Every Friday For Six Years, Really?

AJW reflects on his six years of penning ‘AJW’s Taproom’ column on iRunFar.

By on October 13, 2017 | Comments

AJW's TaproomWell, just like that, another 53 columns are in the books. Another trip around the sun. Another year in ‘AJW’s Taproom.’ And what a year it’s been! Looking back on my year in writing and running, it’s certainly been one of evolution and acceptance. A year which has taught me much about who I am and where I might be headed and a year which has been as full as I could ever have imagined.

In looking back over this year’s body of work, I’ve zeroed in on five areas that stand out as highlights in my annual year-in-review column:


I’ve had the chance to be playful now and then here on iRunFar and this year was no exception. From my rather focused column on “Running As Play” to my more esoteric treatise of “Hope Springs Eternal!”, this has been a playful year, highlighted, of course, by my in-depth cutting-edge analysis in the “Barkley Marathons Change Of Ownership Press Release.”


Ever since we began this ride six years ago, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to use this space as a place to opine about running, our sport, and life. This year, my opinion highlights were on “Becoming Vulnerable,” “The Practice Of Deliberate Practice,” and the column that I think was my best of the year, “Discipline, Purpose, And The Capacity To Dream.”

Just Running

In year six, more than in the first five, I found myself writing about just plain old running more than usual. Something about the simple act of getting out the door seemed to inspire me this year and those feelings were best expressed in “Running From The Inside Out,” “The Simple Pleasure Of The Long Run,” and “Finding All-Day Pace For Life.” Running, in its purest and simplest form, is, frankly, my greatest joy in life so I suppose it’s no wonder that I find a voice there.

Philosophical Musings

Since the beginning, the Taproom has been a place where I’ve been allowed, unabashedly, to wax philosophical and this year’s philosophical highlights include “The Ultra Stage Race Subculture,” “Putting In The Work,” and “Running As A Secular Pilgrimage.” If there is one thing, above all other things, that I appreciate about long-distance running, is that it brings out the best in all of us, even when our best may not actually be all that good.

Personal Reflections

While iRunFar is most certainly not a personal running blog, from time to time I have been afforded the opportunity to simply spout off. And this year I did so most especially with “Running And My Favorite Teacher,” “Confessions Of A Morning Person,” and “Running And The Spiritual Trail.” In these columns, I felt that I was sharing a bit of my most raw and vulnerable self, that self that is made plain through a life on the run.

And so, dear readers, there you have it! Six years and 317 columns later, we’re still here doing what we love in spite of it all. I hope you continue to enjoy these weekly missives as much as I do and if you ever have ideas for columns or just want to reach out and ruminate a bit, please drop me a line. Until then…

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week

Avery Brewing Company Coconut PorterBoulder, Colorado is home to Avery Brewing Company, which has for years made outstanding beers. But with their Coconut Porter, they have simply outdone themselves. Smooth, rich, bold, and not too sweet, this is a coconut porter worth savoring, worth traveling for, and worth 12 bucks for 22 ounces. It’s that good and it’s my anniversary beer of the week!

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • AJW asked for it: ideas for future columns. Leave a comment to let us know what you’d like to see AJW write about this coming year.
  • What articles in ‘AJW’s Taproom’ have you enjoyed most this year?
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.