Yesterday, I read Coureurs Solitaires (Solitary Runners) by Franck Braine. It's a novel about ultra, so I felt like reading the 270 pages in one go to get properly into it ;)

This is the story of a truly crazy race in an apocalyptic, post nuclear war future. Most of the Earth surface has been swept off. The Race consists of running days in the desert, in bogs and in the mountains. Runners get their "road-book" at the control points every 500km or so. Therefore, the route and final destination are unknown at the beginning, and the runners need to adapt to the changing conditions during The Race.
Running is not all, competitors need a lot of surviving skills in agressive and isolated environments to finish the race alive. This is even more essential from the third day on, as runners got the right to kill their opponents (without firearms, though...). Team building is encouraged to face troubles, although extremely risky as your mates will soon or later necessarily turn into competitors.
Due to an efficient world-wide 3D broadcasting of The Race deployed by a totalitarian government, the winner is entitled to become a sort of God. The previous winner is competing again this year. He's making a team with a feline-like woman. I can't tell you much more without spoiling the story ...
Most of the characters seem quite real, with human motivations you can sometimes identify with, although maybe not to the same extend. Runners seem to be powered by some sort of primitive instincts such as hate, love, vengance or domination. The book is quite easy reading, but intense. The more the story goes on, the more you feel like putting energy and speed in the reading, as if you wanted to run faster.

Coureurs Solitaires

Unfortunately for you, my dear English reader, this book is only available in its original French version.

Ultra novel.