(Although picture above was not from the race, it is what I looked like and felt like after the race.)
More often then not, I get comments like “you do what?”, when I tell people that I am an ultra runner. And then sometimes I get comments like “I had no idea people did stuff like that”, or “I did not realize there were people that did that type of thing”. When I realized that the topic for this month was going to be community I thought, what a great topic to start with, and really celebrate who we are and all that we do as MUT runners.
If you would like to read the deeper content on what I have learned from becoming a MUT runner you can find that post here on “once a MUT runner…”
So today I was out at the Grouse Grind Trail Race. And I had posted on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, etc, that I was doing this race today just to say what I was doing, and find out what others were doing too! I love hearing about everyone’s adventures, so if you have an adventure from this past weekend you would like to share, please do in the comments below.
What came out of this was nothing short of awesome! One of my other MUT running friends, and her boyfriend were going to be doing the run too! Anyway we ended up connecting before, and after the race (for pictures afterward obviously!!!)
Two other cool experiences occurred, both on the way to the race. One of my co-workers happened to be doing the race too, there were a bunch of us going, and she just happened to be on the same bus for the trip there.
The other cool experience was at one of the transfers, I met Paul (fellow racer), and Maya (employee of Grouse Mountain). Both with interesting stories, and Paul a buddy MUT runner, which I am very excited for him.
And now I come to answering the question, who are we, what does it mean to be a MUT runner, and why use such an inclusive term.
I can tell you that I was not always a MUT runner, but when I did find it, I knew I had found a good fit for myself.
What is a MUT runner:
- Term defined
- Your link to an awesome community
- Why do we do it?
- Where is the evolution of MUT runners going?
- Who can join?
- MUT runner
Ok so this is simple, this is a person who is a Mountain, Ultra, or Trail runner. And the great thing, in my opinion, is that it is assumed that hiking is a necessity as a MUT runner, as even for the elites there are some climbs that either cannot be “run”, or are just not worth it at that point in the race, in the interest of saving energy for later in the race.
I get into deeper on just how ambiguous this term really is on “once a MUT runner…”
- MUT runner community
Ok this in itself is like 50 million blog posts, as I cannot say enough good things about these amazing people, and how fortunate I feel for having been welcomed in. A few remarks, we support each other in doing what all of us have learned to be excellent at, which is finding resolutions to an issue. This sport is incredibly challenging for so many reasons beyond just the physical act of running, there is nature, animals, your mind getting in the way, or in some cases not enough, nutrition, gear and caring for the person next to you or a perfect stranger on the trails.
To get your start, go out and try a trail run instead of a road run, and you will be hooked, and then want to share with others. So there might be a local trail running community near where you live. If you are interested in meeting people around the World there are many great groups on Facebook (Trail And Ultra Running is likely the most popular), or Google+ (just do a search), and there is a Twitter chat Sundays at 6pm PST, with the hashtag #ultrachat
- Why do we love running/hiking up mountains, extremely long runs, and what is it about the trails?
So obviously not possible to speak for everyone, but in my opinion community is my biggest reason for do extremely long runs, up mountains, and running on trails. I have met so very many incredible people who inspire me everyday. So I love hearing, and sharing, swapping, adventure stories, and of course meeting new people with the same passion!
But the reason I love the actual physical act of the runs, has to do with the ability to experience nature, and all the beauty it has to offer. The other big one is setting a goal, failing and then working through what happened to try again until successful.
- MUTOCH is the future MUT runner
So I believe that eventually there will be no well defined acronym for it. As essentially there will be to many groups that were once distinct will meld together. I see this as a great blessing, as there is so much we can all learn from each other.
The two developments I have seen begin to happen a lot, based on what I have seen online and talked with people about in person is hikers becoming runners, and MUT runners becoming embracing hiking more and more. Granted I can only really speak from the MUT running side of things, but I think what is happening here, is the evolution of the ‘long run’, and realizing that actually running is not necessary to successfully get in a good workout for training towards so and ultra marathon. And at least for myself this comes from understanding, through racing, that if you are not a good hiker, you are scuppered on race day.
The other big uniting that I have seen is more of a sport created as a result of a desire for people to have a hybrid sport of cross-fit and trail running, which is obstacle course races. This includes your tough mudders, spartan races, and others in this space, which become huge here and internationally. And it is so cool, as I think it has helped so many MUT runners to see the benefits on heading back into the gym, and do crossfit, rather than, as I do, dread doing the gym workouts as they always seem so dang boring!
Anyway, this is my take on who we are as MUT runners, would be interested in your opinions, and like I said before any of your adventures you would like to share from this weekend.
I will be sharing what I have learned from being apart of the MUT running community on my other blog Aid Stations with Adam Inner Game, found on Blogger.
MUT running is not just a choice of hobby, it is a way of life!
Never stop reaching for your potential!