iRunFar 2017 Year-End Pledge Drive: Make This Happen!

So… how many times have you come to iRunFar this year to get your fill of trail running and ultrarunning goodness? Not just the website, but think about Twitter and Facebook and, yeah, YouTube, too. There’s a good chance that you’ve spent a whole lotta hours enjoying something… or everything we’ve done this year. That’s awesome!

Behind the scenes, this was a rough year for iRunFar. Despite barely surviving the spring financially, we trust you and the rest of the iRunFar family didn’t notice one bit as we pushed through the season to cover 13 races in great depth, to share 148 on-site video interviews with athletes at those races, and to publish an additional 342 articles—nearly one per day, all year—in 2017. While I had a front-row seat for it all, I’m still blown away with what we were able to share with all of you!

With the year wrapping up, we’re turning to you to help support us as we head into 2018. In just the past five days, our view of 2018 has gone from one of uncertainty to one of growing hope of stability and of dreaming of ways to make iRunFar even better. How? Because of you! Why “in the past five days?” Because that’s when we joined Patreon.

So what is Patreon? In general, it’s a platform built to help people like you support creative endeavors like ours with monthly pledges. More personally, we see it as a way for iRunFar’s biggest fans to interact with us more closely. Should you support iRunFar on Patreon beyond the $1 per month level (even that helps!), you’ll get additional insight and information about what iRunFar is up to over on our Patreon page, where you can check out all the available membership perks.

What We Do

You know us from our world-leading race coverage and our magazine’s worth of articles each and every month. You may also love interacting with the amazing, insightful, civil community in iRunFar’s comments. We’re glad this is what we’re known for. However, we also try to do the little things to make iRunFar even better for you, such as:

  • Publishing full transcripts of more than a 150-audio-based interviews and gear reviews this year.
  • Never sending out a single piece of unsolicited email.
  • Emailing out full versions of every single article to those who subscribe. Absolutely free.
  • Never paginating our as-many-words-as-it-takes articles to artificially increase pageviews.
  • Working as hard as we can to provide gender-equitible coverage.
  • Never allowing pop-up ads, advertorials, auto-play ads, or any spammy stuff.

What Can You Do?

Join iRunFar on PatreonWhat can you do to help us make iRunFar even better in 2018? You can:

What We Hope to Do

Again, in just the past few days, you’ve enabled us to buy a new laptop in the new year and we’re on the cusp of giving Meghan the long overdue raise that she deserves. [Updated!] Honestly, these two things were at the far edge of my conception just a week ago as I finalized our Patreon goals, and, even then, I imagined them cautiously. Now, with you behind us, we dare to dream a little more. Should we hit our next goal of 400 patrons, we’ll take two more steps forward.

  1. We’ll buy a new satellite modem—which helps us cover super-remote races—to replace our current and, ahem, well-used modem that failed during our Western States coverage this year.
  2. Reinstitute an audio-only version of all our video interviews, so you can listen to them on your favorite podcast app. This once-popular iRunFar feature died in 2014 when the service we used to provide it was discontinued. We’ll once again find a way with your help!

Personally, I prefer to be cautious in my dreaming, but I think the above are some great next steps. I’m also starting to dream about some pretty big future steps thanks to your support!

Thanks so much!
Bryon and the iRunFar team

Specialty Running and Outdoor Store Bonus Goal

We know a heck of a lot of staff and owners from specialty running and outdoor stores read iRunFar, we hope we get plenty of your customers excited about their running, and we’d like to team up with you!

We’re spitballing an idea here. How about if we can get 10 stores pledging at least $10 a month on Patreon, we take those damned Amazon links out of our sidebar. [Jan 4 Update: In good faith, we’ve taken the Amazon sidebar links down early. Hopefully, five more specialty stores still come on board!] Yeah, those links do make us a bit of money (mostly on non-running stuff), but we’d much prefer to work with you. As such, we’d create a separate Partner Stores (better name to come?) list on iRunFar’s Wall of Fame with a link to your store’s website and a note as to where you’re located. (You’d have to contact us to give us those details.)

Just throwing this idea out there to see if it might work for everyone! Thoughts? (Feel free to contact us privately on that one, too. ;-) )

Update 1/7: We’ve got Austin Trail Running Company, Seven Hills Running ShopCyclovaXC, Rocky Mountain UltraEastside SportsThe Balanced AthleteThe Ultra Running Company, and Crozet Running on board. Who else will join them?!

There are 8 comments

  1. Ellie Greenwood

    Come on folks! Let’s show iRunFar some financial love! I regularly used to subscribe to print magazines, now I’m spending a little monthly money here. I don’t want to imagine our community without iRunFar.

    (hey have you noticed that iRunFar aren’t holidaying right now – they’re still pumping out articles and sorting out business plans). Happy holidays Bryon and Meghan – I hope you have time for a run at least :)

    1. Bryon Powell

      Thanks so much, Ellie!

      Indeed, we’re working our butts off through the holidays. Friendly folks often write this time of year hoping I’m taking downtime in the “offseason,” but, truthfully, I’ve worked as hard (if not harder) through December as I have in any month this year. Why? Because this is when I can make things happen as opposed to just treading water while we’re on the road from April through November. :-) The past few nights, it’s been 11 p.m. … or 12:30 a.m. and I’ve caught myself still hard at work. No complaints. I so look forward to crushing it at home through the rest of the winter, so iRunFar’s that much better in 2018!

      -Bryon

      Ps. Meghan and I have scheduled a 90-minute adventure run together tomorrow. Woohoo! :-)

  2. annette bednosky

    You two and the whole team continue to do such a great job-it’s almost hard to remember ultrarunning and trail running before irunfar was born. Thank you.
    Just a note-I made many attempts and couldn’t get the pledge link to work in Crome-switching to Firefox was okay.
    Enjoy your adventure run & Happy New Yea:)

    1. Bryon Powell

      Hi Annette,
      Thanks so much for supporting iRunFar! I hope our paths finally cross again in 2018. It’s been too long!

      As for the pledge issue, was the issue getting from iRunFar to Patreon via the link on iRunFar or actually pledging on Patreon. I ask as I can try to fix the former, but would contact Patreon about the former, as something as big as Patreon should be work well on at least Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Sorry to hear you had an issue!

  3. Paul

    I like the work you do, and I’ve joined on Patreon (the link worked in Chrome for me). That said, I have a question after reading the year in review piece. The four trips to New Zealand, Madeira, La Reunion, and England – are these business trips paid for by irunfar? Or are they personal trips paid for personally, and the author is paid for the article?

    If there was more transparency around where the money goes you might have better luck with the fundraising. I’m grateful for the race coverage, gear reviews and training articles. I’m less enthusiastic about funding personal adventures around the world.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Hey Paul,
      Thanks for your comment. While I won’t make it a practice to publicize iRunFar’s travel expenditures and income, I hope to shed a little light in this one instance.

      New Zealand – Support for Meghan’s travel to and from New Zealand (the largest expense of her visit) was cobbled together from a number of sources so that she could cover the competitive Tarawera Ultramarathon. iRunFar provided partial support for her campervan in which she lived, traveled, and worked in the weeks that followed. That compensation was far less than she would have received for having a feature of that length published in a small magazine and was roughly a quarter of her total expenses, which were minimized in part by friends allowing Meghan to stay with them before and during her Tarawera coverage.

      Reunion – While we’ve long wanted to cover the highly competitive Diagonale des Fous, we had previously repeatedly passed up covering a race that warranted out coverage due to its high associated costs. In 2016, Meghan was able to go to Reunion specifically to cover DdF. We were able to make it work because the travel was significantly cheaper as she was traveling from a previous assignment in Europe and we received a small travel stipend from the Ultra-Trail World Tour to cover the race. I can assure you this was a highly intense work trip even if Meghan managed to sneak in a couple trail runs mostly from places on or near the DdF race course while she was scoping out its many aid stations for race coverage.

      Madeira – We traveled to and stayed on Madeira at the invitation of the Madeira Island Ultra-Trail race organization. Our costs were limited to a few meals and incidentals and we were able to produce a compelling (we hope) 5,000+ word, feature-style article as well as multiple photo galleries at a cost of one or two iRunFar articles.

      England – This was indeed a trip aimed at pleasurable recreation, but one on which iRunFar came out roughly even thanks to a partnership with Inov-8, the generosity of friends in putting us up, and traveling from and to Europe on either side of the trip. I think we paid two nights lodging… directly after I finished the Thames Path 100. In return, iRunFar readers got three articles totaling a hair under 15,000 words, a couple photo galleries, a contest, and, for some, the excitement and enjoyment of following Meghan around the Bob Graham Round. :-)

      If we’re traveling to cover a race, it’s almost always with a 10/1 work/fun ratio (if we’re lucky). Sometimes, we do stay overseas between race coverage. We do so because it’s always cheaper (and far easier) than traveling back to the States and, then, back overseas. On the rare occasion that we take a pleasure-focused trip for which we share the experience on iRunFar, it’s done with minimal additional cost to iRunFar. I understand your curiosity and concern as an iRunFar Patreon supporter, and I hope you can trust that we have always managed and will continue to manage iRunFar by doing a lot with very little financially.

      Sincerely,
      Bryon

      Ps. To make ends meet while publishing iRunFar, we also move out of our modest house for more than half the year to make it available to rent. Living extremely frugally on the road is one way we make all the rest of iRunFar work.

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