Frequently Asked Questions
Q.Do I have to email the administrators to be promoted to a higher level?
A. NO! Staring in April of 2018, we have a review board that reviews ALL upgrades! In order to be eligible for an upgrade, you MUST list your races on your personal race page. Please make sure you provide as much information as possible when adding a new race, as we do check each and every race finish that you list. Providing your bib number and placings help expedite the review process, so please help us help you! The database algorithm generates a review when you meet the qualifications for a new level, so there is no need to email us. Please expect 24-48 hours for the review to be completed (this will depend on how many we have in the que and also if it's a weekend or weekday).
Q. Do I need to maintain my current Maniac level status by achieving the criteria each and every year?
A. No. Once a Maniac, always a Maniac (provided that you renew your annual membership dues). You don’t have to even complete another marathon or ultra after you are admitted into the Insane Asylum, though we’d much rather prefer that you’re out there participating in the events.
Q. Do I need to achieve all three criteria mentioned in a level in order to progress to a higher level?
A. No, you only need to achieve one of the mentioned criteria in a level to progress.
Q. For my best streak, does it have to be attained in a calendar year?
A. No, Main Maniac relaxed the rules back in 2008…it can overlap in 2 years. So if your streak of 6 marathons in 6 months (Silver level) was run from October 2014 – March 2015, then it officially counts.
Q. Do triathlons and duathlons count?
A. Yes! Ironman triathlons and other multisport events with 26.2+ mile run segments count! However, the run must be continuous. For example, if the duathlon has two run segments that are each 13.1, this does not count. This is an agreed-upon exception to the “common start” idea at the top of this document.
Q. Do relays count?
A. Usually, no. A relay is a race that is split into shorter legs and run as a team. In general, relays do not count... even if all the legs you ran add up to more than 26.2 miles. However, if the relay has a solo category where you run all the legs yourself, you can count this IF the category meets all the standard guidelines (open to the public, 15 starters, 10 finishers, you are listed as a finisher, etc). If you unofficially run a relay on your own, congratulations on the stunt run and great ultra training. It doesn’t count. Remember: the solo category itself must meet 15/10 and all the other counting standards.
Q. Do stage races count?
A. Sometimes. A stage race is like a person running a relay solo, but with an enforced rest period (usually overnight) between each leg. If no individual leg/day is 26.2+ miles long, it doesn’t count. If one or more days is 26.2+ miles, then:
- The event counts as ONE AND ONLY ONE if you have to sign up for the entire stage race to participate. You must complete the entire event to count it.
- You can count each 26.2+ leg/day individually ONLY IF the race allows "a la carte" sign up (meaning, interested people could sign up for each day individually as a standalone event if they wanted).
For example: The Tahoe Triple is actually a stage race... but it counts as 3 because you can sign up for each day individually. 3 Days of Syllamo counts as 2 because you can sign up for each day individually, but only 2 of 3 days are 26.2+. Marathon Des Sables only counts as 1. And it is the hardest of the three examples, by far.
Q. Do prediction races count?
A. These are races that have a common finishing time instead of a common starting time. Participants predict how long it will take them to run the course and then start at the appropriate time with the goal of reaching the finish line as close to the common finishing time as possible. Provided your prediction race meets the other standards, yes, count it!
Q. I found a race that utilizes treadmills. Woohoo! Does it count?
A. If you can run 26.2 miles on a treadmill without going insane (as opposed to Insane), more power to you. However, treadmills are tricky devices that go out of calibration easily. A mile on a treadmill may not be the same thing as an actual measured mile. Plus this kind of pushes the concept of ‘race’ beyond what Main Maniac originally envisioned. No, these do not count.
Q. Help! My race was cancelled. If my friends and I run the course anyway on race day, does it count?
A. Race cancellations happen for various reasons, and Main Maniac feels your pain. If you run the course informally with friends (as an impromptu Fat Ass), congratulations on the training run, but it won’t count toward stats.
Q. When trying to meet the 15 starter/10 finisher minimums for an event, is it per race or can I add all the races together?
A. 15/10 is intended to apply PER INDIVIDUAL RACE. If the Water Quality Day Marathon has 10 finishers and the WQD 50k has 6 finishers, hooray for the marathon – it counts! But the 50k did not. This is a guideline. As ultras increase in distance, use your own best judgment. It is unlikely you will find 10+ finishers at some of the 200 milers that are starting to pop up. If/when more Maniacs choose to compete in 100k+ events, we will revisit this issue. But for the standard 50k and 50 miler, it needs to hit 15/10 on its own.
Q. I’m part of a marathon relay team in which each member is running ~6.7 miles each, but after I complete the first leg, I’d like to run with the other 3 members on their respective “legs” and run the entire marathon. Can I count that as a completed marathon?
A. While technically you may have run an entire marathon, you were not registered to run in the full marathon event, just the relay, so sorry, it would not count. But at least you provided good company for your teammates!
Q. I’m part of a team doing a relay event and just about all of the members had to drop out due to altitude, hills and other stuff, resulting in my having to run 5 miles for the first leg and 27 miles for the next leg…can I count this as a marathon or even as an ultra finish (32 miles total?)
A. First off, you need to pick more reliable teammates, and if I were you I would make them pay for your meals, drinks, massage, etc…for getting you into this fiasco. But worst of all…IT DOESN’T COUNT!!
Q. If I run a double marathon, say a 52.4 miler in one race, can I count that as 2 marathons? Can a 100 miler count as 3+ marathons? Can a “24 hour race” count as 4 “6 hour races”?
A. Sorry, no. It’s still considered ONE event counted towards your total number in the Insane Asylum. Remember, you’re out there running ultras because you truly want to run the distance, not to pad your stats! The shorthand way to remember this is “1=1”. You signed up for a single race, so you get one credit for completing that race. And before you ask – yes, Main Maniac totally gets that a 100 miler is a whole lot more challenging than a marathon. Still, 1=1. Pick races because YOU want to run them.
Q. I participated in a 12 hour race. I completed 26.2 miles under 8 hours. I can count this, right?
A. Sorry, no. You entered a 12 hour race; the minimum distance to count is 31 miles. This guideline goes by the advertised distance of the race itself, not the personal time you chose to stop.
Q. Why is there a dividing line at 8 hours for Fixed Duration Events? Why isn’t 26.2 miles enough to count for all these events?
A. Main Maniac feels that if you are signing up for a 24 hour event (or maybe a 72 hour event, wee!), you have ample time to go a few more miles beyond a marathon. You can walk it if you want; that’s great. However, because we are not a club based on speed, it made good sense to make the minimum be 26.2 for shorter fixed duration events. There had to be a dividing line somewhere. Why 8? Why not!
Q. Help! I ran the Pikes Peak Marathon in 9 hours. I know that for an 8 hour race, the minimum distance required to count is 31 miles! Pikes Peak was hard! Am I hosed?!?!
A. First off, breathe. Relax. Secondly, congratulations. It counts. You are confusing the additional rules for Fixed Duration Events with the rules for Fixed Distance races. Pikes Peak is a fixed distance race… the whole “31 miles is the minimum distance for races longer than 8 hours” doesn’t apply. At all. It is a marathon, not a “9 Hour Race”. Yay!
Q. I’m missing from the results of a race! What do I do?
A. If you believe you have completed an event legally but are NOT listed in the results (example: chip error), see if the race director or timing company will add you to the results based on photos and back-up tracking systems, like spotters at the finish line. As a final backup, if you have a medal and some additional info… like a finish line photo… that works fine. Unfortunately, a medal and a bib are no longer “enough” now that some races will send these out as part of virtual race packages.
Q. I’m upset because all these rules mean that the race I want to run apparently doesn’t count.
A. Apologies, truly. We are a club based on counting stuff… so we have to have a common frame of reference regarding how to count the stuff. Do not consider this to be a judgment of merit for other events! There are all kinds of cool events to run. Many count. Some don’t. They are still probably fun. Anyway, there are about 10,000 countable events and we want you to be a lifelong runner. Try different things.
Q. I got swept off the course by an official race vehicle, but then went back out and completed the event on my own. Can I count it?
A. Ooops. Sorry. If you got swept by an official vehicle, your day officially just ended. Main Maniac does allow you to count races you complete after the course closes (provided you are in the results), but the implication is that you did this with an ok from the race. Getting swept means you did not.
Q. I ran an event that is not in the Marathon Maniac calendar. May I count it? Does an event have to be in the Marathon Maniac calendar more than 30 days in advance to count?
A. The guideline states that a race has to be advertised via website more than a month in advance. This does NOT mean it has to be in our calendar more than 30 days in advance… or at all. The guideline means that the race has to have useful information out there somewhere. Our calendar points to event web pages. Provided a race has advertised itself in plenty of time, it is perfectly fine (and countable) that the race is not in our calendar. Similarly, races can be added to the calendar all the way until the day before the event. Although Main Maniac would like for many/most events to get listed in the Marathon Maniac calendar, the calendar does not control “what counts”.
Note from 2009: We are certain that there may be many more circumstances that need “interpretation” of the rules but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. If you have any questions, concerns or comments regarding these rules, please e-mail us First In the meantime…HAPPY RUNNING!!
Note from 2012: Yes, that note above certainly turned out to be true. Oh my. This, alas, is why the document you just studied perhaps reads like a state constitution. Please do NOT read this document with the intention of finding LOOPHOLES. Rules interpretations by Main Maniac and the Board of Directors are done by intention. Not all cases and interesting new race types have been considered… as always, they will be considered as needed. Rules loopholes that exist because the document writers used…er… goofy language are simply not the same thing as cool races with a structure that had never been pondered before. In the meantime…HAPPY RUNNING SOME MORE!!
Note from December 2014: Seven years have passed since the original stone tablets of “what counts” for Maniacs were passed down from Mount Tacoma. The original three word idea of “we count races” has now morphed into eight pages. And we have more than 10,000 members now! In no way are these guidelines supposed to limit your fun… races and runs that don’t count are encouraged. Whatever it takes to keep you running HAPPY!