Ultra – A prefix occurring originally in loanwords from Latin,with
the basic meaning “on the far side of, beyond.”
In relation to the base to which it is prefixed,
ultra, has the senses “located beyond, on the far side of”
( ultramontane; ultraviolet), “carrying to the furthest degree possible”.
My name is Neil and I run ultra marathons…………. That introduction makes it sound like I am sat in a semi circle, in the centre of a village hall, at a rainy mid week session of the local “Addicted to whatever Anonymous” meeting. Well, if I am being brutally honest then running can be, and for many is, highly addictive. Left unchecked and to it’s own devices, running could become a beast that may just takeover your life. My particular preffered flavour of running comes in the shape of Ultra Marathons – anything over the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles.
The whole running world, in all of it’s various forms and distances is made up of a hugely diverse group of individuals, all of whom have widely different abilities. From the world of the elite marathon runners, to the well respected and highly motivated local club runner, to the “happy to just plod along” social runner, and to every type of runner in between. There are also a million and one different reasons why people run too. To keep fit, to raise money for charity, as an escape from lifes day to day stresses, etc, etc. And the world of “non conventional” Ultra Running is absolutely no different at all. Those that go beyond marathon distance are NOT a rare breed of super humans with freaky other worldly abilities. I am a normal bloke (define “normal” !). I have a job, a family, and all the associated commitments that they bring. I am a 50 + years old and therefore no spring chicken. Nowhere near to a super human running machine. Many of the ultra runners I have met are exactly that too – normal everyday folk……….. not super humans. The purpose of my blog then? To hopefully, maybe, perhaps even, inspire some other non super human to go past the norm and to The Far Side of Beyond.
Am I an addict? I don’t believe so, but I will let you come to your own conclusions on that front.