Every Friday For The Past Two Years

A reflection on the second anniversary of AJW’s taproom.

By on October 11, 2013 | Comments

AJWs Taproom[Editor’s Note: As surprised as Andy Jones-Wilkins is about the passage of time, we are even more so. We hope you’ve enjoyed AJW’s ruminations leading the way every Friday for the past two years as much as we have. Thank you, AJW, for your hard work and we look forward to your future philosophizing!]

This column marks the second anniversary of AJW’s Taproom, an idea born out of the minds of a couple ultrarunning geeks over beers at a rural Virginia brewery back in September 2011. We’ve seen some growth and change in the sport over those two years, including on the journalistic side, and we have also experienced the ups and downs of any small, start-up operation. However, what we felt so strongly two years ago, we feel even more today today: there exists a strong thirst for a resource like iRunFar in the running community and AJW’s Taproom has provided one way to quench that thirst.

At the core, iRunFar is Bryon Powell’s baby. He works up to 20 hours a day, seven days a week to produce this website and, to be honest, lives a simple and frugal existence to make ends meet. By his side is his partner and better half, Meghan Hicks, herself a talented writer, skillful editor, and accomplished runner. If you have not yet made a donation to support the work of these two incredible people, please do so now. Click here and contribute something, anything, so that we can continue to enjoy in-depth race coverage, thoughtful content, and engaging discussion that has become the gold standard of online ultramarathon journalism.

As far as AJW’s Taproom is concerned, I can’t believe I have been doing this for two years. One article a week for over 100 weeks. What’s up with that? Some of the columns have been pretty good, others not-so-good. Some thoughtful, reflective pieces, other analytical, occasionally opinionated pieces. I’ve enjoyed the ride and have found that the opportunity to sit down and pen something once a week has made me a bit more disciplined, focused, and thoughtful than I may otherwise be. And, the discussion afterward is always fun.

I encourage all of you who are interested in this column to contact me with ideas for future columns. I also welcome comments, constructive criticism, and ideas. Perhaps you’d like to read a profile of your favorite runner or hear others’ thoughts on their favorite places for a meditative run? Don’t be shy; the most fun part of writing AJW’s Taproom is sharing the joy of ultramarathon trail running with people from around the world. The focus of the column remains true to it roots: to explore topics that you would share with friends out on a long trail run or sitting over beers at your local taproom.

Bottoms up!

 AJW’s Beer of the Week

Devil's Backbone - Vienna LagerThis week’s Beer of the Week comes from Devil’s Backbone Brewery in Nellysford, VA (the brew pub where AJW’s Taproom was born). Their Vienna Lager is a smooth drinking classic lager with a touch of sweetness that is hearty and not too filling.

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • What have been some of your favorite AJW’s Taproom columns over the years?
  • What topics and ideas would you like to see AJW write about in the future?
  • As AJW said above, AJW’s Taproom is meant to be an online manifestation of conversations/discussion topics for the trail or the bar. Do you have any good stories of sharing a run or a beer with AJW in real life, and the real-life AJW’s Taproom conversation that was a part of it? If so, share!
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.