WeRunFar Profile: Megan and David Roche

[Editor’s Note: Today’s WeRunFar column marks a transition, where we say good-bye to longtime WeRunFar columnist Jessica Campbell, who retires her position with the column after almost 4.5 years and 50 articles, and hello to new WeRunFar columnist Morgan Tilton, an outdoor journalist and writer. Thank you, Jessica, and welcome, Morgan. We so appreciate the dedication each of you have for telling the important stories of our community!]

“We would need a set of hands and several octopuses to count all of my running failures,” says run coach and author David Roche in his essay about a botched race that he had at the 2017 Trail World Championships in Badia Prataglia, Italy. The final 13 miles took him close to four hours to complete—more time than any 50k he’d ever finished. Unfortunately yet fortuitously, Megan Roche—David and Megan are spouses, business partners, each other’s coaches, and co-authors—was having a challenging race day, too. When she saw David, he couldn’t imagine lifting a finger let alone taking a step forward. Megan grabbed a chocolate croissant, pulled David to his feet, and they traveled side-by-side to the finish line.

That epic misadventure is David’s favorite run memory to date.

“I had the worst race of my life. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. I was cramping, Megan waited for me, and now we laugh about that experience—failures are the best stories. That will be my fondest memory when it’s all said and done,” he says.

For the unfamiliar, David has a considerable pool of race accomplishments including at least 36 overall wins, becoming a two-time national champion, and earning the 2014 USATF Sub-Ultra Trail Runner of the Year title. Megan’s resume is just as stout: She was both the 2016 USATF Sub-Ultra and Ultra Trail Runner of the Year. She’s a five-time national champion; the 2016 North American, Central American, and Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Champion; and a six-time member of Team USA.

Megan, David, and Addie (the dog) Roche in Boulder, Colorado. All photos: Megan and David Roche

But as professional runners and coaches, Megan and David Roche are the last people to highlight their accolades. They encourage runners to pursue their A goals but the Roches don’t put race results on a pedestal, which is the backbone of their coaching business, dubbed Some Work, All Play (SWAP).

Blending scientific research and life philosophy, the Roches’ primary focus is to teach runners of all abilities and backgrounds about the exercise of being happy while we run and to not define ourselves by the inevitable rollercoaster along the way. SWAP’s mission is to “develop a good process, motivated by a good why, fueled by kindness, enthusiasm, and belief.”

Universally, we know that running and racing don’t always deliver the elation that we seek: “If you run for results, your happy runner journey is at the mercy of forces you don’t control. It’s okay to care about results, but not to let them define your self-worth as a runner or person. A process-driven running life is the first step to being a happy runner long term. Because you are enough, every day, no matter what,” Megan and David write in The Happy Runner, their first-ever book and newest contribution to the run community, which hit shelves last week.

The co-authored release is receiving great reviews. “Part II might change your running. But Part I could, and probably will, change your life: It delves into the reasons why we all run and how we can do it in a way that makes us happier, stronger people—not just stronger runners,” says Josh Fields, a Vermont-based SWAP team member and music teacher who enjoys reading nonfiction running books and already finished The Happy Runner.

“Throughout college, I was under a lot of stress, but I was also the stereotypical glass-is-half-empty person in a vocal way. I was overweight and started running. I pretty quickly met David and started being coached,” explains Fields, who was among the original dozen SWAP athletes and has evolved alongside David’s coaching methodology for the past four years. “Aside from the obvious running improvements and fitness gains, I noticed an attitude change…. It wasn’t an abrupt shift. It’s come in pieces. The most recent piece for me is being able to be as positive outwardly—to other people and around other people—as I am introspectively,” says Fields.

SWAP rapidly grew from its nascent stage—when David coached a few runners in 2013—to both Roches coaching recreational and professional athletes across the world. The growth of SWAP is even more impressive given that Megan and David are self-taught coaches and adult-onset runners.

“[SWAP] was small for a year while we learned the ropes. It took time to start to learn what I didn’t know about people, running, and how you can support a person unconditionally. In 2015, a lot of professional athletes started to join and things started to pick up substantially,” says David.

Showing runners how to face adversity with humor is a central piece of their coaching approach, as the book explains. David and Megan choose to experience times of entropy—those inevitable moments in life when a system or situation begins to collapse—with a smile, which never gets easier, they say.

“Our experiences showed us that the key to a sustainable love of the running process was to practice a perspective that supports unconditional self-acceptance in the face of an uncertain running (and life) future. So we started SWAP to provide runners with unconditional support on their journey toward self-acceptance,” Megan and David write.

“You’ll progress, you’ll get a bit worse, you’ll progress some more, and then you’ll gradually decline with age, before eventually dying. At some point in that trajectory, you’ll peak without realizing it, only to have an epiphany one day that your best is behind you. In the face of a chaotic running journey, it’s key to embrace the present no matter where it is. Entropy will win eventually, like it always does, so resolve to enjoy the game while it lasts,” summarizes the book.

The Happy Runner is also a love story about how David and Megan fell for each other—which is the reason we’re here, reading this story, in the first place. The Roches probably wouldn’t be coaches, authors, or even professional trail runners if they hadn’t agreed to grab frozen yogurt on a blind date in Durham, North Carolina, back in 2010.

David ordered potato chips on top of a scoop of chocolate froyo, Megan told him he was weird, they ate their desserts at high velocity, and then they talked for several hours until the servers kicked them out at 11 p.m. For two bookworms—they both stayed home to read novels the night of their senior proms—out way past their bedtime, this was a pretty good sign.

Younger versions of David and Megan Roche.

Back then, David and Megan were competitive athletes but weren’t runners by trade. Their first trail run together was a six-mile jaunt-to-bonk followed by a stroll back to the car and inhaling potato chips. David and Megan both had an insatiable curiosity for human physiology—which occupies the margins of running, Megan says—and they started studying training methodology that night.

At the time, Megan was playing collegiate field hockey while earning a neuroscience degree at Duke University in North Carolina. Her senior year, in 2012, she walked onto the track team after field hockey wrapped up. She didn’t have any formal running or training techniques, yet, but she was fit and did fairly well. Mostly, she was excited by the prospect of learning something new, which hooked her to stay in school another year. “I always enjoyed running as a kid and dabbled in high school but it was in the form of wind sprints,” Megan says. So, after finishing her undergraduate degree, she completed a one-year master’s in business program while running cross country and track.

“I was so new to the sport, on a high-level track team, and learning a ton. Since David and I didn’t grow up running on a traditional high-school team, we were both really interested in training and reading a lot about coaching philosophy. We both had science backgrounds and always wanted to know the ‘why’ behind everything,” says Megan.

Megan as a kid.

When David graduated high school, he went to Columbia University in New York to play football. He had a muscular build—he was under six six feet tall and weighed 200 pounds at the time—and his training consisted of sprinting and weightlifting. “As a result, he was a good sprinter and mediocre football player, landing himself a spot on the Columbia football team. Now, stop right there if you think that’s impressive. At the time, Columbia football was one of the worst sports teams in the country, like an opposite-world Harlem Globetrotters, getting dunked on repetitively by opponents in increasingly humorous fashion. Still, David couldn’t cut it for the Washington Generals of college football. So he was left with lots of [fast-twitch] muscle fibers and nothing to do with them unless someone needed help moving their couch,” write David and Megan.

But David’s dad was an endurance athlete, and David had started running recreationally with his parents at 11 years old. After he quit college football, he decided to pursue being an endurance runner. Over the next three years, he lost 60 pounds of muscle and fat.

David in his football days.

During that time, David studied environmental science and graduated in 2010. He continued his studies at Duke, simultaneously earning a law degree and a master’s in environmental science in 2013. After he met Megan, the two explored North Carolina on hikes and in restaurants. “We were adventure parters. Running fit into that, but even now we do other things together. Running is one avenue for us to express ourselves, in and out of our relationship, as opposed to something that’s definitional to who we are,” says David.

The year 2013 was a huge year of growth for the couple. The Roches got engaged and adopted their four-legged family member, Addie. Megan dove into an arduous program at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, while David became an attorney at the Environmental Law Institute with a focal point on ocean and coastal governance and community health. “My work took me to communities all over the U.S. including Alaska with a lot of focus on climate-change issues. My projects included everything from on-the-ground sea-level rise adaptation to recovery after an oil spill to working with tribes…. Eventually, I worked remotely from California with Megan—much sooner than I initially expected, because I couldn’t live without her for long,” says David.

Megan was buried in her studies for medical school, so David decided to pick up coaching for fun.

“We charged anywhere from $0 to $30 bucks a month and put [SWAP] on Facebook. Some intrepid souls thankfully agreed. That initial cohort of people is still on the team, years later,” he recalls. Megan became an official coach in 2016, when her schedule shifted and she had more free time, but she acted as David’s soundboard and advisor from the beginning. “Megan was always injecting her brilliance from the medical field into SWAP, and having a partner that is so knowledgeable is the best asset ever,” says David.

The most crucial part of their learning curve as coaches was paying close attention to the athletes and building relationships with each one.

“We learned to coach by doing. From the beginning, we checked in with each athlete everyday, 365 days a year. As a result, you get so many interactions with each individual…. You start to see all of these patterns unfold, which allowed us to learn more rapidly than we would have otherwise. Thankfully, SWAP grew—I guess people said good things,” David says and continues. “SWAP was serendipitous in so many ways. I was doing the law job and talking with athletes but wasn’t doing it with a strategy in mind for SWAP or that we would become coaches to a lot of professional runners. It all just happened and people were taking a chance on us when there wasn’t a reason to.”

After dueling wins at the 2018 XTERRA Castle Rock Trail Run in Colorado.

Meanwhile, Megan was overcoming her own obstacles and the high pressures that are inherent to medical school.

“I was always the type of person to lean toward perfectionism,” says Megan. “When I met David, I was skeptical of his positivity and thought this can’t last—it’s not sustainable. Two years in, I said, this is the real deal. When he was in middle school, David made a decision that this was how he wanted to live his life. I had to make a conscious decision in medical school to be happy. I made a commitment to enthusiasm and optimism that changed my life,” says Megan. “Mental-health struggles complicate everything [it’s a full chapter of the book], so we try to let people know it’s okay to not be happy too.”

The optimism that we cultivate as people and runners can become an infectious habit. That positive-feedback cycle loops back to you and affects all areas of life, Megan explains.

“There are a lot of scientific studies about being in good state of mind and the effects of long-term performance from smiling. One report says that being positive feeds powerful and consistent performance whereas other emotions like anger can feed performance, but it isn’t sustained,” says Megan, who graduated this year with her Doctor of Medicine and has a continuing role as a Stanford researcher. She’s currently conducting a study on bone health and stress injuries in female runners. Understanding and identifying those risk factors has aided Megan’s coaching and her hope is to help runners prevent negative health cycles or incidents.

Halloween happiness for a younger (and already-curly-haired) David.

Looking ahead, Megan plans to weave together her coaching, running, writing, and scientific research into a career of her own design. It was a tough decision to not apply for medical residency but what made her most happy was clear.

“Medical residency would feed back into running and writing, but if you go into residency, it’s all you can do. I love coaching, running, writing, and research. I’m not ready to sacrifice any of them,” says Megan.

As for Megan’s favorite run memory? She and David recently bought a house in Boulder, Colorado, and the day they moved in, they went on a run out their front door to check out their new-to-them home trails—the weather was also fittingly hellacious.

“There were crazy 50-mile-per-hour winds in the middle of an open field near our house. We were hilariously laughing, and it was David’s birthday. Being giddy and knowing that was where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives made it the best day ever,” says Megan.

In the perspective of the Roches, life’s chaos and challenges never cease or get easy. “If anyone spent a substantial amount of time between our ears, or saw us at 2 a.m. when we can’t sleep, they would know our flaws are ever-present, which all gets back to how you conceive of yourself versus how you conceive of others. The only real truth is that no one has the answers and it’s okay not to,” says David.

But you can laugh, not take yourself too seriously, and make the journey a little easier on yourself and those around you—which is also why David and Megan cultivate inclusivity in the trail running community, encourage SWAP runners to become coaches, and help new coaches through that process. So far, around 15 SWAP runners have started coaching others.

“We’re all staring into the abyss of the universe and we all have same finish line of death,” says David, who envisions coaching and doing his exact day-to-day for the rest of his life. He goes on to explain: “If you think long and hard about that—and a lot of athletes have time to think on their feet and they get a lot of insight through aging and injuries—you realize that entropy will get us all. But by staring into that abyss and laughing—and hopefully you’re laughing with a community like iRunFarwe can find shared compassion, which leads to a perspective of maybe not seeing and appreciating every single rainbow all the time, but instead being generally amazed that rainbows can exist at all.”

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

Calling all Megan and David Roche stories! Leave a comment to share your stories of coaching, racing, running, or friendship with them.

Happy runners.

Morgan Tilton

is an adventure journalist who writes about the outdoors with a focus in travel, industry news, and human endurance. She is a recipient of multiple North American Travel Journalists Association awards including two double-award articles—“Wild & Broken: A First SUP Descent of Utah’s Escalante River” and “A Wild Space”—that share her first descent on stand-up paddle board of Utah’s wild Escalante River, a self-supported journey she shared with four friends. She works with close to 50 publications. Follow Morgan on her website and Instagram account.

There are 39 comments

  1. Mark

    A few years ago, I was running on my local trails and saw a goofy guy with gigantic yellow headphones floating along at an incredible pace. He always had a smile on his face. When I Strava-stalked him later, I realized it was David and that he had every single Strava CR on that trail system. It’s a busy group of trails and there were hundreds of segments.

    Since then, I read his articles (and most recently Megan and David’s wonderful book), followed his public training advice (sorry, too cheap to pay for coaching!), and gleaned what I could from it all. My running and life has ups and downs of course, but now I’m the goofy guy with the smile making airplane noises on the local trails.

    Thanks Megan and David.

    1. David Roche

      This means so much to us Mark! For your information, I have graduated to more sleek headphones, but I am still just as goofy and uncool. YOU ARE A FREAKING BOSS!

  2. Alex Kurt

    I first became acquainted with David in 2012, when he was relatively unknown as a runner but had just won the USATF Trail 10K championship. I interviewed him for Trail Runner Mag’s website – something I did with someone new on a weekly basis at the time. But David was different. His positivity practically spit out of the phone. He added me on Facebook. He started asking me questions – about myself! Having known me for about ten minutes via the phone, he encouraged me to pursue writing as a career, if I wanted to (I did), and it’s something I’ll always remember now, years later, after I did just that and it landed me with a dream job in a dream industry. Like everyone who has met David, I now feel like we’re old friends (because we are! We go all the way back to 2012! In the digital age that’s a lifetime!) and like we’re equally invested in each other’s successes, failures, and everything in between. I also now type in exuberant all-caps and use exclamation points a LOT more than I used to.

    PS- Megan is cool, too.

    PPS – so is Addie!

    1. David Roche

      Alex, I will never forget the conversation! I was walking in a law school parking lot, doing my first interview ever, stumbling over my words, and you immediately put me at ease. In the years since, you have changed my life 3 times in major ways. You are my butterfly effect friend, the person that made the biggest changes with the smallest actions. I have heard that you do that for everyone, which must be exhausting. Thank you for everything, but especially for being willing to help a stranger, a kinda friend, and later a close friend, all when you didn’t have to.

  3. Charlotte Paul

    This book gives everyone access to the amazing positive energy that is David and Megan Roche.
    I first came across David’s articles for Trail Running Magazine and loved the way he wrote and so much of what he said made sense to me. So my husband and I, both triathlon coaches, contacted David for coaching for ultra running.
    Before my first Ultra David pushed me to be sure of my why. When pushed I realised not all aspects of my motivation were healthy.
    The best thing David ever said to me as a coach was “your best will never be never enough unless it’s always enough. This goes way deeper than running”. This was so true it nearly had me in tears.

    1. David Roche

      Charlotte, you and Kristian are two of the best people in the world. Thank you for teaching us so much about being better coaches and people! And eventually, we will lean on you for parenting coaching too :)

  4. Martin Criminale

    My first interaction with David was on Twitter where I simply pointed out that I agreed with his most recent training tips. He responded so fast and thanked me and told me I WAS AWESOME (the capital letters are his). I laughed when I read this quote from Megan, “When I met David, I was skeptical of his positivity and thought this can’t last—it’s not sustainable.” As she has learned, and as I have seen in my few additional interactions with David, his positivity is for real. What an incredible life lesson. And his training tips are still the best.

  5. David Roche

    Martin, you are an all-caps AWESOME person! And not just because you agreed with an article :) You brought a lot of light into my life when you didn’t have to, which can make all the difference sometimes. THANK YOU!

  6. Grace Fisher

    My initial impressions of David and Megan came from seeing out-of-this-world enthusiastic, unconditionally supportive tweets and Facebook posts about their runners (and other runners). And then he even replied to my comments on those posts even though we were complete strangers. And that reply was full of gratitude, love, encouragement, and support for me. And that love and absolute support continue even on this article. Either they have found a Tardis or some other time-bending machine or they are amazing humans driven by a profound sense of why and a deep love towards all.

  7. Brian Reese

    Nobody is going to mention how David is self absorbed and delusional ? We’re not going to talk about how “coaching” 100+ athletes makes it LITERALLY impossible to give personalized service, and instead, he just prescribes generic surges and volume ? This whole garbage makes me feel like I’m choking on a Smurf. And calling people puppies ? I mean, WHERE THE F AM I??? I don’t need to read the responses cause I already know “haters gonna hate, pass me a puppy.” P

    1. David Roche

      Thanks so much for engaging with this at all Brian! I’d love to talk with you at some point, and you’re always invited to Boulder. I don’t like me all the time either, so I can empathize with your position.

    2. Meghan Hicks

      Brian,

      iRunFar has a comment policy which asks all commenters to write in a constructive manner. You are welcome to disagree with the material on this website or in this article, but we do ask you to frame your disagreement in a constructive way. We try to use the analogy of conversations on the trail: when we’re out trail running with our friends and strangers, we talk about everything–many times debating and disagreeing in doing so–but we speak in a way that invites continuing conversation. Thanks for abiding by our comment policy going forward.

    3. Sara Mahoney

      Brian,
      I am one of David’s athletes and definitely not an elite athlete. In addition to checking and replying to my log multiple times per day, he always promptly responds to all my texts and phone calls, and was eager to make time for me to meet in person when I was in town. He knows my family’s names, where I went to college, deeply understands my short and long term goals, and has developed into someone I would now call a very close friend. In conversation with other SWAP athletes, this experience is the same for all of us. I could not ask for any more personal attention, care and kindness.

    4. Eric Pang

      Hi Brian-

      That’s perfectly fine to have that opinion. His positivity is so genuine that I question whether or not I’m being delusional myself sometimes. His positivity is like if Andre the Giant was hugging you constantly, forever. And, like an infinite Andre the Giant hug, that’s not everyone’s preferred way to live life.

      As my coach, he seems perceptive and caring and a gentle hand pushing you towards my goals. I don’t think a coach, especially one that’s not in-person, can do anything more than that. And he’s never called me a puppy…I don’t think.

      Megan and David are great!

    5. Christopher Harrington

      “Brian”,

      I respectfully disagree with your statements. David, pretty clearly, is one of the least self-absorbed runners out there, despite the fact that his talent and work ethic would give him considerable public deference to actually be self-absorbed. If anything, the way he handles himself shows a lot of maturity. For example, he actually thanked you for your comment.

      As far as your “delusion” statement goes, I think you’re commenting more on David’s world view and coaching philosophy rather than any true delusion (which we all have to varying degrees, anyway). If a coaching philosophy and world view overwhelmingly focused on positivity and finding happiness is a negative for you, you wouldn’t work well with him and he might be able to direct you to a coach with whom you would better work with. I can also speak from personal experience and say that as someone who deals with frustrated, angry, scared people at a job for 60 hours a week, a little bit of that positivity in my training log is transferred and it truly helps not just me, but my clients out.

      Frankly, your statements about who David is are wholly inaccurate and incredibly unfair.

      The only actual constructive question you really raise here is whether or not someone can coach 100+ runners effectively. I can’t speak for the other SWAP runners, but in the seven or so months that I’ve been working with David, I’ve found myself getting stronger and more confident as a runner, excited about my continued growth in a sport that I love, and I don’t have to plan my own training which allows me to focus on other aspects of my life with that freed up time. Further, David is incredibly communicative and his rates are definitely below the industry average for coaches/athletes of his caliber.

      At the end of the day, the continued objective (and personal) successes of the SWAP athletes pretty plainly shows that his philosophy and methodology have a positive impact in the lives of a lot of people, not just in sport, but outside of it. While you are certainly free to disagree with his processes, results are results.

      I wish you nothing the best with your training and racing!

    6. Andrew

      Brian:

      I’ve never sent David (or Megan) a nickel, but David’s responded intelligently, and almost immediately, when I’ve emailed him a question or two about training. And I’m not a famous person, or even a good runner.

      So…. from my limited interactions David seems nice enough!

  8. Clare Gallagher

    Amazing article, Morgan! Also congrats on the new column position. A match made in heaven. Also, being coached by David for the last two years has been the most positive influence on my life. David and Megan help their athletes become better, selfless, loving people because it’s what they embody. They make the world brighter. SWAP philosophy is comically perfect. Thank you for making us take our running less seriously, while becoming better runners and nicer humans. ❤️

    1. David Roche

      Clare, you are more perfect than a large Boulder Pho, which might be the biggest compliment I can give a person :) Thank you for being you, and everything that means, including the harder stuff <3

    2. Morgan Tilton

      Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words, Clare!!! This brought a huge smile to my face. I’m stoked and couldn’t be happier to join iRunFar! Writing about the Roches as an icebreaker was a dream come true–these two are so much fun to talk with! David even immediately thanked me when I accidentally thought he was Megan on the phone — hahaha. Thanks for sharing your optimism with the world, David and Megan!

  9. Korey Konga

    Sometimes I feel so damn busy with school, work, coaching, and family that it feels insane! What you two have accomplished as business owners, runners, and good people is inspiring. The world could use more helpers; keep being awesome!

    Cheers,

    1. David Roche

      We have so much respect for everything you are doing Korey! Super coach/runner, dad, husband, and firefighter = EPIC AND AMAZING! Thanks for everything!

  10. Liza

    David and Megan embody the kindness and generosity that drew me to the trail running community and keeps me here. I think their book really captures the essence of good coaching. They are wonderful!!

  11. Abby Levene

    David’s innate philosophical wisdom and wit + Megan’s immense medical knowledge and spunk coalesce to the most badass, intelligent, compassionate, helpful, and fun duo (and coaches!) of all time. We (the trail running community) are so lucky to have them on our side! David started coaching me when I was in a ditch of despair (which says a lot about him, Megan, and SWAP!), and since then I have never been happier. Thank you for writing such a beautiful and hilarious article that does them justice, Morgan :)

    1. Morgan Tilton

      Thank you so much for reading and enjoying the story, Abby!!! That means a ton! It’s been inspirational to watch you grow as an athlete and person, and I’m stoked that you’ve been so happy being coached by SWAP and the Roches :)

  12. Christine C Casady

    Only a month apart, I had my first Boston Marathon and first mountain race (100K) on the horizon. I picked up Coach David because I knew (or thought I knew) how to train for road races and ultras separately, but not together. I had only planned on using a coach until that season was over but after working with David, I can’t imagine training without him! I’ve been with SWAP for two years now and David has turned out to be so much more than a running coach. More often than not he’s a LIFE coach too which has made my SNARF running life so much better! :) SWAP and the Roches ROCK!

    1. David Roche

      Christine, it has been so fun to be a fly on the wall for your journey! You have taught me so much along the way, THANK YOU for being you!

  13. Morgan Tilton

    Gals and guys, thank you for all of the great conversation!! Meghan, thank you so much for the sweet welcome wagon :) Ya’ll are making me feel right at home. I had a blast talking with David and Megan, who are both truly genuine, positive, hilarious, awesome, and interesting people — we’re fortunate to have you both in our trail community!!

  14. Michael

    First met David at the Medoc Trail Races in North Carolina. He was a student at Duke and locally a relatively unknown trail runner at the time. Our race puts “trail names” on the race numbers instead of real names. Unbeknownst to his dad, when David signed them both up he gave his dad the trailname “Nosehair the Magnificent” which quickly made him a race favorite.

    Before the race David and his father were asking how the course was marked. During the conversation David’s proud dad said, “well David is going to win” which is why course markings were an important question. David quickly shushed his dad. Not knowing David, I informed him that we had a local professional triathlete in the race. David asked that I point him out. The two ran together the entire race swapping the lead multiple times. On the last quarter mile David opened up a lead, but not knowing the course kicked a little too early and was literally passed crossing the finish line with a snot covered face.

    David returned the next year to win by nearly two miles and set the course record that still stands today.

    Roches are what we call “good people”. The entire family are fun and positive. . . even Nosehair the Magnificent.

  15. Paul

    Kudos to irunfar profiling folks associated with a competing publication. It will be interesting to see if Trail Runner Magazine profiles Bryon and Meghan in return. (not suggesting that they should, or that irunfar expects reciprocity, only that I am genuinely curious)

    1. Bryon Powell

      Can’t say I really thought about David writing for TRM during my (very) brief involvement in discussing the Roches as potential WeRunFar subjects. For me, it’s the Roches’ amazing positivity and encouragement of the community that made them a no brainer.

      Also, I don’t really think of TRM as a “competing publication.” The trail running world is small. We do what we do. They do what they do. The community gains from the different approaches and insights and styles. Really. :-) (And although neither Meghan nor I write frequently for TRM these days, the last time I checked, we were both still on the masthead there.) I could and would say the same thing about UltraRunning Magazine. You might be surprised at how supportive the folks associated with various publications are of one another.

    2. Morgan Tilton

      I second Bryon’s sentiment about the non-competitive nature of trail running publications! For background: I pitched this profile and our in-house team discussed the idea and assigned. As a writer of many (50+) publications, most if not all of the editorial teams I work with understand and support our need as writers to contribute across various publications and platforms. There’s no scarcity of great stories to share, and ultimately, publishing great stories benefits the entire ecosystem of the editorial world :) As a contracted writer, any conversation of competing assignments might be introduced if the story is investigative, groundbreaking news, or print–in which case one publication might reserve first priority. This is an interesting topic, for sure. Thanks for posing the idea!

  16. Robert Trachtenberg

    I loved this article and am so grateful that IRunFar highlighted the Roche’s journey. It’s amazing to me how much I’ve benefited from David and Megan’s writing, advice and perspective on running (and life), which, I think, says a lot given that I’ve been running for nearly 42 years and my fast (relative term) days are over. Since diving into and welcoming the Roche’s philosophy I’m having more fun running than ever. I’m 55 years old and still running 55-65 mile per week on and around the trails of Portland, OR, just having a blast playing as well as incorporating a few of the drills and surges to give me a feeling of moving quickly. Most important, however, is the perspective I’ve been able to adopt knowing full well my fastest days are behind me; I love running and will continue to love running even as I inevitably slow down further over the years. Megan and David have been instrumental in helping me be comfortable with that while in no way diminishing the joy I get bouncing around the trails and seeking adventure and life affirming experiences through running. Keep up the great work and know that you are well appreciated!

  17. Jonathan

    100+ athletes? Seriously???? I feel bad for them. There’s no way you can offer any personal attention on a consistent basis. Just do the math. 10 min a day (which is not nearly enough time to look at training, have a phone call, email, write training down, etc) x 100 people = over 16 hours just there. Plus trying to write a book and articles? I agree the roaches have a ton of enthusiasm, but you cant tell me that their athletes receive any personalized attention.

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