As runners, we know that our sport creates a space for us to stretch our bodies and minds, but running also gives us a chance to examine where and who we are. The 33rd edition of Like the Wind travels the world once again, finding and curating stories about what it means to be a runner in 2022.
Acclaimed photographer Alexis Berg trains his lens on the Hardrock 100, and his stunning pictures give us a new perspective on one of America’s toughest trail races. Meanwhile, in the Swiss Alps, Pasqual Bourquin tells Like the Wind’s creative director Julie Freeman about his mission to run all 66,000km of the country’s signposted trails.
We’re all aware of the benefits of running for body and brain, yet for many runners our sport is also an exploration of identity. Art historian Charles Moore examines the challenge of the marathon from the perspective of a Black man, while Lucie Beatrix shares the story of how she swapped the heavily scrutinised existence of life as a runway model for the exploration of her own personal limits through running. In the UK, Carl Adams opens up about how running changed his sphere of influence from one of drinking and gambling to training and self-improvement, and why meeting coach Geoff Watkin transformed his perspective on life.
We also revisit a topic we first wrote about back in 2019: taking part in running events when you identify as non-binary. While gender identity remains contentious at elite levels, a proportion of mass participation events are welcoming those who don’t tick the traditional “M” or “F” box on the entry form. And if you identify as a woman, Anna Harding examines why the race experience is often wholly different than that of a man.
This issue is published to coincide with the Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc (UTMB), and it wouldn’t be complete without stories of mountain trails. Flora Duguid runs a multi-day event in Croatia, while in the USA, Becky Walters and Riley Nachtrieb revisit trail runs that they first tackled as young women, sharing their learnings second time around.
Whether you’re on the trails, the track or the pavements of your neighbourhood, we hope this issue inspires you to run, or to share your story with us.
PS: for each tree that is used in making the magazine, we will plant 3 trees. We’re doing this via Active Giving who are partnering with the Eden Reforestation Project. We’re also donating 1% of every sale paid by credit card to the Stripe Climate Pledge – which funds carbon removal projects.