Adam Gifford - Running with Your Better Half

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pros and Cons of Running with your Better Half

By Adam Gifford


I am lucky enough to have found a girl who will run ultras with me (of course since I run ultras some may say that I am simply lucky enough to have found a girl at all). We run about 10 ultras a year together. Now when I say “together” I don’t mean that we just run the same races, I mean that we run every step of each race TOGETHER. If this is something that you have been considering then here is a brief list of the pros and cons of racing with your other half.


  • Exhaustion induced hallucinations during a hundred miler can really create a bonding moment (“Honey, do you see that squid wearing a beret and eating candy corn? Of course I do, it’s right behind the giant bottle of mouthwash levitating over that lava pit.”)
  • You both stop getting invited to boring dinner parties because all of your stories are about dehydration, kidney failure, and Rhabdomyolysis.
  • Dealing with in-laws will be easy compared to that time that you both had to deal with acute mountain sickness and hypothermia at 3am in the middle of the Rocky Mountains.


  • You have to watch a person pop blisters, shoot snot rockets, throw up, and pee right on the trail all while thinking, “This is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.”
  • You can’t get out of household chores by using the excuse that you just ran a long race. (“Really? You’re too tired because you ran an ultra this weekend? You mean the same one that I ran? I should be the one who’s too tired considering that I practically CARRIED you between miles 75 and 90!!”)
  • There is a dichotomy in your relationship. One of you can leave the other towards the end to finish early and laugh with friends while the other stumbles across the finish line. However, if the other person would ever attempt this then they would find themselves on a post-race couch rather than a post race-bed.       

Tandem bicycles are known as “divorcycles” and tandem kayaks are known as “relationship accelerators”, but neither one of them come close to the experiences you will have while racing with your better half.

The happy couple at the beginning of the Bishop High Sierra 100k...notice there is no pic of the happy couple at the END of the race...(we managed to finish together and STILL not require any therapy)

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