Dedicated to exploring the culture of running while learning from mentors, icons and everyday explorers, and to sharing the most unique runs across the US and the globe! Join our movement as we learn together about what motivates us to discover more, about ourselves and the communities we run through... We will have a new featured guest or group each episode and invite you to message us on social media and share your favorite running stories! Dig deeper on our blogsite: https://www.runninganthropologist.com
NYC Marathon & Achilles International, with Blair McConnell
The TCS New York City Marathon is a race like none other, and many train for years in expectation of being able to take part, including this episode's featured guest Blair McConnell of New Zealand, who came as part of the Achilles International Delegation from his home country. Having been thwarted by the pandemic in 2020, he waited three years longer to run his ultimate destination race, and first marathon, through the 5 boroughs: starting in Staten Island and proceeding over the Marzano Bridge into Brooklyn, then the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan. In this episode, we have a few live clips from just before and just after the marathon alongside Anton McLean (his guide from Christchurch) and Mark Lane-Holbert (myself, guide from USA). However the majority of the episode is recorded with Blair a few weeks after the marathon with him back in Christchurch, adding some perspective.
We explore what it's like to join an Achilles Chapter and why he runs with them, how he found his guides, and several high points and considerations of traveling internationally for a marathon. We also discuss some of the challenges of being a visually impaired running in a crowded big city marathon, but juxtapose this with the joy and thrill of immense crowds along the course, including the music and languages of many different cultures represented in NYC along each distinct neighborhood.
We also touch on the phenomenon of Park Runs, true to his recent accomplishment of 100 Park Runs! Finally, we ponder his upcoming adventures and what NYC marathon means for what comes next. Needless to say, both of us were extremely grateful for the opportunity and somewhat in awe of the support and organization NYRRs provided us as part of the Achilles International team. If you would like to explore Achilles International, you can visit their website: https://www.achillesinternational.org/ Here, you'll find chapters around the US and the world, and find out more about both athlete and guide opportunities. Finally, you can link to more articles and photos on our blog site: www.runninganthropologist.com
If you have a corner of running culture you are exploring, share with us on FB or Instagram. Until next time, Happy Running!
Physiotherapy & Running with Richelle Weeks, MSc PT
Our guest this episode is a talented Physiotherapist and accomplished runner in her own right who has helped many reach their full potential and stay happy and healthy in their running, who also happens to be running a marathon this week! Richelle Weeks specializes in the treatment and prevention of running injuries and has her own practice in Ottawa, Canda. She is trained in Physiotherapy (Masters degree from Dalhousie Univ.), and also holds a degree in Kinesiology degree. Her dual passions of running and Physiotherapy fermented in 2009 as she combined running with her career more intentionally, and began focusing almost exclusively on helping runners achieve their best and avoid injury. She started a popular training program in person and online to help individuals prevent injury, which is how we found her. She also practiced in Goose Bay, Labrador for 10 years at a rural hospital, then in 2018 I moved with her family to Ottawa where I began working in private practice.
As we all know, distance running can strain and damage soft tissue like tendons, ligaments, smaller muscles and nerves. An expert sports physical therapist or physiotherapist can perform soft tissue treatments to relieve swelling and pain in these areas and increase functionality for better running, and can provide elements of strength training and "pre-hab" to prevent injury in problem areas. They may also advise runners on proper form, training methods, strategies for preventing injuries, and proper shoe selection and work with them to develop a plan, tailored to their specific needs, for successful running. This is ideally done in tandem with a trained distance running coach, and in some cases, like today's guest, may be one in the same! She loves finding solutions for others and helping others to become more patient runners, to meet their goals via small pieces in each build. She also helps runners to making running "sustainable, consistent and see the big picture".
We hope that all runners find a Physio or PT they can trust, that specializes in running or can relate as runner to the struggles we have! This episode may be the beginning of the journey. Please feel free to reach out to Richelle with any questions:
Richelle Weeks (@runningwithrichelle)
Facebook Strength Series:
** People need to email me or write on FB to join. It'll be open for another 6 weeks.
Email Holistic Wellness Physiotherapy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Training Tips and Transition to College Running, with KJ Karver
Cross Country, on grassy fields, golf courses, wooded paths, around ponds, in the mud, in the rain, in the snow...
Moving fast and past autumn leaves, wind blows through my hair around each bend as my shoes grip the curved earth.
We raise our spirits as we empty our lungs. I stretch to keep the pace with finish line in sight.
As soon as I cross, I cannot wait to run again.
And I know I am right where I'm meant to be.
By Mark Lane-Holbert
Inspired by Rock Creek Runner
Today's interview is with KJ Karver, a successful high school runner who is starting his collegiate running career at Emory. We had the pleasure of meeting him on Running Anthropologist just before he entered high school, in an interview with his training partner and dad, Marc Karver. Since then, he has won multiple awards and was among the best cross country athletes in the state of Florida, and now seeking to be the best in his NCAA division. He has had several private coaches but still trained and run with his dad often until leaving for university, and this relationship has instilled a sense of dedication, sometimes friendly competition and always a safe place for conversation.
In this interview with Kirin solo, we spend a great deal of time discussing what went right in his high school career, what he learned the hard way, and what he would recommend doing differently. He gives some simple tips that represent a treasure trove of knowledge in training for any age, but especially for the unbounded energy of high school runners. We also touch on some youth specific topics, including the basics of college recruiting and how to think about the process ahead of time. Hope you enjoy this peek into what makes a successful runner transitioning to college, both in attitude and practical skills. We are very grateful and wish KJ luck in all his endeavours! Please visit our blogsite or leave us a message on FB/Instagram, at www.RunningAnthropologist.com
Here are a few resources to read more about cross country in general, from Runners World and Marathon Handbook: https://www.runnersworld.com/training/a20825636/cross-country-specific-training-tips/
Another great resource for workouts and coaches is LetsRun.com
Until next time, Happy Running!
Trail Running Film Festival Global Tour, EP Mathias Eichler
Do you ever wish you could get a birds-eye view into all the cool stuff going on with trails around the globe? The Trail Running Film Fest thought of just that, and has films from independent filmmakers covering people in every walk(-run) of life! In this episode, the Trail Running Film Festival's executive producer Mathias Eichler and I discuss it all, how it started and he shares about the "why" behind their work. We also discuss how it all comes together, and a bit about the films featured this year.
This year, a focus on diversity both in terms of runners culture and geographic landscapes makes for a beautiful lineup. Many stories and voices that are not traditionally found in the cinema can now be seen in cities everywhere through their host-sponsored Global Tour. Check the website for a location near you, 50+ cities including Tampa Bay's USF in mid-April. After the tour ends at the end of April, one can also purchase a home pass and watch the entire film festival from the comfort of home, if you cannot make it to one of the theater venues.
Mathias also shares his own background and how he got into trail running and fell in love with the pacific Northwest of the US. He gives us the best places to run and some insider tips for how to avoid crowds and find the best trails at two national park areas in Washington state, near Olympia! Below is a quick announcement of what you can expect in the film fest this year:
"The Trail Running Film Festival is back on tour around the world, and coming to somewhere near you for a great night of films, inspiration, and community.
You're invited to celebrate with us running as a universal practice. Come explore our collective and individual potential, and let's pursue our wildest dreams.
We're excited to bring you stories from around the world by filmmakers sharing their work of adventure, inclusivity, wilderness, art, and diversity across the trail and ultra community!
More information at: trailfilmfest.com
You can also of course find us to explore more at our blog site: www.runninganthropologist.com
Learn and share about unique corners of running culture, or your favorite trail runs. Follow & DM @runninganthropologist on IG or Facebook!
Until then, Happy Running!
Ragnar 101 & All About Florida Trail
What is this Ragnar exactly and where does it fit in the running world?
Well, that's a surprisingly difficult question to answer, it turns out... In old norse it means "warrior", yet today it means so many different things to different people, and the experience is not the same from one team to the next either, which heavily depends on the particular location and event. There were over 30 this year to choose from. One thing is the same across them all, "experiencing true camaraderie", according to Ragnar. And lest I forget: you get to run, and see some places you would probably never see by foot.
This included the end-of-the-year Florida Trail Ragnar, which I had the opportunity to participate in December 2nd-3rd, 2022. Could this be an Ultra with a team of 4, or be a marathon with a team of 6, or something more fun with a team of 8?
Yes, yes, and yes. That's one of the reasons Ragnar is so hard to understand from the outside, with so many possibilities and combinations of skill, experience, and speed, each story is unique on the other side of the relay experience. We formed a team of 8 to accomplish the Florida Trail Ragnar in about 24 hours held outside of Tampa Bay at Alafia State Park, but our team dropped down to 7 after an early ankle injury. Those who accepted this challenge included Team Captain Mike Grinnell (interviewed for this episode, Justin Yarbrough, Justin Morris, Joe Bridges, Tito Velasquez, Igor Kornienko and our in-house musician / volunteer, Bob Shea.
In this episode, I interview a veteran team captain to see what it takes and how one gets into this Ragnar thing initially, and keeps it going for years. I also interview a relatively new Ragnar runner who is also volunteering to make coffee and hot cocoa as she keep the troops energized, just around the corner from the all night campfire and exchange zone where one "hands off the baton" between runners. We then talk to one of the organizers facilitating the sprawling event, informing us about topics from Ragnar route setup to "circus travels". And lastly we touch base with a group of folks known as "immortals" (note the norse mythology continuation), as they have earned the title by completing over 12 of these Ragnar events in one year, and find out from them some of their lessons learned and favorites. Forty-five time Ragnar alum Rick Harold told me while cheering on fellow "immortals" that it wasn't really about finishing or times or even running necessarily, but about the community and feeling of challenge accomplishment together, after he had just finished cheering for over 24 hours!
Oh, and there are Road Ragnars and Sprint Ragnars as well. Perhaps more on that in a future episode, when I'm tempted to travel in a team van for 24 hours plus trading non-van time to run in who knows where! To summarize, a quote from Ragnar webpage: "Set a crazy goal. Gather your tribe. Divide and conquer. Bask in the joy of achieving something together that you could never do alone (very true). With more cowbell, baby. Always more cowbell. "
Please reach out and share, connect with us on Facebook or IG: RunningAnthropologist www.runninganthropologist.com
Writing about Running, with Terrell Johnson
This episode focuses on the work of Terrell Johnson, running-focused author and journalist, founder of The Half Marathoner, which covers the most unique half marathons across the US, and beyond. For many runners, half marathons are much more manageable for goalsetting and running multiple races throughout the year than 26.2. One can for example work in a small, unique half marathon at a national park vacation, or find one in just about any state any weekend of the year!
Tens of thousands of runners read his weekly posts on Substack, contribute and explore for themselves. He is not able to run all of these, but does his homework, and makes it to as many as he can. This episode is less about specific half marathons, and more about the process of researching, writing about and building the community around Half Marathoner over the 17 years. He often focuses on the internal life of runners in his work, and how running helps improve our lives all around. At times, his Substack newsletter reads as not just about half marathons or directly about running at all, but about our shared humanity and what inspires us, that runners also happen to be a part of.
For any aspiring writers, this episode also has some hidden gems. For anyone hoping to run a half marathon, he explains why and how to find a good one- including using his own Substack site weekly to learn and share our own favorites! While this episode is certainly not a how-to guide of half marathons, there are some useful resources in his training plan and half marathoner online community.
Terrell fills a void in those of us searching to find corners of running culture, that is the half marathon is often neglected in articles and writing. In fact, before he started one in 2006, there was not website dedicated to half marathons specifically. Most of the content of his newsletters are completely free, although one can subscribe and get much deeper if you find you like it and want more.
You can find Terrell's The Half Marathoner Substack at www.thehalfmarathoner.com and you can find us on www.RunningAnthropologist.com or IG / Facebook @RunningAnthropologist