Hello! I know a few of you, probably not most of you. Roger Hanney, compulsive trailist, longtime procrastinator, occasional writer. Find me on Facebook and see why I’ve been too busy to tweet as DirtyTrailFiend lately.
Chris Ord, originator of TRM along with Malcolm in NZ and a number of runners wanting trail to get the passionate attention it deserves in this region, wrote one of my favourite running pieces of all time.
Running On Empty in Outer Edge magazine said everything about the mixed fortunes of trail. Written by a jogger about one of the most iconic and widely loved runners of the last 20 years – Dean Karnazes – Chris’ piece also had everything attentive readers and worthy subjects deserve. Insight, humour, momentum, and an absence of sacred cows are evident throughout Ord’s piece and well-exemplified here:
It’s at this point I recall something of Dean’s running philosophy: he argues that the first half of any race is run with one’s body, and the second half with the mind. We’re sitting at the halfway point. Time to switch engines, Dean.
The answer to his checkpoint question is 11km. I suggest that perhaps he push on for a ‘measly’ eleven so we can chat. Something clicks, and for a beaten man about to sleep, a gear changes. A glint flashes in his eye, the sparkling All American teeth flash and, after a peruse of the carbo-loaded table, we’re away.
For Dean, 11km is a cinch. For me, on no training – not to mention no breakfast – it’s a marathon.
Malcolm Law, Andy Hewat, Emma Francis, Vickie Saunders, Paul Charteris, Dan Bleakman et al – a bunch of running folk whose storytelling could easily bring a pubful of truckies to a hush. Pat Kinsella’s recent investigative piece on the ongoing tragedy of a fire in the Kimberleys brought to bear the finest elements of investigative writing and human compassion, demonstrating TRM’s urgent willingness to be more than a collection of one-sided reviews and poorly written opinion pieces peppered with inside jokes.
And that’s a great thing – for current and future readers, for colleagues, and for all of us to aspire to.
So whether you’re eating giant pasta, paleo, tapering, training low, injured, setting your alarm for 2am, tired and distracted on a double day, or have just got reception atop Mt. Gibson (okay, inside jokes are inevitable), it’s nice to meet you. It’s both a challenge and a pleasure to join this mountain-craving cola-chugging leg-cramping beast that is TRM.
This might be a good time to say ‘see you on the trails’ but I’d rather say ‘go and be amazed’, or ‘everyone else is hurting too’, or quote my beautiful friend Beat Jegerlehner who runs a 100-miler every 2 months and has twice run a 200-miler in thin air: “it’ll go numb eventually”. It usually does, because – in his own words – he’s just too dumb to quit.
Now, run ferociously up something you’d usually walk. And expect carnage.