What is an ultramarathon and why would you run one?

Written by Anna Husted on  at

ESPN defines an ultramarathon as any running race longer than the traditional marathon (26.2 miles). Ultramarathoners experience black toenails, twitchy legs, runny noses, headaches, side-stitches, sleep deprivation, and Crepitus (cracking knees). Ultramarathoners also may suffer from missing loved ones and the desire to keep pushing oneself. So why do they do it?

Marshal Ulrich, an ultra-marathon runner known for having pulled out his toenails so he could perform at a higher level, has also asked himself that question. His answer is complex enough to fill an entire book (Running on Empty: An Ultramarathoner's Story of Love, Loss and a Record Setting Run Across America), but the short answer is: "survivor's guilt and a need to punish myself, to prove myself, to face down my own mortality, to defy death. But my running is also a reflection of my upbringing, a work ethic, a personal challenge." This is passion at its best. A passion many of us up here at Big Sky Resort find in snow. Just as we ask why runners pursue marathons or ultramarathons, so we should ask ourselves why we pursue the waist-deep cold fluffy snow. Passion.

So whether you're a huge fan of Forest Gump and want to see that kind of running in person, or just want to experience the views and terrain the runner's will experience, get out there and cheer on our fellow passion-pursuers on Saturday in The Rut-the first ultramarathon to be held at Big Sky Resort. Spectator tickets that take you to the top of the peak are $55+tax (more than $20 less than the Lone Peak Expedition-the only other way to get to the top in the summer). Pick them up at Basecamp or online.

Go Rut Runners!

-Anna

The Rut