You might get attacked by a bear, or accosted by Whiskey Man, but I assure you, the Burning Man Ultra is 50km of pure joy (besides the pain of running 31 miles).
I once again made the long journey out to Burning Man this year, and one of the main reasons was to participate in this wacky race.
I’ve run countless of races around the world, but this is, hands down, the most fun running event on the planet.
The race starts in total darkness at 5 a.m., and for the first two miles you weave through a sea of dance parties, art cars and people waddling home after dancing all night.
The sun slowly peaks over the horizon as you make your way into deep playa and the thump of the music is replaced by the sounds of footsteps on the crusty desert floor. This is my favorite part of the race—it’s not often silence overcomes Black Rocky City, but way out there it is quiet and peaceful.
The race continues along the trash vents (the far border of the area) and heads along the Esplanade back into the madness of early morning parties. Runners repeat this four times, each lap bringing new surprises.
I was most inspired this year by the amount of runners who didn’t look like runners.
These people had simply heard of the race and wanted to challenge themselves. From what I saw, most of them finished and we had a huge cheering section for the final runners and a reward for DFL (Dead FU*King Last).
I’ve been a runner all my life. I love it not only for the physical and mental challenges I face in each race, but mainly because runners are the coolest people on the planet. They’re down to earth, a little dorky and always friendly.
I could write all day about the race, but it’s way more fun to see the craziness in my video.
Bonus: Last year’s race video.
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Editor: Emily Bartran
Photos: Author’s Own