By Mathias Eichler
The Trail Running Film Festival - Back on Tour for 2024.
The organizers of the popular Run Rabbit Run races weigh in on Instagram:
We believe there is ample room in our sport for both highly-commercial, profit generating events such as UTMB and the more “old school,” community-oriented events exemplified by much of the United States ultra-running community.
Many runners enjoy both. We believe our sport has room for all perspectives.
“WE BELIEVE OUT SPORT HAS ROOM FOR ALL PERSPECTIVES”. This is what has been driving me crazy these last few months. Why can’t we have both. Why does it have to be an either or. Why, when we don’t get our way are we ready to burn everything to the ground, build walls, and call others names? The “you’re either with us or you’re the devil” mantra is such utter bullshit and has been so destructive these last few months.
What our sport lacks are not alternative ways of participating but, especially in North America, a means for promoting our great sport.
While this is indeed regrettable, it also presents a terrific opportunity. North America represents a great untapped market.
Now we’re talking. Finally the grown ups speak up, and with them, the American entrepreneurial spirit. Our sport is indeed at the cusp of a terrific opportunity. Let’s embrace it and create trail and ultra running’s next chapter. And if it looks a bit more polished, a bit more global, and a bit more modern it won’t affect the 1,000s of other “grassroots” events that are still being put on all over the country.
There are hundreds of 100 milers in North America, offering the typical ultra-runner virtually unlimited options – but there are very few highly competitive events with large numbers of elite runners.
Exactly. If you love down-home, grassroots, low-cost, chill races with a hastily marked starting line in the dirt, embrace it. These events won’t go away.
Viewing those with a different perspective towards our sports as competitors is the incorrect approach. There is ample room for growth, and we hope the statements from Kilian Jornet and Zach Miller will promote further open discussions and cooperation.
Again, the us vs. them approach is toxic and reminds me of a certain political agenda that’s been permeating western societies. Calling for a boycott of others rarely puts you in a tenable place for very long.