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A quick question for you ultrarunners - what are your opinions of individuals who sign up for and compete in ultramarathons with the sole intention of walking the entire distance? I ask because I am still side-lined due to injury, and will probably not be released to run for some time still. I have been doing PT and a ton of walking, subsequently developing a fairly fast walking pace and actually building endurance. I am in tremendous training withdrawal, and it occurred to me that I could perhaps train for and attempt to complete and ultra via walking. I know cut-offs would be a challenge, but I have done some research and see that there are "ultrawalkers," some even finishing before runners. This could temporarily fulfill my desire to train, as I openly admit I am not one for exercising for the sheer health benefits.<br><br>
Please share you honest thoughts about this. My initial reservation is the perception of a walker taking away the race spot for a runner. I typically don't care how others perceive me, but for some reason this has me concerned. Thanks for any info you are willing to provide.
 

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I have a friend who was a runner and got injured and did a lot of walking during his rehab and fell in love with walking.<br><br>
He has never taken on ultras walking but his HM time is 2:39 and his marathon time 5:05. I know plenty of runners who run these times.<br><br>
Just sayin...
 

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<br><br>
If you had posted this LAST week you would have beaten the cut-off for entering the "Howl at the MOON - 8 hour" on Aug 8 in IL ... it has a walking only category <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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If the event usually fills, then the idea that you are keeping a <i><b>real</b></i> runner from participating sort of has some validity. If the event does not usually fill all its slots, who cares how you get to the finish (you do or you wouldn't be asking <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/roll_eyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll_eyes"> ).<br><br>
There are several people that are exclusive walkers at ultras -- they have not been stoned, burned at the stake, or put in stocks for the rotten tomato crowd, that I am aware of.<br><br>
I know a few nonrunners who trained for a trail 50k, completed it within cutoff (walking all the way) and became great sources of information from the how'd-ya-do-that folks.<br><br>
Actually the "more deserving runner" is a lot of hooey--generally speaking.<br><br>
Disclaimer: I have no credentials and am not a real runner.<br>
____________________________________________<br>
Run gently out there. -- John M.
 

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Granted I'm a total joey in the sport of ultrarunning, my personal thought is that everyone has their own benchmarks and definitions of success. Just like a standard road marathon, some people view finishing as a success, while others view success as actually physically running the entire race, often in a certain amount of time.<br><br>
Despite the perceptions of others, I feel people are "successful" if they set a goal, work toward it, and do their absolute best to see it through. It sounds like your goal is to get in some quality rehab and conditioning in an environment where you feel motivated to put in the time and push yourself a bit. No one sane or sober should criticize you for that, and if they do, they're probably not worth paying much mind to <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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You need to do what is best for you mentally and physically. I'm not one to sit here and say either way.<br><br>
I know plenty of races where runners sign up and DNS for one reason or another. So, go ahead, take a spot. <i><b>And have fun doing it</b></i><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">. -Craig<br><br>
--------------------------<br><i><b><a href="http://www.trailfixation.blogspot.com" target="_blank">My Blog</a></b></i>
 

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I have a tremendously positive opinion of all people who enter ultras, whether they run, walk, crawl, or slither their way. If they can complete the distance within the cutoff, then in my mind there is ZERO ethical problems about a walker being just as entitled to participate in an ultra as anyone else, even if that race fills up.<br><br>
That would be like saying a 5-hour marathoner has no right to run the NYC marathon because a 4-hour marathoner missed the lottery.<br><br>
Have fun!!<br><br>
-steve
 

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If you can walk the race and beat the cut offs, then what is stopping you? There is a guy at Umstead every year who is a power walker and he is FAST!! I think he finishes in the 26 hour range, but am not sure.
 

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I don't see that walking is any less a valid method of finishing an ultra than running is. It's one thing to enter a race with no intent to finish (ie, using a portion of it as a training run and then dropping, when another runner would have raced the entire distance) - but entering and race walking it is perfectly valid!<br><br>
Then again, I'm a solid back of the packer <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> So my viewpoint may be a bit skewed <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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You should look into whether your chosen race allows trekking poles. They are tremendously helpful when hiking and take some of the load off your legs.
 

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What ever gets you to the end. I wouldn't worry about taking a spot from a "real", runner. There are a lot of events out there that a 15-17 min mile average will bring you in under the time limit.
 

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I agree with the other commenters that walking is perfectly acceptable form of getting to the finish at an ultra. I am also a solid back of the packer but this does not diminish the fact that an ultra is tough no matter what speed you are traveling at.<br><br>
In fact having done marathons from 4:10 to 7 hours, I can say the closer to 7 hours I am (typically because I am struggling for some reason), the harder the event it.<br><br>
Thus my suggestion would be to go for it, enjoy the experience and have a great time!
 

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Sounds doable to me and there seems to be lot of information on ultra distance walking and training on the net.<br><br><a href="http://walking.about.com/cs/longdistance/a/centurion.htm" target="_blank">http://walking.about.com/cs/longdist.../centurion.htm</a><br><br><a href="http://walking.about.com/cs/longdistance/a/longultras.htm" target="_blank">http://walking.about.com/cs/longdist...longultras.htm</a><br><br><a href="http://walking.about.com/lr/long_distance_walking/245042/2/" target="_blank">http://walking.about.com/lr/long_dis...king/245042/2/</a>
 

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Enjoy your long hike <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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I think the one thing you want to keep in mind is that most, or all of the people working the aid stations and finish line at your event are *volunteers*. If you're planning on anything that might make them have to spend a significantly larger amount of their time than they reasonably bargained for out there, you might want to think twice. However, it doesn't really sound like this would be the case for you, since it sounds like you're walking with a *competing* mindset.
 

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Anyone who thing walkers are somehow less accomplished endurance athletes should have a look at <a href="http://www.andrewskurka.com/" target="_blank">Andrew Skurka</a>. He is a professional backpacker (yep, you heard right.....professional backpacker). He was 2nd last year at Leadville in a time of 18:17. He did run it but most of his training was backpacking, or more precisely, fastpacking. It's nothing for him to walk 25 or 30 miles a day for months at a time.<br><br>
A fifty mile race may have a cut off of 12 hours. That is only a little over 4 miles and hour. Pretty do-able for a fast walker.<br><br>
Running or walking.....it's all good.
 

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Which is why you want to make sure you can complete the race before the cutoffs. New York Road Runner Club races close aid stations much before the cutoff pace (tellin' ya - they have no love for the back of the pack.) But I otherwise can't think of a single instance of an aid station closing before the cutoffs. Maybe they'll run out of your favorite snacky-poo before you get there, but that's a.) understandable, and b.) not the volunteer's fault.
 

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2007 Vermont 50 closed the last aid station before the finish, way before cut-off time and ruined several peoples long days and spoiled the sport of ultra running for a few that were out there attempting their first ultra.
 
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