I don't know why I hate ultra runners so much. Normally I'm a "live and let live" kinda guy, but for the love of god I hate to read, hear, or see the ultra folks yapping about their 150 mile "race".
Maybe I'm just a traditionalist, but some where around the marathon distance it ceases to be a real footrace and devolves into a mear test of survival.
maybe it's because the people have lost the intent of running fast, maybe it's because it attracts weirdo's and hippy types, maybe it's because it's people taking the act of running to the extream rather than working on getting faster...
I'm doing the McNaughton Park 150 this weekend. I assume that you're hating on me. Weirdo? Yeah, that's fair. Hippy? No. Most ultra-runners are yuppies and professionals: scientists, lawyers, etc., looking for a new thrill after a lifetime of running (I've been running, off and on, for over 25 years, but I'm only 34.) It is a new challenge, seeing how far you can go.
As for not being a footrace, well, I can tell you after running down several people at the end of a 100-miler (running 8 minute miles towards the end) it definitely is. But you're right in that there is certainly a hiking element to some of these very long runs, or so I'm told. I'm going to do my best not to walk though.
I went through a phase in my teens where I would run a 5K every other weekend, and it just got old after a while.
I've never been what people on this board would consider to be fast, but I loved track in high school. I ran the 800 and 1600, and sometimes the 4 X 400 and the 4 X 800. I even long jumped once! Once.
Some of my best memories from running are from the track. Winning my district in the mile (in a pedestrian 4:40 something.) Fourth in a big regional qualifying meet. Running lead off in a 4 X 800 team at the state champs (and getting ever so close to going under 2:00.) That was a lot of fun, tremendous fun.
But there aren't too many of these races for adults where I live. I was never any good at XC/5Ks/10ks: 47th and 67th at regionals in Texas! 17:24 for 5K/10:42 for 3200 as a 16 year-old :( Tend to fade after two miles, I'm naturally better at the middle distances (53.2 400m speed back in the day.)
If it's any consolation, my next race will be a road mile in August, I just have a modest goal (I'm an old 34), to go under 5, which I haven't done since I was a teenager (not like I've tried.) There is a group of guys I train with around here who want to break 2:00 for 800m, and I think I'll train with them over the summer.
Also interested in running some trail 15/25ks at 6:xx/mile, and I'm trained for that pretty much. Not fast like some of the internationally-competitive guys on this board (or even fast local guys) but top 10th percentile (of the whole population), which is where I have always been -- that is the way running is...
I've got mad respect for fast long-distance guys, some of my occasional running companions run 14-16 minute 5Ks, and really, they only encourage me. I bet if you actually went for a run with me you wouldn't be hating so much. I'll try to keep up.