Monthly Archives: November 2018

trail running trends 2016

Disclaimer: my version of trendwatching is largely an effort to detect patterns in the echo chamber of my interests. I’ve written a couple of posts on trends in trailrunning, as well as various pretentious reflections on running in general. The atrocious performance record of the trendwatching species is well known and doesn’t need further elaboration, but with the hedge that trends perceived are as much created by the searching eye as being ‘pre-existing’ realities, I feel I’ve sufficiently covered my ass to continue making a fool of myself while pretending to be intellectually honest. Continue reading


trail running trends 2015


For two years in a row I reviewed my armchair trail running impressions. Haven’t got much to add. Most trends have deepened (more business, more attention to FKTs and its variations, more extreme events, many more races) rather than much new emerging. So I didn’t bother for 2015. Continue reading

thoughts on running shoes (and coffee)

These days I’ve totally stopped proselytizing any kind of shoe. Now the dust has settled on the ‘barefoot’ versus ‘cushioned’ battlefield, I’ve ended up where most have: run on whatever feels OK to you, don’t trust marketing crap and leave the rest of the world at peace. Continue reading

we’re all running stories

I may rightfully be accused of silly conceptual urges, tinkering away at my map of the running universe,  and of pigeon-holing what running is all about (for me). Owning up to my hobby horses and questioning them is the best I can do, can’t wish them away. The particular question I want to address here is why. Not why I can’t wish them away (not gonna bore you with free will conundrums here) but why I have, or is it need to have? such hobby horses with respect to something as simple as running in the first place. Continue reading

trail running trends 2014a


Trends in trailrunning has been my subject in earlier posts (here and here). The question at stake in this post is how important the trails – read landscape, natural beauty – really are to the way it seems to be developing as a sport.

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trail running trends 2014b


Now everyone has had (mostly) his say about 2014, its time for my geriatric armchair contribution. Being late is not only my style but also allows me to freely piggyback on what has already been produced by those making a living from this. Continue reading

trail running trends 2013

My recent review of trailrunning in Nepal mentioned some general trends in (ultra) trailrunning. Being an armchair enthusiast, not a competitive runner, nor otherwise actively involved in the scene, this kinda analysis has to be seen for what it is. I follow a couple of sites, and click-through to blogs, reports and video’s that are mentioned, and my impression of what’s happening that emerges from that smorgasbord is what I share. Obviously says as much about me as about what’s happening. Mind you, that is true for most of what is out there. So don’t blame me.

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trail running trends

For a while I joined the crowds assessing the trends of the year (nearly) gone by.

First of those was a 2013 review of trail running in Nepal, that included observations on general trends in ultra-trail running that my armchair running self had noticed (increasing number of races, increasing number of races beyond the 100 mile distance, heaps of young fast runners entering this formely geriatric  discipline, and the growing prominence of Fastest Known Times (FTK) efforts.

Followed that up with a ‘proper’ 2013 review.

Then did two! 2014 reviews, this one and this one.

Which left me with little for 2015.

And a bit more of the same in 2016.

My trail running is massively rooted in Nepalese soil. Its trails and I go back 40 years. However, I wasn’t particularly aware of it until my last stint in Kathmandu, that my urban trail thing also goes back to thoses first weeks in 1978.

spectacular talent deserves support

Mira Rai is starting to make her mark internationally. A couple of months ago she showed up at the start of her first ever 50k and did remarkably well for a girl that hadn’t run much beyond 5 and 10k races. Richard Bull, a driving force behind the development of trailrunning in Nepal, started a crowd funding initiative to support her development as a budding athlete and that of other talented female runners. He invited her to join the second edition of his Mustang Trail race (female winner), and managed to get her to follow the footsteps of Upendra Sunwar and Phu Dorjee Sherpa whom his crowd funding efforts has brought to Europe recently. Two straight wins later, after some recovery time in Nepal, she was supported to travel to Hongkong to compete  in the MSIG HK50 and was victorious again.

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trail running Nepal

Content-wise, the site, in its early days, was a co-production of my friend Richard and myself (design and all the technical stuff: all Richard). Much of what I I contributed  didn’t age very well but some of it still seems relevant and the point of this compilation post is to make those easily accessible.

And be ready for some mouth-watering visuals of Nepal’s stunning trails!

Back in 2010, we co-wrote a destination guide, trail running in Nepal, for  what is now one of the trail running world’s most important hubs, Amazing, how much has changed in eight years time.

Same year I speculated on Why running trails in Southasia are not yet a popular form of adventure tourism? in the regionally focussed Himal Southasian magazine. Would certainly have to write a different article now, although some of what I came up with remains valid.

In 2011 we promoted fastpacking Nepal’s trekking trails first time round.

And that same year I kicked off my pedestrian overthinking with a first try at navigating the conceptual space of all those variations of ‘running’. It holds documentary value for me, and shows that I haven’t progressed much since in trying to create clarity in my fuzzy mess of thoughts.

I reviewed 2013 for trail running Nepal and could point to quite some positives. The review also included some general observations about ultra-trail running world-wide.

In 2014 I wrote a post about (the need to support) upcoming local talent Mira Rai. It only appeared on my now defunct personal blog, but was was shared in various ways among the growing circle of those interested in Nepalse runners, and running in Nepal. To make it accessible (again) I have reposted it on this blog.

My involvement with trail running in Nepal ended years ago, and I can claim no role in the amazing changes that Richard and friends have brought about and nurtured: the array of spectacular events, effective support to amazing local runners (who have made full use of the opportunities they got), the visibility of Nepal as a running destination, and the recognition its talent receives now receives from local media and authorities.  But they certainly make me very happy!

Enjoy the visuals: