Editorial Submissions

Unsolicited material is welcome, and will be used as space permits.

Articles and race reports may be submitted below. Photographs should be high resolution (300 dpi) digital images. Material submitted to UR will not be returned unless requested. Please see our editorial guidelines below for more information.

Deadlines for Race Report Submissions

Issue                               Deadline

March Jan 10th
April Feb 13th
May/June March 13th
July May 15th
August June 12th
September July 10th
October August 13th
November Sept 11th
December Oct 10th
Jan/Feb (2014) Nov 13th

If you have any questions about the deadlines or request extra time, please send an email to erikal@ultrarunning.com.

Editorial Guidelines

The cornerstone of UltraRunning for the past two decades has been contributions from readers and race directors. We welcome all submissions, and aim to include as many as we possibly can. Alas, we are limited by space, so in an effort to help those who might like to see their material included in UR, here are some guidelines for submissions:

Smaller is better, when it comes to standard race reports. As a race director myself, I know how special an event is to its director and how much detail one likes to impart about his or her race. But for most events, a race account of 500 words (half page) is usually sufficient. For championship races or those that saw a stirring performance, a blow-by-blow account may offer good reading.

But again, shorter is better. There is no need to reiterate the listings of the top finishers—the accompanying race results will offer that information to the reader. Also, a short thank you to key sponsors or volunteers is acceptable, but a lengthy list offers little interest to the general readership. All ultrarunners know how key sponsors and volunteers are to any ultra.

Different is also better. A standard race account is fine, but those stories that offer a new or different angle stand a much better chance of being included in the magazine. Use your imagination!

Personal race accounts are of course a staple of UR, but if you can offer readers a real insight about an event, such as detail about the unique geography of an area or race route, it will make for interesting reading. Humor is the most difficult kind of writing, but a truly funny article is as good as gold. The same applies for a truly compelling human interest story.

Use the spell checker! Yes, we have one here at UR too, but at least make the effort to provide an article that is spelled correctly. That includes the names of participants. You would be surprised at how often the names in stories are spelled differently from the names in the results. The same applies to grammar. Standard usage applies at UR, but we do have some unique conventions here at the magazine. Perhaps the most noticeable is the appellation “km” as applies to the kilometer distance. “50 km” is proper usage, in lieu of “50 K.” Keep the “km” lower case unless referencing the proper title of an event. Likewise use “50 mile” unless referencing the proper name. Do not often use “miler” as in “he finished the 50-miler.” Use “50 mile” instead.

Of course it goes without saying that the preferred method of submissions is by computer. Microsoft Word files are best for stories. We can and do accept hand written or typed articles, but please know that this being the 21st century, the higher up the technology ladder, the better.

MS word or pdf or text is fine for results, but Excel files are even better. Also, please try to include all the information we list in results: name, age, gender, state, and time. Every finisher and their correct time is important. Please refrain from using pseudonyms or nicknames.

A few more…

  • Spell out the names of states in full.
  • Spell out numbers less than 11, but use numerics for numbers more than 10.
  • Use a comma in four figure or greater numbers (i.e. 1,000).
  • Limit the use of exclamation points. Not everything is that important!
  • Limit the use of abbreviations. Many readers are not familiar with those particular to an event.
  • For dates, do not “January 1st” or “February 3rd.” Writing “the race was on January 1” is proper.
  • Use italics for book and magazine titles, musical composition, and movies.
  • Use capitalization frugally. Proper titles are capitalized, but generally speaking, contributors capitalize too often. Use italics in lieu of caps to for emphasis.
  • Quotation marks: period and commas go inside quotation marks.
  • Proper usage for time of day is “5:00 a.m.” or “7:00 p.m.”
  • Spell out feet, pounds, percentage, degrees, and the like; do not use abbreviations.
  • For years and degrees, do not use an apostrophe (1980s is correct, not 1980’s.)
  • Write in complete sentences, not short, unreadable fragments.

Be consistent in tense. If there is one type of submission that gives an editor prematurely gray hair, it is inconsistent use of tense, changing from the first person (“I started the race at a fast pace”), then switching to the second person (“then you climbed the first hill”) and then the third person (“then he reached the aid station.”)