Tim Long, aka Footfeathers, puts his ultra marathon Leadville 100 trophy up for auction. Despite his negativity towards the materialism of awards, he tells buyers to wear it with pride!
Right now online you can purchase a trophy belt buckle awarded to under-24-hour finishers of the Leadville 100 ultra-marathon.
Among my family, most of whom are “do it for fun”-type amateur athletes, we have a rule: You can’t wear the T-shirt unless you’ve run the race. It’s not so much a matter of bragging rights but simple honesty.
So I was a bit dismayed to see this post floating around Facebook:
The text in the image, written by “Footfeathers,” is worthy of a Best Of Craigslist nomination for its humor: “Running 100 miles sucks, especially when you have to fight the crowds at the Leadville 100. Be the hottest dude at the next sausage fest party you show up at with this platter-sized big buckle.”
The seller notes the buckle was obtained at the 2011 race. “Save your $300 entry fee and the six months of selfish training,” he writes. “No limit set on this bad boy, so bid away!”
Reading the post, then seeing the sky-high price (last time I looked, bidding was up to $375) people would pay to ostensively lie about completing the world-famous Leadville 100, my mind was a bit blown.
I decided to contact “Footfeathers.” What he wrote back was surprising:
“Hi,” Footfeathers (aka badass ultra runner Tim Long), wrote. “All good questions. I’ve thrown away, given away, or simply not collected almost all of my buckles and any awards I’ve received. If I’m making any statement at all, it’s that we shouldn’t place such a value on awards or results. Running ultras is an intrinsic value that you can’t hold, look at, or show off. I’ve run a lot of ultras. Here’s my site. www.footfeathers.com. Thanks! Tim”
We shouldn’t place such a value on awards or results. Running ultras is an intrinsic value that you can’t hold, look at, or show off. Damn good points, and incredibly insightful coming from Long, whose career highlights read like many runners’ bucket lists.
His flippant attitude toward trophies and his humbleness clash with the spirit of whoever might buy this buckle.
To each their own I guess, but when it comes down to it, I love that the genuine article is the one that doesn’t draw attention to his or her accomplishments.
If anyone out there has the nuts to buy and wear the buckle, it’s for sale until January 8 at 7:28 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. And as they say in infomercials, “but wait, there’s more…”