Ever wondered what an ultramarathon is? Ever questioned who does them, and why they do them? Then check out this blog post below.
What Is An Ultramarathon?
An ultramarathon (also known as an ultra, or ultra distance) is basically what it sounds like. It’s any running race over the regulation 26.2 miles of a regular marathon. Ultramarathons are split into two main subcategories. Distance and time.
Distance: The person who crosses the finish line of the route wins. The route distance can vary, but popular distances include 50km and100km or 50 miles and 100 miles. A fantastic example of a distance Ultra is Running Adventure’s Isle Of Wight Ultra. Check it out!
Time: A time-based ultra is a run race where you are crowned winner if you complete the most distance in a given timeframe. 24 hour runs are a popular version of a time ultra, with IAU 24 hour World Championship being the most well known. The location of a time-based ultra can vary too! Some are even on a 400m running track!
Where Are They?
Ultramarathons are popular all over the world, with events in every continent on Earth. Yes, that includes Antarctica 🥶. Logistics make this a tough one, and fees to enter races in Antarctica can be upwards of $15,000.
The events themselves being hosted all over the world means participants and fans can enjoy the sport wherever they’re based. In turn, the ultramarathon community is constantly growing and reaching new heights.
Why Do People Do Ultras?
The question of why people do ultramarathons is a difficult one to answer because everyone’s reasons can be different. The pure fitness aspect is definitely one reason. It’s the epitome of pushing the body to the max. Another reason is that the location of some ultras can be some of the most stunning locations in the world. Not only are they based in these places, but the race itself is a long one. So you have the time to see it all whilst you run the route.
Amazing Feats By Ultra Runners
As you now know, ultramarathons themselves are incredible acts of endurance, willpower and extreme fitness, but some runners take it one step further.
Just look at Jim Walmsley. 62.1 miles in 6 hours and 9 minutes… If that doesn’t boggle the mind then we don’t know what will.
Ketema Negasa completed 100 miles in 12 hours and 42 minutes… How???
The wonderful thing about ultramarathons is that regardless of how impressive some of these records are, it does not take away from the incredible achievement of just completing an ultra.
Ultras and EtchRock
Here at EtchRock, we have a keen interest in ultramarathon and some of our partners host their own amazing ultras. Go Beyond Sport, Running Adventures, Beyond Marathon and several more all offer ultras around the UK in 2022. The season starts with Go Beyond’s Country to Capital.
With ultras becoming ever more popular, most are upgrading their infrastructure so tracking and interactive aspects have been introduced. This brings athletes and spectators closer than they have ever been.
If you think an ultramarathon is your next challenge then check out our website to find a race near you.