Trail Run Mag hardcopy on sale


It was for a photoshoot for the upcoming Edition #3 of Trail Run Mag (what?! you haven’t read number #2 yet? Well get on it!).

Anyway, the idea was to get an image for a story by Nick White about turning up to a trail event sans shoes (he forgot them). I thought a cracking shot of some mud between the toes might suffice. Conceptually, it didn’t work. Or maybe my photography was just not up to scratch.

It was raining. But not cold. There was a small stream running down the centre of the trail, muddying things up. Perfect. I ditched the shoes (Merrell Sonic Gloves, since you asked – read the trail shoe test in the next edition), and sunk my slabs into the mushy dirt. It squidged between my toes. Glorious. I got my hands in there and started throwing mud at my legs and feet.

How much fun is throwing mud at yourself?
Never tried? Go. Do. It rocks.
There’s some kind of freedom about it.

But here’s my point. The feeling of earth against my skin brought back memories of a childhood spent revelling in the stuff. I could smell it through the rain drops. I could feel it getting under my toenails. It was slippery, a little gritty. It felt real. More real than anything I’d felt for a long time. It felt gooooooood.

I came back to my front door, greeted by my four year old looking quizzically at me:

“Dad, why are you muddy?”

“Because it’s fun, beautiful. So much fun. You should try it.”

At that moment, I was more kid than my own kid. That’s a gift.

Point is, sometimes it’s good to feel something in the flesh. There’s just something better about it; the touch, the feel – it’s skin on a solid reality.

Which is why we’re so smack happy to bring you Trail Run Mag in the flesh. It’s real. You can touch it. If I could’ve I would’ve smudged every copy with real dirt (but Kiwi customs told me they’d burn the lot – something about contagion. We’d already transgressed with a possum, apparently).

Anyway, get the dirt: get your hands on a real copy of Trail Run Mag.

Get it here, now.

[of course we still want you to read the ezines here… they still make your computer screen reek of trail, such is the genius of designers The Bird Collective. But the hardcopies are special. There’s only a limited number of them. So get in now before they go. No reprints. They are, in reality, collectables.]

Oh, and give me a week and you’ll also have edition #3 of Trail Run Mag popping dirt all over your screen. It’ll be here when the time’s right.

Buy the hardcopy…you know it’ll save your dirty soul…


The rumour is true … Trail Runner Magazine Edition #2 has snuck out onto the webosphere. You can download all the dirt and drama on the Zine page or right click/save as on the cover right to download the file to your desktop (remember to follow download instructions and view in pdf Reader or Preview, not in a web browser).

TRM Ed#3 cover

If you like what you see, remember to like us on our FB page and Twitter feed.

And, you’re here now…may as well read the AU Editor’s letter – a little taste…


No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God when they’ve lost all they got and they don’t know what for –
Regina Spektor

I’m not religious. But Dan is dead. And I’m certainly not laughing at God. And I certainly wasn’t laughing in the hospital at his bedside, two days before he left us. I’m not laughing at cancer and I don’t know what it’s for.

This edition wasn’t supposed to be the misery edition. Promise. Going into spring I wanted the lightness to shine through, the words and images we present inside a reflection of the glowing wattle flower cover. But a glance over the line-up reads like the blackest shade of pale: cancer, car accidents, fires, death.

But read on. Pretend this edition is an ultra: persevere, push past the pain and you’ll find a spring of sunshine.

I do admit that I cried just prior to writing this editorial. Tears on the keyboard.

I welled up as I read Duncan’s words telling of a journey in life that no father ever wants to take.

Maybe it’s because I share a connection of fatherhood with this man I have never met. Maybe that’s why I now wipe my MacBook with Kleenex – parenthood both makes and breaks a man.

His is one journey that I hope never to embark upon but feel richer for having read it, for there is a radiance of strength in his story of overwhelming sadness.  There is bravery. There is life peeled back to a core of indefinable pain that brings forth hope, some of it found on the trail.

What has this to do with trail running?

Nothing and everything.

Trail running is a journey off the predictable bitumen of regimented life. It takes us places that physically hurt– sometimes to places of incandescent pain – and mentally it can take us to tears. Yet we step onto that trail chasing such moments of lowness because we know that they have the power to bring out the best in us; to make us stronger than we were before we reached the nadir.

From the valleys of death we find the power to look up, see the mountain, be challenged by it, be scared by it, but take a step forward up the trail, towards where we can see the sun breaching the summit. And we move despite the pain. Another step. Over another rock. Another tree root. Another rise. Another false summit. And there, there is the pinnacle and the world opens up to a view that not long ago we thought we’d never see, a view that we thought was impossible to reach.

That is the choice we make when we step onto a trail. To just keep the fuck going.

The rest – the experience, the moments of realisation, the moments of self, the moments…that is the trail working its magic.

I was going to write about my ongoing battle with a left leg ITB problem. For the last few months it has filled my world with frustration and even depression. But then I read this edition. It was an easy decision to instead labor some on what was perhaps touched upon in my first editorial. But I take the risk of riposte in the repetition because it matters. Dan matters. Duncan’s son matters. Kate Sanderson and Turia Pitt, the brave women whose lives are changed irrevocably after the Kimberly bushfire tragedy, they matter.
A bloody dodgy ITB does not matter. Running with it glowing red is not even a light scratch compared to the pain others cop on life’s debris-strewn trail.
And so I hit the trail, ITB be damned, in the hope that just as Duncan sees his lost son every time he runs a mountain, maybe I’ll see Dan out there. Hell, I might even see God, whatever that is to a heathen like me.

It’d be a good run if I did. The three of us can all have a good laugh together.

Then the prick can fix my ITB.

No one’s laughing at God
We’re all laughing with God

Regina Spektor

 **Happy trails. Chris Ord, The Ordinary Trail Runner & AU Editor