Relevant Reading For The Ultra-Interested

Euro-Mario, circa 2015.

I coach many an ultrarunner and have dabbled in a few myself, so the sport is constantly on my mind. There’s been a fair amount of interesting ultrarunning coverage making its way through the media in recent weeks that’s worth sharing here. Here’s a sampling of a few of my favorite bits:

“Why do we do this?” Gudrun asked rhetorically. “We have such a nice home.” Her husband, Hansmartin, looked at her and said simply: “Because we have such a nice home.” 

+ Good read from The Guardian’s Adharaand Finn on why ultrarunning, while still a niche sport by any account, has gained popularity in recent decades and whether or not running for abnormally prolonged periods of time is actually good for you.

“This relationship with the land around us is vital. It helps us to reconnect, and even for a brief moment forget the darkness,” writes Christina Bauer. “The new bonds we form allow us to persevere standing side by side facing the demons with our faces raised to the sun. I have been drawing on this energy as we have faced a string of the bleakest months of our partnership, and found the light streaming out of the smallest moments, like the first running steps on a treadmill.”

Christina Bauer’s first-person account of watching her husband—champion ultrarunner Rob Krar—struggle with mental health and how she rides the rollercoaster of undulating emotion alongside him. Bauer’s writing is honest, vulnerable, and powerful.

“The question we started to wrestle with after a few days was: Why?” Alex Hutchinson writes for Outside. “Sure, we liked the trail’s remoteness, and the landscape was beautiful in those rare moments when the fog lifted enough for us to see it. But we couldn’t shake the feeling that we’d been drawn to this ordeal precisely because of how grueling we’d heard it would be.”

+ Suffering isn’t specific—or exclusive—to ultrarunning, but it’s most certainly one of its most attractive traits.

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