What is an Ultra?
Take your next step
If you've run a 5k, 10k, half or full marathon, got the t-shirt and worn the medals then you may have run the longest race of your life right? Possibly not, while running any of those distances is something to be incredibly proud of, if you are up for the challenge, there is something more...
A marathon is 26 miles, 385 yards, it's hard, it's an amazing experience and if you're looking for more there is the world of Ultras, an Ultramarathon is any distance longer than a marathon and they come in a wide range of distances.
Common Ultra's are 30 to 100 miles in length (one thing that surprises most people used to rigid distances is that 100-mile races are never 100 miles, they are 100+, some even go up to 107 miles) and there are even longer races too, up to 250 miles and beyond!!!
Sometimes there are time limits too, most 100 milers have cutoffs at around 32 hours, some are generous with 38 hours and cut offs at each aid station.
Runners are a friendly bunch, they understand the effort it takes to train for a race, they understand that a mile is a mile, no matter how long it takes and that we can't all run six minute miles, runners and volunteers at ultras make you feel like family
If you're interested in competing on trails, your options in the SW Minnesota are surprisingly limited, which is where Pound the Mound comes in, with a 10-mile loop course you have the perfect opportunity to build up to your first ultra distance while running through the incredible tallgrass prairie in beautiful Blue Mounds State Park.
Need some inspiration? Check out these great documentaries on Youtube!
1. The Source: Courtney Dauwalter
Courtney Dauwalter is arguably the greatest female athlete of our time, this year she ran a historic three 100-mile races, Western States, Hardrock and culminating in the UTMB du Mont Blanc, a 100 miler around Mont-Blanc passing through Italy, Switzerland and France!
2. Into the Well
A fantastic, boots on the ground film following HollyAnn Swan as she pushes through adversity in an attempt to complete the 100-mile race in under 32 hours in the Rim to River 100 held in New River Gorge National Park, West Virginia.
3. Unbreakable: The Western States 100
Even though this film is now over ten years old, it tells the tale of a race that featured two of the most accomplished trail runners of the time, Anton Krupicka and Kilian Jornet, following the four leading men and delving into the roots of ultrarunning, this is a must watch!