The ‘Ultra Celebrity’

It’s almost the weekend and as we know there are some massive events taking place over the coming days where all of our running heroes will be out and about. It also means that it’s time for some light-hearted weekend fun courtesy of one of our US friends and contributors, Reese Ruland.

So who or what is the ‘ultra celebrity’? I’m sure we’ve all met this person on the trails. Is it a runner? A hipster? Or a running hipster? All we’d like to say is thank-you to the ever-lovely Reese for her efforts in putting together a little ‘spoof’ video and some commentary that portrays the deep insights into the wonderful world of the ultra running ‘celebrity’, and perhaps a little reminder that we’re not all that cool 🙂 We hope you enjoy – and let us know if you spot an ultra running celeb this weekend while your out on the trails – we could even start a league table!

And remember – it’s all just for fun 🙂

Reese Ruland – The ‘Ultra Celebrity’

I read all the blogs, followed all the social media updates, shared, liked and ‘favourited’ all the tweets by top runners. I devoured their waxing and poetic writings on nature, mountains and how running is the great metaphor for life. I knew their training regimes, their favorite foods, trails and shoes. I was so close, yet so far away from these elite ultra runners. I wanted to be one of them so badly. I wanted people to care what I ate before, during AND after my run. I wanted people to notice my shoes, wanted them to like my summit ‘selfies’, damnit, I wanted to be an ultra runner celebrity. And so I set out to become one.

Ultra Celebrity from Matt Trappe Photography on Vimeo.

First step was to quit my job. A steady income is a dead give away that you aren’t committed to the process. So that had to go. Second, I decided to live out of my Jeep. That proved to be more difficult than expected, so I found a beaten down shanty in a mountain town, invited ten of my closest running friends to live there with me and hunkered down for some serious training. The dilapidated house was essential, any luxury (read: more than one cooking pan, functional windows, fully operational toilets) is also a not in line with the ultra celeb lifestyle. That being said, I kept my Mac and iPhone so as to keep up with my social media presence.

After securing the ideal living situation, I realized I needed to do the whole running in the mountains thing. Going big each day and later blogging about how the mountains understood me, how my running was a direct reflection of who I am at the core. I made sure to put my iPhone on a self time and take several running photos while on the trail. People were going to eat this up.

Reese 'roughing it' from the back of her Grand Cherokee
Reese ‘roughing it’ from the back of her Grand Cherokee

After a few months of roughing it, I signed up for a few races. Nothing crazy, but I showed up looking rugged. I had my racing “kit” with the logos of my sponsors all over it. I looked the part. Each race, things went really well until about mile 11. After that, I usually tapered off and finished somewhere in the mid pack. Which you can imagine was very confusing to me, as I had been doing everything like the pros.

Midpack success didn’t exactly allow me to pay my bills. My social media presence was ok, but you can’t buy groceries with fame. The mountains were still glorious and free, affording me the option to run away from my problems. But you can’t run from loan collectors forever, especially when you are always ‘instagraming’ where you are.

Feature Image Credit to Uphill Running Store – who proactively contacted us and have no issues with reproducing their image.

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4 thoughts on “The ‘Ultra Celebrity’

    1. Hi Dylan – Thanks for the note. I did add a credit to article with regards to where the image came from – I also did search for a link, but didn’t make the connection between the Uphill Running Store and the video… my fault – it was late at night down here and the brain wasn’t working too well 🙂 No intention to simply ‘take’ the image, am fully aware of the need to credit and reference.

      I’ve removed the image as on second thoughts, I should have gained permission first – that’s best practice. I appreciate the pick-up from you.

  1. Feature image restored – Trey from Uphill Running has zero issues with us using the image, appreciates the credit and views it as a positive to promote his new store. He’s a good man.

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