Dear Mallory…& James

Dear Mallory…and James,

Running is the most natural form of movement, not only historically in relation to our own kind, but in relation to our own lifetime. Running originally was used to hunt, to travel, to cover incredible distance, and to cover amazingly difficult terrain.

In reality, your sport of climbing developed from running.  One must run to the mountain in order to climb it.

Children do love to run.  They have not experienced the stagnant influence of adults which overwhelms pre-adults, preventing them from recalling their love of running.  Remember when you were a kid and you ran everywhere?  You wanted to get to your destination in the fastest possible way.

Here are words from a fellow runner and writer, Mr. McDougall, in his book, “Born to Run.”

“That was the real secret of the Tarahumara tribe: they’d never forgotten what it felt like to love running.  They rememberd that running was mankind’s first fine art, our original act of inspired creation.  Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees, we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain.  And when our ancestors finally did make their first cave paintings, what were the first designs?  A downward slash, lightning bolts through the bottom and middle-behold, the Running Man.

Distance running was revered because it was indispensable; it was the way we survived and thrived and spread across the planet.  You ran to eat and to avoid being eaten; you ran to find a mate and impress her, and with her you ran off to start a new life together.  You had to love running, or you wouldn’t live to love anything else.  And like everything else we love-everything we sentimentally call our “passions” and “desires”-it’s really an encoded ancestral necessity.  We were born to run; we were born because we run.  We’re all Running People, as the Tarahumara have always known.”

The contemporary runner has an approach that is rotten to the core.  Running to look better, get skinnier, or richer; running became a business.  It wasn’t always like that, look at all the recessions, ultra trail running exploded in popularity in the 70’s.  Runners were outcasts, considered crazy, and they didn’t follow no stinkin’ training plans; they just ran and ran and ran.  They competed in every training and they were damn fast.

“So what happened?  How did we go from leader of the pack to lost and left behind?  It’s hard to determine a single cause for any event in this complex world, of course, but forced to choose, the answer is best summed up as follows:

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This is where the Wilder Foot Races comes into play.  Forget the promotions, the loud advertising, the concrete-laden path restrained by cones, the qualifying times.  This is about running at its core; running because you love to, running because you can, running because you want to see things, and running simply to explore new lands.

Sure, we’re a strange breed, but we’re a community, similar to that cycling community you speak so fondly of.  Unlike all of those cyclists though, we simply need some protection for our feet, a bit of food and water, and some weather appropriate clothing and we’re on our way.

Carbon fiber?  Nope.

Gears?  What’s so manly about that?

Someone to draft off of?  More like someone to slow us down.

Roads or a trail of some sort?  Nah, just the gnarliest terrain we can find.

Think that running is still for children and women-folk?  We’d like to see you lined up at the start of one of our races.  They’re sure to test both your endurance and mental fortitude.

-The Wilder Crew

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