It is not meant to be easy. Innumerable runners have – and continue to – express the thought that pleasure comes from the struggle. Certainly, in some cases, it might look easy. Usain Bolt thumping his fist into his chest as he obliterated the 100m world record or Eliud Kipchoge doing the same as he appeared to float over the final few meters of 26.2 miles in less than two hours. But what the world saw in those moments was the result of hours, days, weeks, months and years of effort.
So this is why we celebrate effort, pain and difficulty through many of the stories in this edition of Like the Wind.
- We dive back to the 1920s to meet an extraordinary woman – the only Westerner to see one of the mythical Tibetan lung-gom-pa runners, monks who isolated themselves from the world for nine years while they meditated and practised levitation to develop the ability to run vast distances at incredible speeds.
- From the 1960s we learn about Bruce Tulloh’s arduous record-breaking run across America following a track career that saw him win gold in the 5,000m at the European championships barefoot, but never fulfil his potential on the world stage.
- Coming to the present day, Danny Bent tells us about the inner turmoil that accompanied the physical challenge of leading a group of runners across the barren vastness of Iceland in incredibly difficult conditions.
- And in a completely different environment, photographer George Grullon captures the struggle of the women’s steeplechase final at the USATF Outdoor Championships.
As runners we know the value of effort. We understand that at times we need to put in the work and embrace the pain. We know that we need to train the body and the mind. And that is probably what draws us to lace up our shoes and get out the door. It is certainly what keeps us excited about telling your running stories. So thanks once again to you for buying a copy of Like the Wind, and to those who have shared their pain with us.