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An ultra-marathon is any race longer than the 26.2 miles of a regulation marathon, and their popularity has exploded in the last 10 years. Race lengths vary from 50K to 100 miles or more.
Before you consider training for and running an ultra, have at least two – preferably more – successful marathons under your belt.
Here are a few important considerations:
• Time. Training for an ultra requires even more time than for a marathon. Can you devote the time required?
• Team. Successful completion of most ultras is dependent on your having a support team. For most competitors, this means your spouse and/or one or two friends must be willing to give up significant amounts of time to devote to your race.
• Travel. Today, there's a marathon or two in nearly every city of any size. Ultras are fewer and farther between. Can you afford the time and money necessary to travel to a race site?
• Terrain. Many ultras are run primarily off-road, and a race is not the place for your first off-road experience. Is there adequate similar terrain in your training area?