Running Wild

Once upon a time, running a trail race was an activity reserved for a small, extreme subset of the distance running community. Off-road running has boomed in the new millennium, however. According to the Outdoor Recreation Association, trail running participation in the U.S. more than doubled between 2007 and 2017, from 657,000 to 1.5 million….

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Car shopping and trail running are two experiences that, for me, exist on opposite ends of the pleasure spectrum. One is rife with anxiety and doubt and is synonymous with suburban commercial development, the other offers an escape from all that. So it was with great surprise that, minutes before pulling into a car dealership…

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In my experience, magical runs take one of two forms. In some, you enter something of a flow state: Everything feels easier and faster than usual; there’s a feeling of invincibility. In others, singular moments anchor a run in your memory. Unfortunately there’s no way to predict when we’ll be graced with either experience. The…

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Hopkinton, Mass., is best known as the site of the Boston Marathon starting line. Every April since 1924, entrants in the world’s oldest annual marathon have gathered on Main Street, prepared for a hilly 26.2 run into downtown Boston. But that’s not all this town has to offer: Just over a mile away, in Hopkinton…

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A few months ago I was scanning a local map and noticed a sliver of green tucked up against Interstate 95, west of Boston. It didn’t seem substantial enough for decent run, though, and it sat in the middle of an area I knew only for its office parks and shopping centers. Then, a couple…

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Nobody is as brutally honest about your fitness as a hill. No loved one, no teammate, no coach can give you the sort of devastating appraisal that even a modest incline provides. So maybe I should’ve reconsidered when I decided that what I needed, after a leisurely run-free two-week vacation, was a trail run at…

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In part one of my interview with Bryon Powell, the founder of the trail and ultra marathon running website iRunFar.com, we found out why the entrepreneur left a law firm to start a website, whether he sees a difference between “runners” and “trail runners,” and what he carries in his pack. Here in the final half of…

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A decade ago, Bryon Powell made the physical and figurative leap from a law firm in Washington, D.C., to blogging about trail and ultra running from the southwestern U.S. His site, iRunFar.com, has since grown into one of the major voices in a sport that has exploded in popularity over the same period. I knew Powell long before…

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“Plogging.” It isn’t an attractive word. Did someone feel the need to mash “plodding” with “jogging” because neither, alone, adequately described their pace? That was my first thought when a friend mentioned it in a recent conversation. I googled the word a few days later and was surprised to learn it’s a Scandinavian trend that…

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I don’t know about the “runner’s high.” It sounds too definitive, too… good. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve had amazing training runs, workouts, and races where everything felt easier and nothing hurt quite as much as usual. But these exist on a spectrum, not an on/off dichotomy of “high” and “not high.” With that said: The…

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