Everyone seems to be complaining about how ultras are at some kind of crossroads and things ain’t what they used to because some chick who got suspended for doping seven years ago (and has been off her suspension and eligible to compete for the past five years) is running one, plus there are too many runners who aren’t self extracting mountaineers finishing 100 milers, and whatever else. Here’s the thing: nothing is what it used to be. Not ultras, not gay rights, not what’s in the billboard top 40, nothing. Things change, and if you can’t deal with that, well, bummer for you.
It reminds me of the punk days, when everyone screamed “sell out!” at the band that got popular, not because the band actually changed but because their popularity meant their fans were no longer in some cool exclusive hipster/mountaineer/whatever little subculture by virtue of their fandom, like popularity somehow cheapened the thing, when really all it did was cheapen their own sense of hip exclusivity. So Joe Suburbia finishes a 100 miler even though he’s slow and has a belly. You can be stoked that someone else got to experience such an awesome thing, or you can be bummed because you think that his success somehow diminishes yours because, y’know, he’s chubby and can’t self extract. Completely your choice. As for the doper chick: one person does not an epidemic make. Lighten up folks. Enjoy the mountains and stop being bitter that others do too. Or don’t enjoy ’em, and be bitter. Either way, I’ll be out there, another suburban guy who probably can’t self extract, training for Western States.