As I went around and around the mile loop at my last ultra-marathon. I thought of all the reasons I love this type of race. I know when you tell someone that an ultra is anything more than 26.2 miles the person will look at you as if you have lost your mind, and I thought the same thing before I tried one. Here are a few reasons why they are my favorite races.

The type of people

I’m not sure if it’s because of the endorphins, or because doing something slightly crazy makes you happy, but most runners are extremely nice people. The veteran runners help the new runners, and I always come away having learned something new. The ultra-runners are friendly, and you tend to see a lot of the same people, so many friendships are made.

All our welcome

If you think you are not fit enough to go to an ultra race you are wrong because all sizes, shapes, ages, and fitness levels will be there, and no one will judge you. Showing up is what counts.

Inspiration

I enjoy speaking with other runners because I quickly realize that any small complaint I have is minuscule compared to what some people have suffered physically. No matter what they have as challenges, they still show up to races.

Motivation

You will see many people who have made fitness a top priority. I always leave these races thinking I have to train a little harder.

Beautiful scenery

Most of the races are in the woods or a park, so you have beautiful scenery to watch during the whole race. Make sure to watch the trail though so you don’t twist your ankle on the side of the trail like I did because I was fascinated by the obstacle course to the side of the trail.

Testing the limits

Ultras give you a chance to see how much your body can handle, and you can learn how to push those limits.

Choose your level

There are many different types of ultras. I run loop ultras which means you run in a circle, and you have a chance to stop and rest or stop completely whenever you are ready. There are also ultras where you run out and back, and then point-to-point ultras. You can also choose your distance and the difficulty level.

It’s a family affair

I love the fact that entire families come out to cheer on the runner. There are tents, food is assembled, and it becomes a big fitness party.

If you want to investigate this type of race, go to www.ultrasignup.com See you out there!

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