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Run Free: Salomon Super Spring Contest

With spring finally coming to the mountains of the Northern Hemisphere and firmly entrenched in many other places, heading out the door becomes a bit easier. The promise held by the unseen miles and kilometers are whispered to us by a warming wind. We answer by running onward, by embracing in the simple freedom that is putting one foot in front of the other.

Running is a freeing act. In it, we escape the bounds of expectations, routine, and homogenous comfort. Through running, we also indulge in exploration of the roads, the trails, our bodies, and our minds. This is freedom affirmed. We want to celebrate the freedom that comes from and is expressed through running.

What You Can Win
Dang, we’ve got over $2,000 in prizes to give away in this contest!

Grand Prize
The grand prize is the winner’s choice of entry into one of the brand new Ragnar Trail Relays presented by Salomon. There are six Ragnar Trail relays this year, with teams of either four (ultra) or eight (non-ultra) runners, sequentially rotating through 24 legs over three loops for a total of 120 miles. The first event is being run April 26-27 near Zion National Park in southwestern Utah. The five events open to the grand-prize winner are:

  • Appalachians –June 7-8 (Big Bear Lake, West Virginia)
  • Tahoe – July 26-27 (Lake Tahoe, California)
  • Snowbasin – August 16-17 (Ogden, Utah)
  • McDowell Mountain – October 18-19 (Scottsdale, Arizona)
  • Vail Lake – November 15-16 (Vail Lake, California)

Update: The Grand Prize winner will now also receive a Suunto Abmit 2s!

Men’s S-Lab Light Jacket

Runners Up
Three runners up will receive a Salomon S-Lab Light Jacket, a 2.2-ounce (63-gram), full-zip wind jacket. Simple and sleek (and ultralight), there’s nothing about this jacket that holds you back.

Random Giveaways
We’ll also randomly award five pairs of the Salomon Sense Hydro S-Lab Set, a new glove-based hydration system new from Salomon this spring.

How to Entry
Here’s the deal, you’ve got until 11:59 p.m. MDT on May 14 to submit a written, photo, video, or other entry to express how running frees you and your spirit. You’ll need to leave a comment to this article by the deadline to be considered. You can link to your work elsewhere, be it photos, videos, or even a blog entry you subsequently post in response to this contest.

BTW, even a quick comments makes you eligible to win prizes, so be sure to enter.

Only US residents are eligible to win.

Bryon Powell: is the Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar.com, which he founded more than 10 years ago. Having spent more than 15 years as an ultrarunner and 25 years as a trail runner, he's also written Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and co-wrote Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running. These days he calls Moab, Utah and its trails home.

View Comments (99)

  • Trail Running allows me to get away from a stressful workweek downtown, at 2.2 ounces, the Salomon jacket will not only make me look good (wink wink), but no city's lights can catch up to me! Plus, at 4am, its easier to see a white jacket running thru the darkness.

    Fernando Najera Baeza
    San Antonio, TX

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  • I only started running a little over a year ago, but in that time I have gone from considering a half marathon, to running two full marathons. I am not fast but I love the feeling of being free from life that running gives me. I recently started looking at Ultra's and building up my trail running stamina. I always feel like I am a kid again bouncing from stone to stone down a steep singletrack trail. Some new gear would help me keep that feeling for a long time, something I greatly desire to achieve.

    Respectfully,

    Brett

    Woodbridge, VA

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  • count me in. . .

    a trail runner in central poland. . . :)

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  • Running is my Prozac (or cymbalta nowadays)! In the past year I've transitioned from a road runner to a trail runner. It's like peaceful meditation to get away! Free gear would help me get away for longer!!!!

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  • Throwing my name in the hat now. Will try to get a written response to the call soon.

    - Reid

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  • Running is an experience like no other for me and makes me feel alive. I enjoy being able to connect with nature and myself in a way that only running can allow.

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  • Running frees me from the constraints of a capitalistic world. Instead I like to be eligible for free products.

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  • Running frees me because it's one of the few experiences left in the world that's absolutely, undeniably and uniquely mine.

    When I'm alone on the trail, without anything to focus on besides just moving forward, my mind and my heart open wide.

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  • It might last only for a minute or 2, but I always have at least a short stretch of a trail run where every foot placement is perfect, my balance and momentum match the slope and turns, and it feels like I imagine a bird feels flying low, following the contours of the terrain.

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  • consider me entered!

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  • Count me in

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  • Freedom

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  • Running does not free my spirit, it is already free. Running is more like a flame that refuses to extinguish. Like a child, I cannot ignore its glow. I can turn away, but it continues to grow even after I return with renewed wonder. But I don't want to look away, because it makes me grow somehow too. As I continue running, I realize that I have shared more of life and nature than I would have on my own, and I am happy.

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  • I remember the day I first felt like I could run forever. It was toward the end of a Junior High School cross country season and my friend, Jacob, and I were leading the team on what in retrospect was probably only a 3-4 mile run. As we ran side by side we looked at each other and commented how easy it felt to be running. I don't remember which of us said it, but we both felt it; "I feel like I could run forever."

    Many runners may experience moments like this, where running transcends the physical realm and is a pure experience. Ever since that day that I been chasing that feeling where everything clicks in place and the miles fly by without apparent effort. Throughout High School I was a three sport athlete with hardly two weeks off between sports and my training was dictated by the XC, Nordic Skiing, and Track seasons. I spent a summer waking before 6:00 to train with Jacob, and we slowly began to push the distances we ran gradually passing into 10 plus mile runs when we had the time. The summer prior to my senior year my weekend runs were pushing 90 minutes and one crazy weekend I planned a 20 mile run in the mountains outside of town.

    It was a humbling outing. I was not prepared for the elevation gain let alone the distance of the run. I remember hitting the wall that day in a way that I have never experienced since. With 5 miles of steady climbing on a lonely dirt road left, I bonked. It was a term I had heard before, bonking, but I told myself I was immune to this. I sat in a small patch of shade out of water and food and was unsure if I was going to be physically able to get back to my car. I forced myself to adopt a running shuffle in the sun and allowed myself to walk in the patches of shade the few trees provided. Finally I made it back to my car and despite the experience knew I wanted to go back and be able to run the whole loop.

    After my senior year I was free of training plans and organized practices. I celebrated my entering the Pilot Hill 25k Classic, a race that cemented my desire to run long trail races. I began college at Cal Poly and after a short detour into the world of triathlon, the local trails soon had me training for my first 50k. It was small race at Montana De Oro with 4 major climbs and it rained for the vast majority of the race. I remember struggling on the last out and back with frozen hands and tired legs knowing each painful step downhill was only to be repeated a few short minutes later climbing back up and over Hazard Peak. I was cursing myself for having entered the race, for having put myself in so much pain, but as I began the long descent to the finish line the rain stopped and the sun broke through the clouds. I hit the final road crossing and my friends were there with handmade cardboard signs yelling for me. I found energy I didn't think I had and flew down the trail crossing the finish line in first place. I still have those cardboard signs, and they mean more to me than my friends may ever fully recognize. They showed me that even in the lowest low you still have more to give. Since then, I have ran countless 10k's, half-marathons, 25k's, paced a friend 35 miles at the Bighorn 100, and ran another 50k this summer.

    "I feel like I could run forever." For me this has become a mantra that I am scared to find may not be true. The world of ultra-running has grown exponentially since I was in junior high and I have followed countless 100 mile races online and in print. Each time I push myself further and harder I fear I will find my breaking point, but it has yet to happen. The internet has made it easy to read countless blogs of mountain runners putting in 100+ mile weeks for months on end with ridiculous elevation gain. I don't know if I am physically capable of this sort of running, or even if I mentally could handle and enjoy it, and I doubt I will ever commit my life so fully to running. But 50miles, 100k, 100miles . . . only time will tell.

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  • I run because I can. A life spent sedentary is a life not fully lived.

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  • Running is what allows me to stay sane at work.

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  • Running gives me something to think about when I don't want to think about all that other stuff I have to think about.

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  • Trailrunning is my medicine, no matter what is ailing me I feel better after a run!

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