Ultra running and ultra marathons

Ultra-running events are simply running events longer than the established distance for the marathon event (that is longer than 26.2 miles or 42.2km). The set distances of 50km, 50 miles (80.5km), 100km and 100 miles (161km) are fast becoming the standard event distances for this discipline of running as are 24 hour and 48 hour challenges.

However, ultra running events often take place over trails and mountains and over quite random distances or even staggeringly long treks such as the original Trans American runs which spanned 85 days of running and more than 3000km. Ultra runs can be one-day or multi-day although some would put stage races such as the “Marathon des Sables” in a category of their own.

Many experienced ultra runner consider that the 50km distance is not a “true ultra” but just a lengthened marathon and some would claim that up until 100km, most of the requirements are the same as those of running a marathon. Once you pass this mark, an ultra noticeably changes character and all an athletes natural attributes of speed and power are largely irrelevant in favour of pure endurance and mental determination.

The ChampionsEverywhere coaching team work with several ultra-runners and founder René Borg has meddled with the distance when completing the Lakeland 50 mile race and has been known to do training runs between 4 and 9 hours. Suffice it to say, we consider ultra running a core part of the family of running disciplines and believe it should be accosted the same respect as the shorter distances.

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