AJW’s Taproom Fourth Anniversary

AJW celebrates the Taproom column’s fourth anniversary.

By on October 9, 2015 | Comments

AJWs TaproomWow! Has it really been four years? What started on a whim to add an editorial voice to iRunFar has evolved into a wonderful place to share all that we love about running long. I am so pleased to have engaged with so many readers over the years and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Bryon and Meghan for giving me this little corner of their website.

Over 210 columns later, every Friday, I still love sitting down at my computer each week to ruminate over running and life. In these past four years I’ve written analytical pieces, reflective pieces, descriptive pieces and, occasionally, humorous pieces. The conversations have always been constructive and fun and have consistently provided a wonderful reminder to me of what a great community our ultrarunning world is.

Recently I had an email exchange with a couple of friends about what it’s like to engage in this sport over the long haul. In particular, we wrote about the aging process in the sport. Much has been said and written over the last few years about the changes in the sport and the increasing youth movement. As for me, I love that. That said, I feel there will always be a place in our hearts for the wise, old sages of the sport. One of my friends suggested it was like sitting by the campfire. Those of us who’ve been around for awhile may tend to drift into the shadows and hunker down further from the flames over time, but we’re still a part of the dynamic. While the younger generation takes their places close up to the flames with their marshmallows and chocolate bars, those on the outside look on longingly.

That’s a metaphor I like!

While aging is never easy or fun, it is one of life’s realities and as long as the community makes room for us, I can assure you we will joyfully participate. In my little way, it is my hope that this column continues to provide topics for thoughtful discussion on a run or over a beer, even if those conversations increasingly take place in the shadows.

Finally, as we launch into year five in the Taproom, please do not hesitate to contact me. I love hearing from readers and would be particularly interested in thoughts you might have on the topics of future columns. It is the interactive nature of this column that I truly enjoy the most.

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week

AleWerks Brewing Company Pumpkin AleTo celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Taproom, I am going in a little different direction with a variety I typically don’t like but in honor of this weekend’s rescheduled Grindstone 100 Mile and this column’s fourth anniversary, it seems fitting to call out the Pumpkin Ale at AleWerks Brewing Company, of Williamsburg, Virginia. I have to admit I liked this one so much that I ordered a second. Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks!

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

You heard him! AJW wants to know what you’d like to hear about in the Taproom during the column’s fifth year. Share with us in the comments section.

Andy Jones-Wilkins

Andy Jones-Wilkins is an educator by day and has been the author of AJW’s Taproom at iRunFar for over 11 years. A veteran of over 190 ultramarathons, including 38 100-mile races, Andy has run some of the most well-known ultras in the United States. Of particular note are his 10 finishes at the Western States 100, which included 7 times finishing in the top 10. Andy lives with his wife, Shelly, and Josey, the dog, and is the proud parent of three sons, Carson, Logan, and Tully.