On May 1st 2018, @ultrarunningmemes began as “a safe space for ultrarunners to laugh, cry, and heal.” In five months, the account has grown to over 12,400 followers. The person behind the memes is a secret, and uses humour to help ultrarunners cope with the trials of miles.
Ultrarunners around the world are clicking the Ultrarunning Memes follow button on Instagram. Kilian Jornet, Cat Bradley, Canadian Rob Krar, and Gary Robbins‘ toddler are all fans of the page.
The muse for the memes began 18 months ago with the creation of Last Horse Runners. Four runners started chatting on Instagram about a race and quickly became friends. “We felt there was a void in trail running that needed to be filled. There were many groups catering to the elite or other various niches, but we wanted to create a group that welcomed all talents” explains Last Horse Runner and secret creator of Ultrarunning Memes.
“I’ve intentionally kept my identity anonymous.” The secrecy behind the account appeals to a wide range of followers. The “memes are based on my own thoughts and experiences. I don’t want people to get caught up in attaching an identity with the humour. The comedy seems to be more universal and more powerful that way. I want my memes to speak to everyone – from the newbie just contemplating running their first ultra all the way to [the pros].”
What makes Ultrarunning Memes so successful? “Ultrarunners in particular tend to be overly critical on themselves with their training and race results” says the founder. One thing is for sure, the memes speak directly to the ultrarunning community, and its quirks. The memes also replace some of the stress and anxiety of hard training, races, or DNFs with humour.
The account appeals to the broader community in trail and ultrarunning. Runners of all levels have similar challenges. The Instagram account unites ultrarunners regardless of level or ability. “We all experience failures in ultrarunning, and I want to show people that that’s okay.”
The account has lived up to its mission of helping runners laugh, cry, and heal. The ultrarunning community has “really embraced it, and that’s made it a lot of fun.” The secret human behind the memes “hopes that in some small way, I am able to make people’s lives a little happier.”