There is a lot of talk in the Texas trail running circles about the upcoming Rocky Raccoon 100 mile run. Several ultra running “celebrities” have entered, making our little local 100 miler a big, sought after event. With the internet and blogging, lots of runners now become “famous” via their blogs (I am not one of them….as all five of you who read this know). Some of these famous runners aren’t even the ones who win everything. They just are at every race, and seemingly must have endless funds to travel and the ability to spend every weekend running races. Now, I mean no disrespect. I enjoy several blogs of such runners, but am also fascinated by this lifestyle of endless races.
Where I am I going with this? Well, there are so many parallels of ultra running and another world I used to be in, the late 80s/ early 90s punk rock scene. I chuckle because in both these worlds the famous people are famous in their super small communities while being involved in something fairly obscure. In the 90s, going to see a show in someone’s basement or a VFW hall I recall being with friends as we were on pins and needles to see a band that was famous to us. We would trade stories of who we met, who crashed at our homes when they came through town, who was wearing some hip new Vans sneakers that we all wanted a pair just like, and who we thought was just super nice, when in fact they probably had just acted like any normal person would, but because they were famous to us their actions were somehow elevated. Starting to see some similarities? We didn’t have blogs, we had ‘zines. There were people just famous for their ‘zines about the music scene. I met lots of really nice people. Some I am still friends with today.
I have witnessed cockiness and bravado in both worlds. I have also witnessed true humbleness….which I much prefer. When I was really into going to punk rock shows, I was so embarrassed about my running. I would never tell anyone I was getting up in a few hours to go run 6 miles. It would be seen as very uncool. There are plenty of things that are “uncool” in the ultra running world. I’ve probably done most of them by now. In fact, I really am not in the ultra running world, as I haven’t done one in 2 years. But, as I grew in both worlds, I ‘ve learned just to try and be myself and not worry about fitting in. I quit going to see shows years ago. Mostly when I started getting up at 430 to go to work. I still listen to all my old music as does Mike, so we have a lot of fun on road trips and sometimes surf the net to see who’s CDs or vinyl we can still buy. I guess the same is true in the ultrarunning world….I enjoy reading the blogs, and following the results, but I try not to get too starstruck. I’ve always been a fan of the runners who really seem just like regular folks with other things going on in their lives.
A couple of years ago these worlds collided as I was prepping for some big race and was telling Mike how I loved a certain Avail song for running, but it was long out of print. He somehow found it online and put it on my ipod. It was a great running moment!
Anyone else out there see a show in a VFW hall then go run 7 miles the next morning?