WORDS BY LIKE THE WIND – PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE NORTH FACE
The high desert. Home of the roadrunner. A spiritual guide to the pilgrims who come here, it’s one of the natural world’s greatest runners. In these enchanted lands, there’s simply nothing faster.
At its best, running takes on a spiritual quality. It becomes a moment when we are at one with the space around us, moving effortlessly, our minds clear and any struggle seemingly melting away. Do we run because we want to be immersed in the feeling of freedom that comes from rushing down a rock-strewn trail? Do we strive for an almost meditative experience, climbing the side of a valley, driving down our knees, pushing ever upwards to some unseen summit or ridge? Perhaps we run for the moments of respite, looking out across a magnificent view as we catch our breath. Sometimes we run to be together. Other times we run to be alone. And very often, we run for the places running takes us.
But no matter why we run, reaching a sense of high consciousness is often the end result. Those are the moments The North Face knows can be found on the Enchanted Trails.
The mystical high deserts in the far west of the United States are some of the most magical places on earth. The Great Basin, Mojave, Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts form a chain of dry, empty wildernesses stretching from south-east Oregon in the north all the way into Mexico at their southern extent. These deserts are wild, inhospitable places. They see very little rainfall. They’re an inferno during the day and freezing at night. And not much grows there. If you’re looking for life, the plants you’ll mostly encounter are cacti and tumbleweeds.
The few beasts that live here have to be special. They have to have adapted. One such creature is the roadrunner – a bird so swift on its feet that it tends to run away from predators and towards prey, rather than taking flight. The roadrunner is the inspiration for the new Enchanted Trails collection from The North Face.
The roadrunner bird’s aerodynamic body means its slender legs propel it along the ground at speeds far faster than a human. And these birds have long been the subject of legend. In Native American and Mexican belief systems, the speedy birds are admired for their apparent courage, strength, speed and endurance. All great qualities in a runner.
The lands the roadrunner inhabits have been the spiritual home of The North Face since the company was founded in San Francisco during the 1960s. From day one, the brand stood for adventure and a rebellious spirit. And many of the intrepid athletes who were drawn to The North Face in its early days would venture inland from the Californian coast, into the deserts that marked the path towards the Rocky Mountains to the east. In the deserts – among the towering ochre cliffs, solemn rock spires and wide, open plains – climbers, hikers, cyclists and trail runners could all seek experiences that would provide spiritual highs like no others.
To emulate the qualities of the roadrunner, The North Face has created a collection that inspires through its visual energy and product technicity.
From a design perspective, pieces including The North Face’s Limitless Run Shorts, Run Wind Jacket, an essential run belt and a stylish and practical bucket hat have been revamped with printed desert- and tropical-inspired colourways.
As well as taking its visual inspiration from the deserts and their famous roadrunner inhabitants, the Enchanted Trails range from The North Face features some of brand’s most technical pieces of footwear. One such shoe – the Summit VECTIVTM Pro – is the most advanced race-day shoe The North Face offers. Thanks to dynamic stability, cushioned comfort and responsive foam, these shoes are race-proven and optimise stability.
Also in the range, trail runners will find the VECTIVTM Infinite 2, whose oversized lugs and durable upper combine to provide protection and responsive grip. The VECTIVTM Eminus provides long-lasting comfort, thanks to its 3D VECTIVTM footplate, a midsole rocker geometry and SurfaceCTRLTM grip, creating an ultra-light yet supportive shoe.
The Enchanted Trails collection from The North Face represents a siren call from the desert. It takes you to places that are mysterious. Forbidding. Consciousness-expanding. The Enchanted Trails range invites you to channel your inner roadrunner and simply take off on your next adventure.
Find out more at www.thenorthface.com