By Jon Perz
I am about 4.5 weeks out from my first one Hundred mile foot race. I just started running just like every one else I would say. Running was a thing that someone could do anywhere all you needed was shoes and maybe a watch. It was something I did to aid my rock climbing. My story is much like most runners started with a 5k fun run to seeing what a 10k is like, then daring the half marathon distance Thanks to Mynette and Jimmy. Once I saw how the half marathon had it’s ups downs physically and emotionally to the finish line I was hooked. I have not looked back. The goal for the end of year was a full marathon. I happen to find a Trail marathon in Huntsville state park in Huntsville Texas in early Feb. I normally trained on the trails for that race with some running at terry Hershey, Memorial park and Allen parkway loops. I found my self getting really excited about it. I was still worried about the distance, no different than now.
The definition of an Ultra Marathon is anything past 26.2 miles. The most common distances are 50k ( 31 miles ) , 60k (37.5 miles ) 50 miles , 100k ( 62 miles) and 100 miles. Some ultras are time based by who can do the most mileage in an allotted amount of time. Why would you want to do that in the first place? That is a good question. I have asked this question of my self. It is to prove that someone can do something that seems so big. I will admit that you there is a bit of enjoyment in the suffering and process that comes with the reward of a race that people believe is too far. Ultras have the same anxiousness, excitement and relief when approaching the finish line. Its no different that someone’s first 5k, 10k, half or even full marathon. All the doubts and fears are there in your head. The start line will come soon.
If it was not for good friends, great trails and the Houston running community I would not be where I am today. Houston has a great run clubs either social or competitive. There are trail running groups like Houston area Trail Runners and Houston trail runners extreme. Along with other run clubs that cater to all runners, distances and goals. They are in no particular order Runners High running club, City Centre Run club, West End run club and Brian Oneil’s Run club, Katy fit, Kenyan way, Inflight running and cypress run club.
This is where I have found most of my ultra friends. Some joined my journey a little later and others have helped guide me.
Texas more importantly has more ultra runners than most Realize. I feel proud to say that Houston has plenty of trails, trail runners and races for all abilities / distances.