Destinations, Training & Racing

A New Year & New Blog: Welcome to The Runner’s Trip

17 Comments Posted by: Sarah Lavender Smith, December 25, 2010


I like to think of running in terms of a trip, in all senses of the word: a journey, a mind-bending head trip, and an occasional stumble that represents unexpected challenges and comebacks. Infected by wanderlust, I love to take all kinds of trips. I came up with “the runner’s trip” to capture those concepts and desires. If “the runner’s high” is a peak, then “the runner’s trip” is a whole mountain range.

The Runner’s Trip is for runners who love to travel, who want to keep improving and evolving as runners, and who aim to find a new route (literally and figuratively speaking) wherever they may be. It’s also for would-be runners getting into the sport, and for travelers seeking to explore destinations on their own two legs in a more adventurous and memorable way. It’s for all of us who want to avoid feeling burned out and stuck.

Over the past couple of years, I had a running blog and a travel blog. I decided to combine these two topics through The Runner’s Trip because each enhances the other. I realized firsthand that running enriches travel, and travel recharges running.

Morgan and I joined a few thousand South Americans to run the Salomon K42 Adventure Marathon in the Argentina Lake District of Patagonia.

When my husband Morgan and I shaped a ten-month family travel itinerary around running events and trails in numerous countries, we discovered a way to connect with the environment, meet locals, and cultivate meaningful experiences on a deeper level than we experienced during typical vacation travel. Travel also helped me fall back in love with running—not that I ever really fell out of love with it, but as with any long-term commitment, the passion dwindles, replaced by habit and duty. Running in new places with camera in hand rekindled my joy of running—an appreciation for each mile, not just the feel-good end result.

When we moved back home in mid-2010 after our long trip, the cornball phrase “keep the journey alive” kept going through my head. Rather than push it away, I thought, “OK, but how?” This blog represents one way I’m trying to nurture my traveling lifestyle while we go about our regular, at-home lives. By that, I mean I’m trying to maintain a sense of adventure and willingness to try new things. A less stressed, more mindful way of going about the day. A commitment to plan and execute out-of-the-ordinary outings—be they day trips or long-term sojourns—that keep me feeling younger than my 41 years. A belief that it’s possible to go places and do things that seem nearly impossible and highly impractical. And an awareness that our time on Earth is quite limited, so make most of the here and now.

Running and travel can bring out the best in people and be forces for good in the world. Sure, that’s a lofty thing to say, but there’s no denying the degree to which running improves health and wellness, and that travel enhances our sense of connection to the rest of the world. Rick Steves put it well when he wrote, “In this Global Age, the world’s problems are our problems. It’ll be all hands on deck. … Lessons learned from our travels can better equip us to address and help resolve the challenges facing our world.”

A bazillion blogs are vying for your attention. A library full of great books are waiting to be read. Meanwhile, you need to squeeze in a run while making a living. I fully understand that your time is precious and truly appreciate that you’ve read this far.

May you run long, travel far, and discover more!

Running can be a family affair. Even our dog Teddy took part in this event.

Your Comments

17 Comments so far

  1. Alita says:

    Perfect introduction. Inviting and entertaining. I know who you are, how long you’ve been running etc, where you’re from, but does everyone? Maybe a little more on you?

  2. Christine Cossios says:

    The message is very inspiring Sarah. For me though, someone who struggles jogging for just 30 minutes, where you are seems unreachable. I hear myself say “that could never be me”. Maybe some stories about how you’ve overcome injuries or when you first started really increasing the miles. Great to hear from you.

    • Sarah says:

      Hey Christine — so good to hear from you! If only you “knew me when” — when I could barely run a mile, had a pack-a-day habit, and Morgan fondly called me “the burrito queen” for my daily consumption of 7-Eleven burritos. My abridged advice: start slowly, build up incrementally, and think of walking as a lower gear of running & take walk breaks when/if you need it. Next time you’re in the Bay Area, please visit–the kids and I would love to see you!

  3. David Lavender says:

    You ask ‘what will keep me reading?’–well, given how much I’ve enjoyed your vivid posts (and great pictures) on your previous two blogs, I have little doubt I’ll find this new, combined blog every bit as compelling!

  4. Cheryl says:

    What a great blog! I’ll look forward to future posts and would love more information about races in interesting or out-of -the-way places!

  5. Molly says:

    I’m not a runner, but I’m certainly a traveler! So exciting to have your new blog up – I will share with my runner friends :)

  6. Jeffery Rogers says:

    The site and posts look wonderful. I’ve got it tagged for regular reading, that is when I’m not out running.

    Happy New Year to you and your family.


  7. Lars Lavender says:

    Yea!!! The fleet footed Sarah flys once again.

  8. Jason Murphy says:

    Great sight! Will pass it along!

  9. Jeff Kozak says:

    Great work on the new blog Sarah! I’m not very regular with the blog reading but I’ll be sure to put this one in the occasional blog-reading binge rotation. Mammoth is about 15′ of snow whiter since that Lower Rock Creek trail run! It was great meeting you. See you on the trails in 2011. Happy New Year!

  10. ScottD says:

    Love the new blog! Very cool.

    Personally, I was hoping the URL broke down to “runner strip”…that would definitely be a new and welcome addition to the runner/blogger family!

    All the best for 2011! You have some great races picked out.


  11. Michael says:

    Congrats on the new blog! Makes all the sense in the world to combine running and travel. Best of luck! And thanks for the mention of Darn Good Digs – I’ll be sure to add your newest blog to our blogroll!

  12. Laura says:

    I’m excited to have discovered your blog! I love the idea of combining traveling and running and it’s not always easy to find good info. I’m looking forward to your posts!

  13. Hi,
    What a great idea for a site. Many runners love to travel and run in different areas, especially for races.

    I moved to Singapore last year from Canada. The Hash House Harriers have a very big organization here and in many other countries. It is great for people who are new to an area and want to meet new people to run with.

    Thanks for creating this blog and best of luck to you.

    thepeacefulrunner recently posted..Running and MeditationMy Profile


  1. Happy New Year and New Blog | Sarah Lavender Smith - December 29, 2010

    [...] It’s called The Runner’s Trip, and the tagline is Run Long, Travel Far, Discover More. The first post and about page describe its mission. In many ways it’s an outgrowth of this blog and our [...]

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The Runner's Trip is a source of information and inspiration about: running and travel, destinations for runners, marathoning, ultrarunning, trail running, race reports and extended travel. Please subscribe by using the buttons above!

My 2014 Race & Family Travel Calendar

Lake Chabot 30K, Feb. 22. Race report.
"Uncool 50K," March 8
Night Sweats Marathon, March 24. Related post
Diablo Trails Challenge 50K, April 19. Race report.
Miwok 100K, May 3. Related article
Pacing at Hardrock 100, July 9 - 11. Report
Family trip to Honduras and Costa Rica, late July. Costa Rica report
Crystal Springs 50K (pack training run), Aug. 9. Report
Grand to Grand Ultra self-supported stage race, Sept. 21 - 27 Race report.
Rio Del Lago 100M, Nov. 8 - 9
North Face Endurance Challenge 50M, San Francisco, Dec. 6

Proud to race on the team of Inside Trail Racing. Check out their calendar of great trail races.

Recommended Products

I use Honey Stinger waffles, chews & bars for long runs.

Wear Road ID for safety when you run,

This Fenix flashlight is perfect for nighttime running; see this post on the lighting system I recommend.

I recently discovered the Nathan Quick Shot Plus 10 oz. hand-held bottle with a pocket, and I really like it for shorter races when all you need to carry is a gel, your car key and a small amount of liquid.

My 2013 Race & Family Travel Calendar

mid-February: Telluride
Way Too Cool 50K Mar. 9. Race report.
Oakland Marathon, not racing but volunteering as leader for the 3:40 pace group, Mar. 24
Lake Sonoma 50M Apr. 13. Race report.
mid-April: exploring Vancouver for Spring Break
East Bay Triple Crown Series: Tilden Tough 10M May 19, Lake Chabot Half June 2, Woodminster 9M June 16. Short recap.
Marin Ultra Challenge 50M training run, June 22. Story & pics.
6-day Maine biking trip, trip report.
8-day Colorado River rafting trip! Trip report.
Aug. 11: Skyline 50K in the Oakland hills. Injured.
Pine to Palm 100M Sept. 14 Injured.
Berkeley Trail Adventure 50K Sept. 28. Finished 1st F!
Rio Del Lago 100 Mile Endurance Run Nov. 9 Injured.
Quad Dipsea, Nov. 30 Injured.

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