Why 100 miles?

This morning Competitor.com posted a video asking the simple question, why run 100 miles, to a handful of ultrarunners.

Watch it here

My name is not recognizable and I don’t have a stout ultra résumé as the ones in the video, but I thought I would take a stab at the question.

Once I found my form and got into shape, experiencing the euphoric sensations and peace of mind that came during longer runs that were long enough to allow for these feelings to arise, I felt the desire to want to run all day. If running were easy and the pains weren’t part of the process, I would run for hours each day. It sounds a little romanticized, but I found something that I wish I could do all day.

To piggyback on what some of the runners said in the video, and I can only speak from only doing one 100 miler, but it boils life down to the most simple form. I think of myself as a minimalist and this goes hand in hand with my lifestyle. Late in a 100 mile race, all you think about is forward motion. Getting to the next point, drinking water and eating enough to get to the next point. For me, the moments I let my mind wonder, I fell apart and lost touch with what I was doing.

And it’s also about pushing my body to it’s limits. And this is a relative statement. A 5K to someone who has never exercised, is 100 miles to them. It pushes them to their limits that they never thought was possible. 100 miles is so physically and mentally taxing, for me, that I didn’t know if I could go any further at certain points and at other times felt on top of the world. It is such a roller coaster of human emotions in 24 hours, give or take a few hours depending on who you are.

I think life is about finding your passion and going all out with it. Running is my passion and I believe it taps deep into my core being. It brings out the best in me and it takes me to my potential, physically and mentally. Running gives my life purpose and pushing myself to run 100 miles is how I find my true capabilities and my true self.

12 thoughts on “Why 100 miles?

  1. Jim Brennan

    Joey you have good perspective regarding a 5K testing the limits of someone who never ran or is a beginner. You are right, it is relative. I admire people with physical challenges. My sister has MS, walks with the aid of a cane, yet she never slows down, is more active than some of my healthy friends, and will try virtually anything. She even coached soccer. She is a trooper. There are people in this world who expend as much energy just making it through each day as I do running a marathon, or you do running 100 miles. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Joey.

  2. run4change

    I like your perspective a lot. Thanks for this post. Running, especially for me in the looooonger distances, is such a fantastic picture of life itself

  3. Ruaca

    describing yourself as being a minimalist is perfect. It’s true though using that description in many ways.. I am assuming one would have to delete a lot of nonsense in your day to allow for training. It would have to be your primary focus. And, other than that, food, sleep and clothing is all you need. The other stuff needed, determination, willpower, spirit, etc don’t take any space outside your body. I imagine its a very spiritual experience. I know only of doing 13.1 miles, and just doing 6-8 mile runs really elates me , so much so, that anybody that doesn’t run can’t understand why I don’t want to quit when I hit obstacles. Great post!

  4. avatarakali

    Cause they say it’s more tough then doing Ironman. Cause I know, I can do it, I just want to find out how it feels. Cause I don’t find it abnormal – I find it absolutely normal for a human being to be able to run 24 hours + . Cause it will be a manifestation of my life. Cause I was given this life to do something good with it, and running 100 miles seems perfectly good reason and application for my life to me. Cause I feel like i belong to this circle of crazies running Ultras 🙂


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