Happy Friday the 13th! Since I don’t have photos to go with this post, I’ll share something frightening to get your attention:
Now to the point:
A deadline and a request to you, the readers of this blog, sparked this post. The UK-based RunUltra site has a “best blogger” contest going on, and voting ends this Sunday, January 15. I’ve been nominated and am close to the lead. If you like the stories and advice found here at The Runner’s Trip, then I’d greatly appreciate if you’d click through and vote for me! Earning this recognition would provide a boost to this blog and my spirits. (Thanks but the deadline passed, so read on!)
The contest got me thinking about blogging and our sport’s media, which over the past five to ten years has grown considerably, reflecting the surge in popularity of MUT (mountain/ultra/trail) running. How can you follow the news in our niche without cutting into the time you should spend
working running? I don’t necessarily have the best answer, but I can share how I do it.
I subscribe by email to updates from these sites below and read them regularly; I also follow them on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. I listed them in order of the priority I usually give them.
This list is by no means all-inclusive, and not intended to be a blogroll of all the awesome blogs out there (e.g. by Cory and Stephanie to name just a couple). Instead, it’s a subjective top 10 to help you grasp and digest the sport’s news—everything from breaking news to practical advice, to commentary and wacky dispatches. Feel free to list your favorite must-follow sources in the comment thread below.
1. Ultra Runner Podcast’s Daily News: Thanks to my buddy Eric Schranz, subscribers get a digest of the sport’s news five days a week, distilled into pithy paragraphs that convey Eric’s voice and put a smile on my face. With this aggregate, I’m able to get a sampling of lots of blog posts and news articles without having to subscribe to all those individual sites. @UltraRunnerPod
2. iRunFar.com: I’ve been following iRF since its early days and am truly impressed with how Bryon Powell and Meghan Hicks have grown their two-person home-based business into an international operation, with a small army of contributors and volunteers around the country and overseas to cover the top ultra races here and abroad. In addition to their race coverage—featuring thorough previews, live-tweeting on race day and results coverage—they publish numerous worthwhile columnists and features. @iRunFar
3. Trail Runner magazine’s Inside Dirt weekly newsletter: Please, as I’ve mentioned before, subscribe to the real print magazine! (I’m a contributing editor and columnist, so I hope people read the full, satisfying print product.) The e-newsletter, Inside Dirt, is the next best thing because it provides links to the magazine’s fresh online content, much of it produced by a coach and runner I admire, David Roche. @
4. UltraRunning Magazine: The original, longest-running and probably most beloved chronicle of the sport, UR Magazine provides an e-blast to supplement its print magazine, with links to its digital content. I also appreciate how UltraRunning’s newsletter includes a section, “From Around the Web,” with links to other worthwhile content, along with recent race results. (I think you might have to be a magazine subscriber to get this e-newsletter. Subscribe to the full magazine; it’s worth it!) @
5. Competitor.com: This site is about road racing more than trail, but it publishes consistently useful and well-reported articles. Whenever I want to research a specific training topic or injury, I head here. @
6. OutsideOnline.com: I debated whether to include Outside, because 4 out of 5 times, their e-newsletters annoy me with their sensational headlines (two recent examples: “Forget Everything You Know About a Healthy Diet” or, “Is Your Local Chairlift a Deathtrap?”). I also grow weary of their over-the-top romanticizing of “the outdoor lifestyle” (which, one could argue, indirectly contributes to the outdoors’ steady decline). But, that said, Outside frequently produces excellent articles about endurance sports in general and running in particular, so I read it—and also secretly enjoy the outdoor-lifestyle articles about tiny houses, multitools and van conversions. @
7. Mountain Outpost (and Outhouse): This show, not even one year old, has a cult following, and I am among those hooked. Mountain Outpost is the YouTube show by Jamil Coury and Schulyer Hall that features wacky ultrarunning challenges, usually involving food. It all started with the Mystery Drop Bag Challenge and expanded to ones like these, US Sky Drinker and Quad Dipsea Holiday Challenge. Mountain Outhouse is the must-see satirical news spinoff that Jamil does weekly. A guy named Michael Carson, who works for Jamil’s company Aravaipa Running, is the genius behind the camera and makes the show what it is through clever editing. Subscribe to their YouTube channel, and look for my story about them to come out in the special “DIRT” issue of Trail Runner this spring. @
8. Mario Fraioli’s Morning Shakeout: Coach Mario Fraioli uses the tagline “running, media and more” for his weekly newsletter, and his thoughtful musings roughly divide into these thirds of running-related commentary, media analysis, and interesting stuff broadly defined. He tends to focus more on elite-level competition in track and road racing than general trail/ultra, but I find the content compelling and also like how he recommends worthwhile podcasts and articles. @
9. Trail Sisters: I always find something worth reading through this site, founded by Gina Lucrezi to promote and support women in the sport. The quality of contributors—both as writers and runners—makes this an outlet for staying in touch with inspiring and trail-blazing female trail runners such as Krissy Moehl, Sandi Nypaver and Sophie Speidel, to name just a few. @
10. A Trail Runner’s Blog by Scott Dunlap: I’d be remiss not to mention the original trail-running blogger, Scott Dunlap, who inspired and informed me when I transitioned from road to trail a decade ago. He’s been blogging for ten years strong! If you want to research any “old” news, then search his archives, a real treasure trove. In 2016, Scott took a bit of a hiatus, which he explains in this year-end post. Way to go and thanks for all you’ve done for the community, Scott! @
What? You say you want another gory trail-toe shot? OK, here you go!