Top Trends in Ultrarunning: Part 1


Behold!   A giant mirror!   As I balance it just so, we can all stand back and look at a reflection of our current selves.  Try not to laugh too hard…that’s us!   We, the ultrarunning community are a classy and eccentric bunch, you know.   But, will the things we are currently eating, doing, and wearing go the way of bell bottoms?   We might just have to look back at some of these things in 10 years and laugh at ourselves…

1. Blogging

What, you run ultras and you don’t have a blog?   Well, what kind of minimalist earth-loving born-to-run nature lover are you?   If you run ultras, you have to have a blog!   That’s where you share your ultrarunning adventures with other ultrarunners.  I’m pretty sure the totality of the blogging population is like 20% ultrarunners.   But, alas!   I have figured out why we maintain these blogs!   The reason is that “Runner A” finishes the 100 miles at 9pm on Saturday and “Runner B” finishes at 12pm on Sunday…. they can’t just swap war stories at the beer garden like some silly marathon!   They have to read each other’s stories on Wednesday morning while they’re at work!

2. Trekking Poles

Sherpa John uses the Trekking Pole Advantage

I think this  started when we began commingling with the fashion-esque European ultrarunners.   Pictures from UTMB put the idea in quite a few heads that using their arms might be a good idea in some of our more vertical races.   I’m torn on the trekking pole debacle…they look cool and seem to help in the steep climbs.   Unfortunately, I almost fell down in the aisle at REI when I saw what they charge for these poles!   So…this year at the Leadville 100, I grabbed a big wooden stick on the return back up Hope Pass.   I used it to push my way up the climb.   Another runner offered me $180 for it on the summit but I just shrugged and threw it on the ground. ‘Merica!

3. Hoka One One

Let’s see, I’m looking for a shoe that is just plain taller than the other shoes.  Do you have anything larger?  Well, sir….we do have something over here you might be interested in.  It is quite tall!

I paced my buddy Mark Kreuzer at the Wasatch 100 a couple weeks ago.   Everywhere I looked…..HOKAS.  Hoka this!  Hoka that!   Wait, let me directly quote the 10 people I have spoken with about their Hoka’s, “But Jerry, they are so soft!  It’s like running on a pillow!”

No, really?  There is like 3″ of foam beneath your foot! (You know why I don’t wear Hoka’s?  The truth is,  I’m patiently waiting for something a bit more expensive…preferably a much larger shoe.  Let me know if you find it.) Lots of people love these shoes, however, so…if you want to try them, you can buy them here.

4. Running Skirts

Let me be the first to say that this is the one trend that can stay around as long as it likes… Ladies, we don’t mind getting “chicked” as long as you are wearing a running skirt!

I wish not to ignore the few of you guys who have been wearing the skirts too!   We see you…and we will not judge. Rock the running skirt! You can buy them here or here!

5. Honey Stinger Waffles

Holy crap, have you tried these?  If ever I find myself on death row and asked what I want for my last meal…it will be… well, it will probably be a veggie burger and sweet potato fries.   BUT! If they ask me about dessert, I’ll immediately order a crushed Honey Stinger Waffle from the bottom of my pacer’s pack!  Eat them up somethin’ serious!  Available here…

I know, I know…I forgot to mention X, Y, and Z.  Well, rest assured, I’m posting Top Trends in Ultrarunning Part 2 very soon.  If you’ve made some observations about current trends in our sport, please post them below!

Run Long and Prosper!