Ultramarathons, or ultras, are any running races beyond the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles (or 42.2k). The most common ultra distances are 50k, 100k, 50 miles, or 100 miles, but each event is unique in terms of distance and terrain. The International Association of Athletics Federation recognises world records at ultramarathon events that have a distance of 100km. There are even 24hr ultramarathons, where the distance is unlimited, or multiday ultras, where the distance can extend beyond 1000km. There are a couple of city-based ultramarathons, but most ultras make the most of the USA's stunning scenery and landscapes. A lot of these events go off-road and require trail-running over difficult terrain with steep climbs or along rugged coastlines. There are over 1,500 ultramarathon events in the USA. One of the most famous and most difficult events is the Badwater Ultramarathon, which is 135 miles long through the searing heat and arduous terrain of Death Valley.
- Sat, 26th Jun • SangerPrice TBC1 race: ultramarathon
- Wed, 9th Feb 2022 • WickenburgPrice TBC1 race: ultramarathon
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About ultramarathons in the USA
Ultramarathons, or ultra runs, are endurance running races or treks beyond the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles (42.2k). The most common distances for ultra running are 50k, 100k, 50 miles, or 100 miles (aka centurion races). Ultras take place on roads or trails across the US, and some last for 24 hours or multiple days. Some multi-day stage races are even self-sufficient, where runners must carry all of there equipment and provisions with them for the duration of the race.
What are the best USA ultra marathons?
There are over 1,500 ultra marathon events in the USA. The best ultra marathons make the most of the USA's spectacular scenery, including coasts, deserts, mountains, and national parks. The Golden Gate Trail Run is one of the best rated ultra marathon events on our list. The Badwater 135 is seen as one of the world's toughest and hardest ultra marathons, going through Death Valley.
How long should I train for an ultramarathon?
It is important to devote a significant amount of time and effort to training if you are wanting to complete an ultramarathon. Everybody has different levels of fitness and the race distances vary, so it is difficult to be precise with training plans. Most first-time ultrarunners will already have lots of running experience, so 6-10 weeks of specific training should get you ready for a 50k ultra. During your training, it is also important to get used to in-race nutrition and running on trails.