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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > October 2019 > Ultrarunning Slow motion

Ultrarunning Slow motion

Do you consider yourself a slow runner? The ultrarunning community is ready to welcome you to the family!

Words Stacey McGowan Holloway

Perceived speed, or the lack of it, is a huge barrier for some runners, to the point that it can stop them even starting.

With heart-breaking headlines of slow runners being mistreated at the Virgin London Marathon, to runners finishing within advertised cut-offs to find finish lines packed up and toilets locked, are race directors doing enough?

For women, this is compounded by the fact that on average we are slower than men. Women have written to the magazine to say they have entered races but then not turned up, as they didn’t feel they deserved to be there.

If you internet search the term ‘slow runner’ you will be met by coaching plans to make you faster or self-help articles telling you not to be so hard on yourself. However, there are a family of ultrarunners who will not tell you either. It is not us, the slow runners, who need to change.

Further, not faster

An ultramarathon is by definition any distance longer than 26.2miles. In general, the shortest ultramarathon is 31 miles (50km), but they can exceed 100 miles. The longest certified ultramarathon is the Self- Transcendence 3100 Mile Race in New York. This takes place over 52 days running around a 0.55-mile street block – that’s 5,649 laps! Despite the seemingly extraordinary distances, these races attract a full variety of seemingly ordinary runners, from the young and old, slow and fast, and of all body shapes.

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About Women’s Running

Women’s Running is leaping into autumn with a new passion with the November issue. We uncover the best way to keep your running mojo fresh: pick a goal – any goal – and work towards it. From running a race to building strength, we unpick the best way to keep your feet on the path. We also embrace ultrarunning that anyone can do: slow ultrarunning! Cutting your speed is a filthy concept in other publications, but for us it’s a secret weapon in running further and longer than ever before. We talk to warrior Lowri Morgan who has a few ultramarathons under her belt, including the 350-mile Arctic Ultra (we didn’t ask how slow she ran, but she was the last person standing). Plus, we review all the latest shoes, the best running bras, jackets and reflective clothing for these shorter days. We also take a fond look at the incredible Flo-Jo: the passion, the fashion and the talent of a legendary runner.