Hello, running friends and family! I won’t bury the lede here. My full-time work at iRunFar is over, and I am soon moving to Alaska to pursue a career with the United States Air Force.
I’ve never been one to take the easy way in life. In my nursing career, I wanted nothing on a regular floor: I planned to go straight to the emergency room or intensive care unit. While working as a journalist, I didn’t take the time to do an internship, or spend time in easy places: I went straight to Yemen. While working in wildland fire, I loved my time on an engine, but dreamed of one day being able to do enough pull-ups and push-ups to be a smokejumper.
And here I am again — moving to the biggest state with the highest mountains and some of the toughest trails in the country. But as they say, hard times (and places) create strong [wo]men, and that has always been my goal.
I was looking through my iPhone for photos for this article, looking way back to see when my interest in trail running truly started. Back in 2017, while I was working in Mosul, Iraq, during an especially stifling summer, I was perusing running websites for stories of mountains and greener (and cooler) vistas.
I came across and saved a photo of Kilian Jornet during the 2017 Hardrock 100 with his arm in a sling. And I’m not sure why, but that story was what initially piqued my interest in trail running. Five years later, I’ve made great friends and gained a deeper knowledge of the sport, thanks in large part to my time here at iRunFar.
My interest in Alaska was piqued about a year later, when I considered applying for a flight nursing job out of Juneau. Beyond that small coastal city lay the most dramatic landscape I had ever seen — again, not an easy place, but a wild place, and a good place.
The last year or so that I’ve been involved in the trail running world has been a wild ride: finding new trails from Arizona to Idaho, meeting an amazing community of people, discovering that I cannot in fact wear trail shoes as tightly as my road ones, and experiencing my first very unfortunate bonk.
While my days now entail much more weightlifting than running, long days on the trail, whether for fun or for racing, have instilled a mental toughness in me as I have never had before — one that I hope I can keep building on for the rest of my life, and one that is only made stronger by the strong and supportive community of trail runners around me.
I have loved my time at iRunFar: working alongside driven, enthusiastic, and kind people like Meghan, Bryon, our columnists, and our gear reviewers, all the while learning to be a better writer, editor, runner, and all-around curious person. It has been a highlight of my life. Thank you to everyone at iRunFar and Lola Digital Media who have made my time here great.
Anyone in the Alaska trail and ultra community, please reach out, as I’d love to go for a run and learn more about your awesome state — and how to keep warm up there, as it’s been a long time since I’ve lived in Minnesota!
Also, please promise not to drop me on your terrifyingly vertical trails. I don’t know if I’ll be doing Mount Marathon or the Mat Peak Challenge anytime soon.
I don’t really believe in saying goodbye; rather, see you later seems more appropriate. This is not the end, but only the beginning. You’ll still see my name on a few iRunFar articles from time to time. See you on the trails.
Call for Comments
- If you’re in Alaska, especially the Anchorage area, I’d love to meet you!