The ultrarunning community was hit hard this week with the sad news that Ultrarunning Memes is calling it quits. Ultrarunning Memes began in May, 2018 as “a safe space for ultrarunners to laugh, cry, and heal.” Five months later, the account (@ultrarunningmemes) grew to 12,4000 followers. The talented yet secretive founder gives light to the bizarre nature of ultrarunning, and speaks to the hearts, minds, and toenails of the community. Despite the account reaching 43,400 followers and counting, the founder is saying goodbye.
It all started with pizza rolls, but over the last year the Instagram account has undoubtedly filled a void in a community of people who often question the meaning of life while running silly distances in the forest. Laughter is the best medicine, and the account has abided by its mission of providing humour in the name of chafing, blisters, nausea, injuries, lottery devastation, elevation gain, prolonged rests in the beloved Chaïr, and Anton Krupicka’s rumoured return to racing in 2020.
It is common for runners to take themselves seriously, especially when so much passion goes into the daily life of an ultrarunner. Ultrarunning Memes is a helpful reminder that what we love is tough, but often saturated with incredible experiences and memories. The disappointment shared within the ultrarunning community is real, so perhaps it’s best for the founder’s identity to remain a secret.
Both the community and the founder are devastated, and do not want the account to go flat like their Coke. When we asked the founder why they are leaving, they responded, “Real life just hasn’t left much time for this, and I haven’t been putting in the effort it deserves. I can’t stand to see it fizzle out.”
The truth is, the page receives close to 100 direct messages per day. It was “hard to keep up with. I didn’t mind it, but daily I’d get ones where people were asking me to explain my jokes or the various recurring themes (IPOS, Anton, Vert’s Not Real, Boïs, etc.) That got exhausting.”
As a true ultrarunner, the founder continues to explain that “life will always be too busy, especially when putting in 80 to 90 mile training weeks. But ultimately I felt like I accomplished something substantial with my body of work. It just felt like the right time to walk away.”
Although Ultrarunning Memes says they will “keep the page up for the mourning ultrarunner that needs solace,” the account will be deactivated this Friday. Ultrarunning Meme fans have begun the grieving process, including a petition to keep the account alive. Fans can also continue to purchase swag from the account to show their support. A formal goodbye may seem trivial, but then again, so does running 100 miles for fun.