We’ve been working really hard during the past couple of weeks putting the final touches to issue 31 of Like the Wind, which will begin shipping in early March. Scanning the finished document as we prepare to go to press, it never fails to strike me what a treat and a privilege it is to experience running through the eyes and voices of our contributors from around the world.
In this issue, photojournalist Hilary Matheson takes us to the stunning and welcoming jungle of Chiang Mai in Thailand, where the aid station tables groan with mouthwatering foods, and local children line the trails. We travel the gruelling route of the Tor des Géants with writer Chris Zehetleitner and his fiancée, who reveal the emotional impact of crewing for a loved one (arguably more draining than actually running). Across the Atlantic, photographer Rob Schanz has a trackside spot at the Houston Marathon, following an amazing group of talented female runners, including record-breaker Kiera d’Amato. Like the Wind interviews these fantastic women, who reveal the balances they have to strike between training, career and families. And in the ancient heart of Europe, legendary ultra-runner Dean Karnazes travels back to his roots to explore Greek history over the course of ten marathons on ten consecutive days. Dean discovers not just the close ties Greece has with running but also the importance of independence in a country that gave the notion of democracy to the world.
Women haven’t always been able to participate equally in the sport of running. In issue 31, writer Tom Fairbrother profiles Diane Leather, the first woman to break the five-minute-mile barrier but whose achievements are largely unnoticed by history. Even now, women are still having to break down barriers in order to run at an elite level – and when there is intersectionality between being a woman and being non-white, it is even harder to reach the top. In a brilliantly frank interview, American-born Black female marathon record-holder Samia Akbar speaks to Like the Wind editor Simon Freeman, about her life and career, and the frustratingly slow process of creating equality of participation in running.
Sadly, the relationship between female athletes and the coaches pushing them to success isn’t always positive. Our investigative feature this issue dives into the often disturbing scenarios that occur when an intense coach-athlete bond goes beyond getting results on the track.
It shouldn’t be a privilege to be able to participate in running and to be supported to succeed, but for too many, that’s still the case. In the meantime, it really is a privilege to be able to tell running stories from around the world and to shine a light on the achievements of runners of all backgrounds.
We’d love to share our stories of the power and positivity of running with you – order your copy of issue 31 here