During the past five years, our contributors have frequently reflected on the health reasons – both physical and mental – that put a temporary halt to them lacing up and getting out there. But when the environment itself is stopping runners running… well, that’s when we all need to take a closer look at our surroundings. In issue 20, our editor Simon travelled to Chamonix to meet the participants in Running up for Air, an endurance event designed to raise awareness of air pollution in that part of the Alps. He also spoke to the American runners who started the Running up for Air movement when they found the skies above Salt Lake City too polluted for them to breathe safely.
Of course, when runners get together, more often than not they are racing. And in this issue, our photographers capture both a traditionally English event and a very modern take on street racing. The National 12-Stage Road Relays were the height of fashion in the early part of the 20th century, attracting huge crowds and the top names in running. These days, the event has a lower profile but certainly the quality of the competition has not diminished. Meanwhile, the Take the Bridge movement brings clubs and crews in big cities across America together to race over landmark bridges – they’ve just arrived in the UK, too, with a vision to unite runners from all backgrounds in a non-traditional competitive format.
But there’s a certain group of runners whose gatherings are frankly, bonkers. Super-talented photographer Tyler Tomasello spent a few days at the Born to Run festival in California, a celebration not only of endurance running but the wider running family itself, in crazy costumes, playing games, enjoying live music and basically revelling in the joy that sometimes only running can bring.
Wherever you’re getting together to run, let Like the Wind’s stories inspire you.