Why Ultrarunning is Basically Zombie Apocalypse Prep

Yes, this is the Bigfoot trail.

Prepping for the Bigfoot 200 last year got me thinking about this age-old question: How would the twitchy trail kids fare during a zombie apocalypse?

Hashing out this hypothetical situation took up miles and miles of chatter among our group and deep thoughts while I was running alone.

It was silly, it was fun, and it eventually snowballed into “5 Bug-Out Lessons from the Light and Fast Ultrarunner Crowd,” for OffGrid Magazine. Jared and I got to share the lessons we learned while prepping for and running the Bigfoot 200 in August.

I loved working on this story, before, during and after the race. I got to talk to several amazing subject-matter experts and learned a thing or two about navigating the backcountry and (hopefully) not dying in the woods.

But I never did answer the original question: Would ultrarunners use their grit and stubbornness to be the last ones standing?

We ultrarunners like to think that we’re pretty invincible, that we’d be great in some sort of post-apocalyptic world full of zombies and chaos.

I mean, come on, we can sometimes go 100 miles IN ONE DAY.

(Also, I speak for all of us, we had a meeting, I was elected ultrarunner spokesladyperson.)

So, if the city falls to martial law and the roads are jammed with thousands trying to flee? We’d just throw on some sneakers and go out for our daily 50-miler to the wilderness. Like no sweat.

We’d be safe and sound in some remote mountain location in no time. We wouldn’t need the grid, we’d power our Keurigs with smugness and righteous indignation.

But you know what? We’d be the first ones taken out in disaster dodgeball.

Why?

We need snacks. Lots of snacks. And naps. So many naps.

We are a population of lean, hungry, sleepy, twitchy people. And the boys always go out to fast.

We spend so much time running head down that we get lost. A lot.

In an event that the world ended, but provided us with a clearly marked trail and an aid station every 10 to 15 miles, then we’re golden.

But ask us to walk more than 5 blocks to get a sandwich? No way man, that’s too far.

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