Like the Wind | Number 31
A serious commitment to rediscover the joy of running
In this issue, photojournalist Hilary Matheson takes us to the stunning and welcoming jungle of Chiang Mai, Thailand, where aid station tables are overflowing with mouth-watering food and local children line the trails. We travel the grueling course of the Tor des Géants with writer Chris Zehetleitner and his fiancée, who reveal the emotional impact of being a teammate for a loved one (arguably more exhausting than running). On the other side of the Atlantic, photographer Rob Schanz is on the track at the Houston Marathon, where he follows an astonishing group of talented runners, including record holder Kiera d'Amato. Like the Wind interviews these fantastic women, who reveal the balance they must find between training, career and family. And in the ancient heart of Europe, legendary ultrarunner Dean Karnazes returns to his roots to explore the history of Greece in ten consecutive ten-day marathons. Dean discovers not only Greece's close ties to running, but also the importance of independence in a country that gave the world the notion of democracy.
Women have not always been able to participate equally in running. In issue 31, writer Tom Fairbrother profiles Diane Leather, the first woman to break the five-minute-per-mile mark, but whose exploits have gone largely unnoticed in history. Even today, women must break down barriers to race at an elite level - and when there is intersectionality between being a woman and being non-white, it is even more difficult to reach the top. In a candid interview, American-born black woman and marathon record holder Samia Akbar talks to Like the Wind editor-in-chief Simon Freeman about her life and career, as well as the frustratingly slow process of creating equal participation in running.
Unfortunately, the relationship between female athletes and the coaches who drive them to success is not always positive. Our investigative reporting in this issue delves into the often troubling scenarios that occur when an intense coach-athlete bond goes beyond achieving results on the track.
It shouldn't be a privilege to be able to participate in running and be supported to succeed, but for too many people it still is. In the meantime, it's truly a privilege to be able to tell running stories from around the world and shine a light on the exploits of runners from all walks of life.