Policy changes, cultural shifts, laws and regulations, financial costs…..These are things most runners cannot agree on….and things most politicians don’t understand.
As we move towards the future, we must ask ourselves:
How can we improve the sport of Mountain Ultra Trail Running?
10. Greater Aid Station Selection
Maybe some of us don’t like strawberry jam, maybe others like boysenberry and almond butter. It’s time to embrace diversity.
I personally like dolphins and hearts, without the crusts.
9. More Catchphrases
I think it is time to shelve the “Good Work!” and “Nice Job!” that people pant out as they pass each other on the trails. It’s time for some Adam West POW! ZAP! level of verbal enthusiasm from runners.
How amazing would it be to hear Rob Krar come around a bend, cawing his name like a bird of prey?
8. Better Prizes at Fat-Asses
Just because they’re free doesn’t mean they can’t have aid, buckles, sponsorships, chip timing, and beer.
7. Better Cell Phone Reception
They make repeaters that look like trees. Common, it isn’t that hard. They’re barely noticeable and how else am I going to Tweet mile by mile? HOW WILL ANYONE KNOW I’M RUNNING AN ULTRAMARATHON?!?!
….which leads to…
6. Better Live Tracking
How hard is it to get those chip trackers to every mile marker? They get ribbons out there, it surely cannot be that much more difficult to get a few deep cycle marine batteries, or a generator… a few RFID antennas… a laptop… and the cables on top of it!
5. Pacers for the Pacers
Watching Gary Robbins drop his pacers doing the Wonderland Trail was inspiring. It is also not the first time that runners have dropped their pacers. I think it’s time we institute a governing body for pacers, implement pacer qualifying standards, trials, and even pacers for pacers.
4. Better Aid Station Entertainment
Because one Alpen Horn is nice, but a whole Oompah band is what really brings the folks on home.
3. Later Race Start Times
This 5 am malarkey has to stop.
I’m thinking 9…10 o’clock. Sometime after the aspirin kicks in and I can get these empties to a recycling can.
2. More Porta-potties
Porta-potties and ribbons and aid at every mile. ’nuff said.
1. Shorter Distance Ultras
The Williams Rout 66 Marathon and World’s Shortest Ultramarathon has the right idea. The marathon has a free extra .3 mile section of course that runners may enjoy to earn their Ultramarathon status.
I think it is time for RD’s to start taking these > 26.2 but <27 mile events more seriously.
Maybe the Western States 26.7? The Leadville 26.9? Maybe even the Ultra Foot-Hill du Mont-Blanc…..because seriously, who has time to run all day?
What do you think?
Is MUT popular these days? Is the sport shrinking? Growing? I know Ultra running. I love Ultra running. It’s gonna be YYYYUGE.
– The Winged Ling