It's hard to believe that there was a brief period of time (1) where I actually wore this bracelet above. I have a visceral feeling of shame and nausea even thinking about it now given all that has recently come to light- or, rather, what has been blazingly lit up all along but passed over with the averted gaze of collective denial.
The question of doping in ultrarunning / trailrunning seems to come up periodically and for reasons that elude me it seems to stimulate debate. It has always seemed to me like an inherently uninteresting question. The equation is simple:
human nature + professionalization of sport + $$ = unethical behavior
The particular domain hardly matters here. The conception of 'ultrarunners' as purely nature-loving, laid-back, fun-loving, vaguely-spiritualized-mountain-worshipping denizens of a higher ethical realm shouldn't hold enough water to even merit a concerted debunking. With the advent of increased reimbursement at premier races comes the inevitable dark side of sport.
Consider Christian Hesch. This guy was popped for EPO chasing $500-$1000 paychecks at midlevel road races across the US. He can run a sub-4 minute mile as well as a 1:07 half mary (which he did the day after the former). Ask yourself how many elite ultrarunners have this kind of aerobic capacity and then ask how long it is going to take for these dudes to switch gears, change their training focus, and start showing up at trail races that pay out $10,000.
(1) 1 week.
|Timp Fun Run + detour. With Evan "Fast Evan" Honeyfield and Matt "I heart gluten" Hart.|
|Summit of Timp.|
|Camping. 20 degrees F.|