As I write this editor’s note, I’m sitting in the window seat of a train headed from Glasgow to Inverness, Scotland. The mossy pastures out the window are dotted with puffy sheep, each splotched with a cyan dot on their rump, indicating the farm off in the distance they to which they belong. Weary of the race I’m signed up to run in about 40 hours, I press my forehead against the window and nod off, as the blue dots blur past.
Waking up, the terrain has changed. The velvety meadows have been replaced with steep, jagged crags on either side of the train. The sheep remain, abstracted now on individual ledges, like ornaments on a living wall. These sheep belong to the farmer with a predilection for hunter’s orange. It’s as if I fell asleep passing through rural Ontario, and woke up at the Alberta-British Columbia border, but with more daredevil sheep.
I’m on my way to the Loch Ness Marathon, which of course follows the famed waterway from the south to north in one of the most beautiful parts of the U.K. I’ll share the experience on our social media feeds, as well as in a future issue (perhaps next year’s “getaways” themed issue, which would be fitting). I’ll get a few hours to spot Nessy. If I see her, you’ll probably already know by now (#NessyEatsRunner).
One of the great joys of my job, and for any runner really, is wandering beyond the local scene to see what other parts of the world are like, and to get to see it on foot. Apart from being a satisfying goal, a destination marathon can be seen as a pretty efficient way to cover more of a city or region than you could possibly pull off by just walking around for a week. And a great excuse to eat half the menu at a great restaurant. It’s been a lot of fun putting together a destination-themed issue. Adventure photographer Michael Overbeck jumped at the opportunity to take his camera into the mountains just off the Icefield Parkway for an intense and breathtaking weekend of exploration (p.38). We sent our web editor Sinead Mulhern out to Vancouver for the first time to experience the SeaWheeze Half-Marathon (p. 46), which has become one of the premier 21ks in the world. And regular contributor Colin Smith put together a personal and relatable feature on the Kananaskis 100-Mile Relay (p.50).
Smith’s story is about more than just a group of sleepless guys in a van eating far too much candy. It’s about how running can be a bridge to reconnect with your roots, and to reveal to others an intimate glimpse of where you come from and who you are. Fittingly, the K-100 has remained an equally intimate, familial race. Running relays are special, and this one, cutting through the Rockies, should be on every bucket list.
Wherever your running travels take you in 2018, be sure to share them with us, and we’ll be sure to share them with the rest of your Canadian Running family. Who knows, maybe your adventure will be prefaced in next year’s travel issue editor’s note.
ABOVE Michael Overbeck’s Rockies Adventure