Sixteen years ago, I started A Trail Runners Blog. What began as a “fitness diary using this new-fangled Internet thing” quickly blossomed into a decade-long multimedia experiment to capture the magical journey and tribe of this crazy sport of “trail running“. This blog evolved right along with me, as I ventured from newbie, to elite, to old guard.
In the early days (2004-5), the blog was called “RunTrails”, and largely chronicled my rookie mistakes as I slowly built up my trail running skills in the California area. I was just discovering the richness of the sport – all the epic courses, distances, lore, and the fascinating characters along the way. My favorite runners were the old guard, still out there kicking my ass and having a great time. It was all about fun, and the stories just wrote themselves.
In 2006-08, ultrarunning grabbed a hold of me and didn’t let go. I found a global community who, like myself, couldn’t get enough articles and news about ultras. I interviewed the stars of our sport, took lots of pictures, wrote fiction, and even gave out tips on how to write your own blog. As blogging itself grew, my traffic skyrocketed, and I watched many other great sites and blogs spring to life that would soon surpass all of our expectations.
In 2009-2011, I became a faster runner, much to my surprise. My goals became more competitive, my PR’s dropped, and the sponsors arrived. The writing focused more on the race up front, how to squeeze a few more minutes off your times, and the rising stars among our ranks.
By 2012-17, the journey evolved to testing my limits, and the races became more epic in scope. Ironmans, 100-milers, UTMB, Comrades, multiple Boston/Big Sur weekends…if an event threatened to break my will and help temper my soul, I was in. Even the stories I wrote became more raw and truthful, each one a fresh personal challenge to define the core of the experience. The more I did, the more I found my limits (and a few of yours), and learned to appreciate each moment to the fullest.
In 2018+, trail running became a spiritual journey. I’m now one of the old guard of the sport, always appreciative of any chance to run, no matter what the format or distance, alone or with soon-to-be best friends. There is rarely a watch on my wrist, but always a smile on my grey-bearded face, and usually with a story or two to tell. I can connect deeply with nature in just a few steps, and count on it for daily meditation. It is where I am supposed to be.
I love that my trail running journey, and that of A Trail Runners Blog, have come full circle. It feels like a natural ending to close the books on this here blog, 1,000+ stories later. My deepest thanks to all of you for reading and encouraging me to tell our stories, and sharing your comments. I will still be active in the sport, for sure, right up until I’m on the other side of the dirt. I look forward to sharing some miles and smiles with all of you!