Perhaps the most amazing thing about our sport is that its simplicity transcends geography: trails, hills, sands and city streets are all a suitable backdrop to lace up and go for a run.
In issue 35 of Like the Wind, our contributors really hammer home this point, taking us around the world with stories of endurance, resilience… and perhaps just a soupçon of madness. Jacob Zocherman reports from a small town in Sweden during the relentless loops of the Backyard Ultra Satellite World Championships, and Piotr Drzastwa takes us behind the scenes of the Border to Hel relay – an event not dissimilar to the Speed Project, but with the added dimensions of the challenging landscape of the northern Polish coast. Up in the Scottish Highlands, Hayden Lorimer paints a glorious picture of the hill racing scene, including everything from intense competition to flora and fauna, plus sightings of Hollywood A-listers.
Meanwhile, acclaimed photographer Alexis Berg follows Dave Penney – aka Dave Pen, lead singer of Archive – as he takes on the winter edition of the Spine Race: a gruelling 439km (268 miles) up the middle of northern England in extremely tough weather conditions. Dave’s journey is eloquently described by French journalist Patricia Oudit.
You don’t need to be in a race to establish a connection to your surroundings, of course: Rachel Taylor brings us into the countryside near her home and shares her sense of belonging to the trees and trails. Connection can also be forged creatively: we meet some of the most exciting GPS artists working today, making artworks from the trails left by their feet and wheels.
It’s a real honour to publish stories from around the world in the pages of Like the Wind, and it’s even more of an honour to make a home for a diverse range of contributors on our pages. In issue 35 we feature a thoughtful, academic examination of the importance of running to Indigenous American culture, written by Scott Robinson, but we also share a hilariously frank phone conversation between ultra running legend Courtney Dauwalter and journalist Sarah Barker, who used to watch Courtney run cross-country in high school.
Wherever you are in the world, and whatever the backdrop to your favourite run, we hope you enjoy the stories and images we’ve collated in this issue.