Ultra running, which involves running distances of considerably longer than a marathon often in challenging but stunning landscapes, is one of the fastest growing sports.
The Guardian has been shining a light on what motivates people to compete in these gruelling races with people from all walks of life taking up the challenge.
Many of the races take place over 24 hours and push contestants to their limits. But the newspaper revealed that not all of these events are being organised in spectacular settings – in fact, there was one recently on a race track in Tooting where runners completed loops of a 400m athletics track.
Among the competitors was 76 year old Pat Seabrook, who admits she hallucinates sometimes during the 24 hours of running.
She covered 87 miles during the 24-hour race, while the winner completed a staggering 160 miles. When asked why she does it, she explains she took up running in her 40s after her children had grown up, adding: “I needed something to keep me busy.”
According to the newspaper, many of the ultra running contests scheduled around the world are now operating a lottery system to allocate places due to the sport’s growing popularity.
And it isn’t only in the UK where more people are getting into this extreme sport, with the South China Morning Post reporting that the country is tapping into the trend.
There are currently over 100 long-distance trail races in China, and over 10,000 Chinese-based trail runners who take part in events.
So, if you already participate in long-distance cycling races in your custom cycling kit but are looking for a new challenge, you might want to consider ultra running as a new way to get out, push your boundaries and see some of the world’s most spectacular scenery.
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