Running is a curious activity in many respects: it’s one of the most natural things we do, but it’s not easy. For most of us, running regularly brings feelings of fulfilment, belonging, confidence and joy… but also occasionally pain, anxiety and frustration. Running often involves starting and finishing in the same place, with no “return on investment” other than what we get from the run itself.
And yet we are drawn to running. Time and time again we meet or hear from people for whom the phrase “Always a runner” could not be more apt.
So how do we square the idea that we are runners with the current situation in which we find ourselves – locked down, socially isolating and worrying about the future?
Well, we think that running does not just exist on the trail, the road or the track. It exists in our heads and our hearts as well. A runner with an injury is still a runner. They’re just not running right now. So in the same way, all of us who are not able to run as much – or in the same way – as we could only a week or so ago, are still runners.
Like the Wind has always found a place in the spaces between our runs. Many of our readers tell us that the stories in the pages of the magazine are a source of inspiration for their next run. Or a reward to be enjoyed with a post-run coffee.
So we wanted to try to do something – even something very small – to fill the gaps left by the impact of COVID-19 on running.
Our first idea is that we want to share the inspiration, humour and beauty of some of our favourite stories with as many runners as possible. We have always maintained that the stories should first and foremost exist on the printed page – and we are still huge believers in the importance of ink on paper. But extraordinary times call for different measures.
That is why we are publishing some of our favourite stories from the past 23 editions of Like the Wind on our website –for free, for anyone.
Community and friendship are such important parts of running. We know that we have benefited enormously from the people who have supported – and continue to support – LtW. So please share these stories with the runners in your lives. No obligation. No expectation.
Let’s all stick together. We’ll get through this. And remember… every one of us is “Always a runner”.
We are runners. And we will run on.
Simon, Julie and the Like the Wind team
Illustration by Fergus McHugh. Fergus is behind the most excellent personalised running race posters More Than a Medal.