Nope, the UTMB Ironman announcement was not one of AJW’s April Fool’s joke. I don’t have a lot to write about this because there’s not a ton of information out yet. (Though here’s a good piece from SCMP and here’s an excellent post by Adam Chase about the “starbucksization of the sport”.) My initial two cents: I really like watching UTMB and I’m fascinated by those who can excel at three disciplines in Ironman distance triathlons. But…I dislike the organizations (the Polettis and M-Dot, respectively) that run each of those events. Yes, there will definitely be some benefits (including the reminder of this video from long ago), but my initial take is that this will not be good for the overall sport of ultramarathon and trail running. (To be clear, I’ve never been to UTMB as an athlete and have never asked to attend as media. Be weary of opinions from people with professional ties to the race.) I’ll let elite runner and former pro triathlete John Kelly cite a few reasons he’s not thrilled with the partnership:
Monopolization of events through exclusive qualifiers to the “premier” race leading to sky-high entry fees & closure of independent races, complete disregard for host sites, athlete experience & safety, or anything in the way of $, different cultures / goals, and I’m out of space— John Kelly (@RndmForestRunnr) May 6, 2021
Courtney Dauwalter and Jim Walmsley make Sports Illustrated’s “Most Fit Athletes in Sport” list for 2021. In other news, Sports Illustrated is still around.
Semi-Rad: Are you capable of running 5.97 miles, or do you “parking lot laps” to make it an even 6.0? I’m part of the former group but take a fascination with those in the latter. What other personality traits are shared by people who do this? Is it a slight OCD issue? What’s the deal?
2:09 marathoner from Ireland makes the decision to quit drinking. Interesting article that looks into the mindset of an elite with a severe (but denied) alcohol problem.
Beer: Is there a real difference between stouts and porters?
More on the 100k that the Western States Endurance Run is planning for next fall: Sounds like a rough and tumble course deep in the American Canyon outside of Cool. Anxious and interested to see how it goes.
I know there are a lot of back country skiers and climbers who share the trails with us…please please be careful out there.
ultrarunning Magazine: She lost her dad to Covid and used the grief to fuel a new FKT on the Ouachita Trail that started in Oklahoma and ended in Arkansas.
Koop: Why spring training volume is important for ultramarathon runners.
Michael Versteeg and Maggie Guterl win Cocodona 250 in Arizona. Here is Chase’s wrap up from the event. And here are my takeaways: The coverage was outstanding. Hoping Jamil’s team sees enough of an ROI to use it at more events. Also…the rise of the multiday is here and it’s strong. Hoping it stays reasonable (whatever that means in this sport) and not longer just for the sake of being the longest.
Speaking of multidays, we need more names for ultramarathons. But no, I will never use “mega ultra” or “ultra mega.”