You haven’t heard from me in a while. I’m the guy behind Ultra168 (well initially there were four of us)… And, I’ve not written for sometime. There’s a multitude of reasons for that, so I thought, (after a few people had messaged me), that I should perhaps explain why and let you know what’s been going on.
A lot of people talk about time. “Oh I don’t have enough time to do this, or that.” Lack of time is to be quite frank, a bullshit excuse. What we really mean to say is that it’s not a priority right now. And for me, Ultra168 has not been a priority.
Last year, I left my wonderful managing director job at the business I’d been part of for nearly 13 years, to leap into the unknown and set up my own business. I also had grand visions of spending time on Ultra168 too. Truth is, that business got quite busy… very quickly. And thus, my focus had to be there, along with my family too. One of the big reasons for branching out into the world of being self-employed was to be in control of my own life and destiny. The ability to choose when I work, how I work and build that around my family time too. I’m sure many of you reading this have done similar things and can relate.
Spending time with my family is an utter priority – more so than anything else. I didn’t want to wake up at 50, still in the same job, working the 9-5 (or rather 8-7 as was the case mostly). Thus, setting up my own business and making sure the family was a priority, was my focus. So much so that I stopped running for a while too – plus I got injured, which didn’t help. It’s hard to write about running when you’re not running. Don’t get me wrong, I love to run, and over the last few months have been steadily getting back into it. Easing my way back into the training that’s required to undertake some of the big running projects I’ve got planned this year.
So, will Ultra168 continue? Of that I’m not sure. Again, to be brutally frank I’ve lost interest in most of the races now put on in Australia. I’ve seen the rise of commercialism through our sport and while I’m fully supportive of the growth of ultra running, I also come from the older school period of ultra running. My first ultra was the Glasshouse 100km in 2008. Eleven of us lined up and it remains etched into my mind as to what ultra running, is for me at least, all about. Side note – it’s great to see Alun Davies now in command of this race.
I appreciate the advances and gains our sport has made in those 12 years since I started doing this. I applaud those race directors who’ve put our country and trails on the world map. It’s also great that our sport is growing and opening up to a bigger and wider audience. I did consider whether Ultra168 should try to ride that wave of commercialisation and popularity and invest my time into building it as such. But truth be told, that simply isn’t me. Ultra running for me is about fun and expanding your horizons in a way that is not measured by financial gain. Money doesn’t come into it.
I choose to stick to what I believe in over financial gain. I choose independence over being brand-owned. I choose community-inspired runs with oddball characters, over a big crowd of anonymous people. That’s simply who I am, and I have to remain loyal to that.
You may see me writing the odd article here and there – the Six Foot Track line up looks pretty awesome. But it will be on my terms, rather than dictated by race calendars etc…
Ultra168 as a resource will stay on the web (as long as I keep paying my hosting fees), there’s too much content on here to simply throw away. Over 1,000 articles, thousands upon thousands of hours across eight or so years of blood, sweat and tears. Finally, I’d like to say a big thank-you to anyone who has invested their time and in some cases money to the site too. You’ve been awesome and at times the only thing that drove me to keep going. I’ll still be around. I’ll still be racing (occasionally). I love running too much not to. See you around.