One of the guys at work always asks “what’s next?”, “London marathon, then I suppose that’s it?”, he’s under the impression that the pinnacle of running is the London marathon and that once I finally get to run that iconic marathon that will be it, that there’s no challenge left after that and I may as well give up running all together. I often have a little chuckle to myself about this as quite clearly he has never met any ultra runners.
I was once happy to complete a marathon, and don’t get me wrong that is still a challenge and I’m not taking anything away from that but you see I met some of those strange characters they call “ultra runners”, and that’s were the problem is. Ultra runners are dangerous for your health, never trust them. Once you’ve met a few they get into your head and slowly convince you that 26 miles is not that far, that it’s normal to put your body through hell just for, wait for it………”FUN”. They make you feel that no matter how many marathons you have completed it will never be enough, that there is no pinnacle challenge, there will always be a new challenge, no matter how many races you have completed there is always that next one, the one that’s a longer distance, a tougher challenge or just more of an adventure.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s next for my running, about what I want to achieve. Do I want to race more marathons? Do I want to race more ultras? Do I want to improve my times? The more I think about it the more those pesky ultra runners creep into my head, I enjoy running shorter distances but I have a new love for longer distances, for pushing my limits and seeing how far I can go. I will still race some shorter distances next year but my main focus will be ultra distances, my list of challenges I want to complete seems to grow every week, the list of cool ultras to race seems endless and so I can’t even contemplate giving up running anytime soon, and plus I haven’t run the London yet.
I’d love to hear your plans for your next challenge or what targets you have set yourself? Just watch out for those ultra runners, there’s no telling what you’ll end up entering.