a while, months, a year, two years, until I felt it coming out as stronger than just a murmur."
    -Kris Whorton, elite female master ultrarunner
  • "At 80 miles, it's not all that great, but you live through it and then fondly recall how good it was."
    -Tim Twietmeyer, 5-time winner of the Western States 100
  • "I run because long after my footprints fade away, maybe I have inspired a few to reject the easy path, hit the trails, put one foot in front of the other, and come to the same conclusion I did: I run because it always takes me where I want to go."
    -Dean Karnazes
  • "It hurts up to a point and then it doesn't get any worse."
    -Ann Trason
  • "Unless you're pushing yourself, you're not living life to the fullest. You can't be afraid to fail, but unless you fail, you haven't pushed hard enough."
    -Dean Karnazes
  • "The first 50 miles are run with the legs, the second fifty with the mind."
  • "Ultrarunners understand, perhaps better than anyone, that the doors to the spirit will swing open with physical effort. In running such long and taxing distances they answer a call from the deepest realms of their being--a call that asks who they are."
    -David Blaikie
  • "Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up."
    -Dean Karnazes

Also see:

Continue Reading