Top 9 Best Things on the Internet Relating in Some Way to WA Trail Culture

Today I spent 9 hours in class, so needless to say, by about 4 PM I had finished reading everything on the internet.  After this exhaustive survey, I was struck by how much our local internetters stood out, and particularly how excellent WA outdoorsy types are at internetting.  Seems like every week they produce some new, amazing web-thing.  I've thought for a while about updating the links over there ----->.  I still haven't done that, but I thought that gathering together some of the best places on the internet would be a step in the right direction to highlight the amazing things you people are creating to keep us on the trails, even when we're sitting around on the computer, nursing stupid hamstring pulls that we got stupid bouldering.  What follows is my own personal Top 9 Best Things on the Internet Relating in Some Way to WA Trail Culture, in no particular order. The focus is on material with a creative edge, rather than straight informational race reports, trail descriptions, or training blogs, because that's what I like and this is my list, damn it.  It also focuses on live/active blogs or sites that are updated regularly, because as all endurance athletes know, quantity is more important than quality.

Before I get on to that, I should just note quickly what actually got me thinking about how high the quality of web-production is in this area.  While all 1000 of my Facebook friends had brilliant and hilarious status updates today, there were two things that I was particularly excited to see on my newsfeed: 1) a new Shoeless Joe interview on the Seattle Running Club site, and 2) the posting of the first Ultrapedestrian podcast featuring all of the coolest people in the Washington trail and ultra running scene.  Excellent work to those who produced both of those gems.  Excellent work also to those who continually produce these gems, and apologies to anyone I forgot:

1) Did you know that the guy who wrote that Killian Jornet NYT article, Becoming the All Terrain Human, is a Seattle guy?  It's true.  His name's Christopher Solomon, he's a freelance journalist, and if you click on his name back there you can read more of his stuff from Outside and so forth.  There's at least an hour's worth of class-time killing excellent writing there.  And if you haven't read the Killian article, 1) you really do have to, and 2) you obviously don't love Killian as much as you should yet. 

2)  I'll mention Glenn Tachiyama again below, but the other day on Facebook he posted a beautiful, life-affirming video produced by Duct Tape Then Beer.  I don't know who those guys are, but they make amazing web media out of Seattle for Arc'teryx and other companies.  I've only watched a couple of their videos at this point, but they're the kinds of things that make you want to drop your laptop, walk out of class and head to the mountains.  Watch this!:

35 from ARC'TERYX on Vimeo.


3) Along with running 200 miles at a time, and circumnavigating Mt Rainier twice in a row in one push, Ras Tafari makes running at the back of the pack seem cooler than winning races.  He and Kathy Vaughan are two of the best people you'll meet.  They have a great blog at Ultrapedestrian.com, and I love that they're putting together a podcast now.  The first one is here, and it highlights some of the most interesting people and events in WA ultrarunning this year, including Stacey Nievweija's amazing 173 mile solo road run between Vancouver and Seattle in February. 

4) The best photographer in all of trail running-dom is of course Glenn Tachiyama, and we're super lucky to have him taking pictures of us at our local races for free.  He's an amazing guy, an amazing runner in his own right, and one of the real stars of the local trail scene.  You can view and/or buy his pictures online - and you should, of course: Glenn Tachiyama Photography.

5) Jenn Hughes is a single mom who started her own successful, innovative, women's clothing business and runs 100 mile ultramarathons and week long stage races through the desert.  No big deal.  She also has one of the best blogs I've found (it's aimed mainly at a female audience, but then again so is Better Homes and Gardens, but that doesn't stop me from reading).  She's the epitome of strong, beautiful trail running women.  Buy her clothes, but first read her blog at Run Pretty Far

6) Erin Earle started a blog at the beginning of this year, and it's been consistently amazing!  She weaves together life and running in really thoughtful and beautiful ways, and you should really check it out if you haven't yet: sakura blooms


7)  I don't really know Trey Bailey, but he seems to be good buddies with some of the best runners in the state, has an epic mustache/hair combination, posted naked pictures of himself on Facebook, and won last month's Editor's Choice award on Trail Runner Magazine's Blog Symposium for one of his posts on UphillRunning.com.

8) The Seattle Running Club has a nice site and blog in its own right, but the Shoeless Joe Interviews really are my favorite.  Professional quality journalism, interviewing top runners on the local and national scene.  All of Joe's questions are stupid, but I think his piece with Uli Steidl might be my favorite interview ever that wasn't on a Zach Galifianakis "Between Two Ferns" episode.  His most recent entry with Jodee Adams-Moore may be, I think, genuinely notable.  He pulled an ultrarunning journalistic coup by scoring the first substantial interview with a runner who seems to be on the front end of her career, and who has the potential to compete at the highest levels.  It's super long, deep and personal in a roundabout way, and manages to be consistently entertaining.    

9) This veers away somewhat from my emphasis on blogs with a primarily creative focus, but The Seattle Mountain Running Group site is singularly cool.  It blends race reports and trip planning tips with more personal elements like gear sharing and philosophical reflections to create a great little hub for the trail running community in this area.  Their Facebook group has been a major catalyst for growth in the trail running community in the Seattle area, and really Western WA as a whole, and I'd be remiss if I didn't include them.   


Comments

jayaresea said…
wow, thanks tim. suffice to say, jodee will likely turn out to be the shoeless joe peak.

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