Friday, October 10, 2008

Will I really be an ultramarathoner?

In my upcoming 48 Miles in 48 Hours event, I'll be running 3 8-mile segments two days in a row. That obviously totals 48 miles (3 segments x 8 miles x 2 days) which is more than a marathon. That distance qualifies it for an ultramarathon. However, as I look at definitions, I'm slightly less sure.

Wikipedia defines an ultramarathon as any sporting event involving running longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometers (26.21875 miles, 46,145 yards).

Other definitions around the web define it similarly.

While my event will be longer than the required distance, it will be accomplished over a period of two days and across multiple segments. Does that mean that I won't really be an ultramarathoner? Is each day or each segment considered an event?

I guess I can think about it like a 50-mile race. Those are typically accomplished over multiple days (noon to noon, for instance), and the participants are able to stop at aid stations and rest as necessary. No one would say they didn't meet the criteria to be called an ultramarathoner, right?

I know it sounds ridiculous to even have this debate because it's really more about the event than it is about the label, I guess. It's probably also the product of an overactive law school mind. But I really, really want to call myself an ultramarathoner after this event. But I'm not willing to do that unless it's accurate.

What do you think?


Marlene said...

I know I'll be congratulating you as an ultramarathoner!

wac said...

um, I think that makes you an ultramarathoner!!! :)

ShirleyPerly said...

Is one a marathoner if he/she runs 26 miles outside of an official marathon event? Some may say yes while others may say no. I think all that matters is what you feel in your heart.

Ben said...

A little bit of inspiration:

Anything more than a marathon is an ultrmarathon according to Wiki...