The Stoniness of the Long Distance Runner

Ultramarathon is a grueling endurance test, with runners crossing over ridge lines and bouncing down rocky trails in races that last anywhere from 30 to 200 miles. The (amazingly) fast-growing sport requires endurance, stamina, and perhaps, a certain level of insanity.

Ultramarathon is the realm of the uber-jock. But, as recent reports from The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian indicate, it is also, and increasingly, the realm of the reefer smoker. As counterintuitive as it may initially seem, some ultramarathoners claim that using marijuana helps their performance. Scientists aren’t so sure, but that isn’t stopping the racers from resorting to the weed.

Smoking anything would seem to be inimical to success in extreme long-distance running, but there’s no shortage of ultramarathoners ready to tout the benefits of pot for their sport.

“If you can find the right level, [marijuana]takes the stress out of running,” 22-year-old professional ultramarathoner Avery Collins told the Journal. “And it’s a post-race, post-run remedy.”

Collins said he use before and after—but not during—races. The five-time ultramarathon winner said he doesn’t smoke it, but uses edibles, inhales it from a vaporizer, and uses a cannabis balm on his aching leg muscles. He finds especially useful after a race, when his heart is pounding and his legs are throbbing.

“You’re running for 17 to 20 hours straight, and when you stop, sometimes your legs and your brain don’t just stop,” Collins said. “Sometimes [pot]is the only way I can fall asleep after racing.”

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.