Why He Runs

Eric Clifton, elite ultrarunner, explains the joy he finds in long runs:

Two main things keep me competing in ultras. Number one is that I still love the sport. It remains a major focus of my life by fulfilling me in ways that nothing else does. Ultrarunning gives a structure to my days, months, and years. It gets me outside into the environment every single day where I can tune in to the seasons, the smells, the sky, land, air, cold, heat, traffic, people, plants, animals, and myself. It gives me short-, medium-, and long-range goals. It provides therapy for my mild depression. It allows me to meet great people from all walks of life with a shared interest in overcoming large obstacles for fun. The competitive aspect makes me work for continual growth and personal excellence. I do not enjoy running just to get to the finish, but pushing, the striving for the finish, is exhilarating. Ultrarunning connects me with the world.

(from an interview by Theresa Daus-Weber from the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of Marathon & Beyond magazine) - ^z - 2008-02-28

(correlates: Flow Like a River, Eric Clifton on the Fellowship of Ultrarunning, Misogi Harai, ...)