AJW’s Taproom Fourth Anniversary

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.

There are 3 comments

  1. senelly

    Mahalo nui loa! Mucho gracias! Thank you AJW for your always interesting and amusing writing! Running loooong is (and may always be) an outlier activity… mostly solitary, occasionally social, and always challenging. Like aging. So, as an ager (my word), I need (yes, NEED) to hear more about legal (or quasi-legal… meaning untraceable) performance enhancement for ultra has-beens like me. As an example, Dean Karnaze's Thync comes to mind (pun). Please address questions such as, is it OK to use cannabis in Colorado ultras?

  2. senelly

    As I was putting together my Ultrarunning Fantasy Team (big money is involved) and I was considering AJW as coach-runner, I noticed there was just one comment to this posting of his. One comment!? Well, here's the second in response to AJW's invitation to suggest items for year 5: Please include more stuff about ultrarunning's positive community impact, including the good effects of events on towns that host them (Silverton?) as well as the general contribution of ultra running in a community (Boulder). Some folks see ultrarunning as narcissism in motion, but I have observed runners (and running) actually helping others! Thanks for asking.

  3. senelly

    OK… please, PLEASE suggest stuff for AJW's 5th year of iRunFar articles.

    I have suggested 1) Real, legal, long-lasting performance enhancement, 2) Town-by town benefits from ultra events, and now I suggest 3) Shoe truth: with some shoes pushing $170 and ongoing competition between 0-drop barefoots vs. ultra-cushy bulletproofs (my terms), what's up with that? What is the truth about footwear? Is it just personal preference or do some shoes really work better than others?

    Don't leave me hanging here… living proof of ultra-narcissism on the hoof as it were…

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