Before I even set out to run my first ultramarathon, the Skyline 50k, I read Running Through the Wall: Personal Encounters with the Ultramarathon by Neil Jamison. It is a collection of stories by over three dozen ultrarunners, speedsters and back-of-the-packers, young turks and older legends.
What I remember most when I first read the stories was how generous and friendly all the authors were. I knew Tim Twietmeyer and Ann Trason from the A Race for the Soul production. These were world-class runners. To read their stories about overcoming the challenges during their races made it seem like a shared adventure. Only later would I learn and cherish the legendary sense of common-bond found in the ultrarunning community. What amazes me today when I look through the table of contents is how many of these storytellers I have met, spoken with, or shared a trail.
In the last few days Endurance Planet, presented by ZombieRunner, has launched a monthly Tales from the Trails program. The program is described as "an audio magazine for ultrarunners". In its first (free) edition it includes Joel Zucker's Hardrock 100 race report, Andy Jones-Wilkin's adventure in winning 2007's Vermont 100, and Carey Smith, whom I wrote about yesterday, and his story at Arkansas Traveler 100. These "tales" will surely be the start of some new runners' adventures in ultramarathons.