Talking to Ultrarunners

It’s been less than a year since I even found out what an “ultrarunner” is. And now…I am one. I had some moments along the way where I took a mental note of “I need to look that up when I get home”

This is for you newbies, or those veterans nodding along like you’ve known the words all along, here’s a handy dictionary

Single Track: you’re spending the next 2-3 hours analyzing your running partner’s backside. Hopefully their pants fit. If their socks don’t match – fake an injury immediately. It will drive you bananas

Double Track: theoretically, there’s enough room to run beside your running partner(s). However, if you’re a group of 3 or more you’ll quickly notice a separation into two groups. Space between the front and back group grows quickly. Don’t feel bad if you’re in the back – the front crew will confront the bears before you do

Fire Road: Torturous, torturous, torturous stretches of gravel road which usually lead to a trailhead. A pickup truck will appear when you’re approximately 200m from the trailhead.  Had you been slower putting your shoes on, that truck could have given you a ride

Bear Spray: also referred to by longtime mountain runners as a security blanket for wimps. It’s frowned upon to run with this in your hand, ready to spray at any given moment. Learned that the hard way

Bear Bells: if you’re not already clinically insane from your search for that running high, the incessant clanging of these will be sure to tip you over the edge

Handhelds: fantastic little plastic cushions that prevent your hands from scraping when you faceplant

Aid Station: a magical tent of goodness that lures you in under promises of candy, orange slices, and friendly welcoming volunteers. It’s really a cruel joke though – you quickly will be kicked out of the bubble, back into a race of hell

Solo: I think I’m hardcore

Relay: I actually have a life outside running

Crew: the people you sucked in under false pretenses of a gorgeous day in nature with lots of free time to play crib and frolick in fields. In reality, they’re the people stuck in the middle of nowhere, freezing cold in the rain with a bag of your smelly race gear, waiting for your cranky self to arrive and be ungrateful

DNF: shit happens

Chick’d: girls are super speedy and sometimes they’re gonna pass the dudes. (question – when the opposite happens – can we start calling that Dick’d?)

Elevation Change: a fun colourful race profile that looks like a lie detector test print out. Fits perfectly as a Facebook cover photo

Compression tights: certain to spark a conversation starting with “do you think they really work?”

Speedwork: no stopping for snacks. the worst

Old Bull: Someone that has been doing the sport for a long time, never complains, and has zero pity for the many moments of weakness that come from a young bull

Dirt Bag: someone who does not buy new gear, ever, and wears mismatched socks which drive you nuts (see: Old Bull)

Sufferfest: Many hours of unbearable pain and very little enjoyment, usually resulting in a yearning to go back and do it again once it’s all over

Bodyglide: A lubricant that people openly apply to parts of their body you don’t want to see, but for some reason because it’s done at a trailhead, it’s acceptable (note to all: NEVER borrow another person’s BodyGlide. Never)

I’ve got a long way to go before this list is complete. Let me know what I’m missing!

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