There is a quote by Mark Twain that seems to relate to running and publishing a magazine equally:
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
Taking the first steps is often the hardest aspect of any activity. And as runners that is what we do, over and over again. The same was true eight years ago when we decided to create the running magazine that we wanted to read – one full of stories, few adverts and eye-catching visuals. We had to start and that was hard.
The memories of Like the Wind’s first steps are still fresh: trying to figure out how to design and layout a magazine, contacting friends as well as famous runners to ask them to write a story for our non-existent magazine, deciding how many copies of LtW#1 to create and placing a print order. But once we were metaphorically out of the door, this project immediately felt right and quickly gathered momentum.
Now here we are, eight years and 30 – soon to be 31 – issues later, feeling as though we’re just getting into our stride.
Of course, like any difficult activity there have been bumps in the road to publishing an independent magazine. Not everyone has been positive about LtW. In fact some have been downright negative about it. Others have been (and still are) unaware of the publication. It has been a struggle to get the commercial side of publishing an indie magazine right (who knew, when we started in 2014, that ink-on-paper publishing was not a direct route to immense riches?) But the highs have most certainly outweighed the lows.
From day one, our focus has been on telling stories about running and the world in which we run. From the moment Like the Wind existed, writers, illustrators and photographers were generous with what they allowed us to share. Happily, since LtW#1 found its way into readers’ hands, the stories have kept coming and they have got better and better. One of the enduring highs has been the opportunities we have had to share stories about runners from all walks of life and with a huge range of experiences. The depth and breadth of stories that fit our mission to explore why we run is huge and every issue we find new angles and themes.
We have also had the chance to expand beyond ink-on-paper. We have been telling stories through social media, as guests on podcasts, through our fortnightly email LtW Notes, in films and – perhaps best of all – in person at live events.
Right from the start, with a launch party on a rain-soaked night in the middle of a public transport strike in central London, we have loved spending time with the running community, one that supports the magazine around the world. We have turned a quiet meet-and-greet in Chamonix into our now infamous summer party. We’ve hosted a party in Boston during the lead up to the world famous marathon there. We’ve held film nights, stood for hours meeting runners at marathon expos and collaborated with brands on evenings with engaging speakers talking about their love of running.
Of course, for the last 20% of LtW’s existence, meeting in person has been impossible or certainly difficult. But we’re hoping that going forward we’ll be able to start seeing runners in real life again.
In some ways, eight years feels like a long time. Certainly when we look back at all the ground we have covered and what we have experienced along the way. But at the same time, when we look ahead, the future for Like the Wind is hugely exciting. The focus remains on telling stories about running. But there are more ways we can do that, and more runners we can reach.
Thank you to everyone – readers, writers, illustrators and photographers as well as the team who create the magazine every quarter and the brand sponsors – who have supported us along the way.
Here’s to much more to come.
Simon, Julie, Imogen and Alex