We spend most of our lives defining who we are. Whether we use job titles, hobbies or interests, not a week goes by without someone using something to define, reinforce and give ourselves confidence. But are titles what defines us a people and should we get so hung up about them? There are countless titles out there and running is no exception.
Fun, club, park, road, trail, track, sprint, short distance, middle distance, ultra, vertical, sky, fell, multi day, marathon, half marathon, 5k, 10k, 50k, 100km, 50mile, 100 mile, adventure….. the list of disciplines/tags/titles is pretty endless and diverse.
And yet, if you ask many runners they will immediately jump to the greatest distance they have run, or their biggest achievement.
On this basis I am an ultra runner, given I have run one ultra or a multi day, having run 5 trail marathons in 5 days last year.
But what am I?
First and foremost, a runner.
My passion may sway towards ultra and multi day mountain running, however the reality is for the vast majority of runs they will fall between 3-10 miles. Of these, most will be at relatively comfortable paces and on flat, tarmac roads around Milton Keynes. It is becoming apparent, the reality of titles is very different from the images they may project.
Furthermore, the majority of races I take part in will be under ultra distance, so in reality out of say 10 races and countless training runs, only 3 times will I breech the ultra criteria.
I run every distance from a mile to 50 (if 2 races are successful this year).
I am a runner and that is what I embrace and chose to be.
We can all distinguish ourselves by titles, but really they are a distraction from what we have all set out to do.