Monday, December 12, 2011

irunfar

The poll on the right was a fun one, wasn't it? I find it interesting to see that the votes were so close and I can't help but wonder if the ballots were split down gender lines:) One thing I do think is that the irunfar twitter coverage of races has certainly highlighted an interesting aspect of social networking in general and of Twitter in particular. I am not sure about other folks out there but knowing Meghan and Bryon as well as I do I find it remarkable that within their twitter coverage one can get a sense, and I must say a real sense, of their personalities and temperaments.

Bryon's analytical approach peppered with insider knowledge is wonderfully balanced by Meghan's more colorful commentary and humorous one-liners. When you think about it, it's kind of amazing that you can get a sense of a person in 160 characters on your phone. Furthermore, I just love Meghan's use of language with phrases like "not gonna lie", "sadfaced", and "buh-bye" when contrasted with Bryon's matter-of-fact anecdotes about obscure Europeans runners with oddball sponsors. For those disappointed about not getting into WS or HRH look on the bright side, you get to follow the races this summer on Twitter with the two best "voices" in the business.

Which brings me to irunfar itself. I remember when Bryon hatched the idea back in 2007. He was a well-paid attorney living the good life in Washington DC when he got the itch to start irunfar. He had been writing a personal blog for awhile and it was quite good but I could tell he wanted to do more. When he paced me that year at Grand Teton we talked a bit about the whole thing and it was clear he was getting ready to pull the plug. He traveled around getting to know people, he worked tirelessly at the OR Show while the rest of us hung out and drank beer, and he meticulously outlined a plan to bring his vision to life. He sold his house in DC, re-located to a doublewide on the fringe of Yosemite National Park and got to work. A year later he and Meghan moved to Park City, UT to a palatial one bedroom house (well, actually one-and-a-half if you count Bryon's office, aka, the Pink Closet) and the launch was complete.

Today, the website has won awards from Outside Magazine and other media outlets. Bryon and Meghan's reviews and articles appear all over the place, and most ultrarunners I know go to the site first thing every morning. The gear reviews, the interviews, the videos and, of course, the race coverage make irunfar truly like nothing else. It's amazing! Imagine trying to explain it to someone ten years ago! I am not sure anyone would believe it.

So, as another year draws to a close, I want to thank Bryon, and his partner Meghan, for giving us of yourselves in such a selfless and creative manner. I know I speak for many when I say we truly value all you have done as the chroniclers of our sport and I know how hard you have worked to make your dream a reality. Here's to another great year at irunfar in 2012!

15 comments:

Bryon Powell said...

I voted for Meghan... :-)

Had I not, it would have been a dead heat. How cool is that!

Tim said...

As a techie myself and admin of a large running site, I can vouch for the crazy amounts of work that have to go into updates, moderation and monitoring. Thanks to those of you keeping our beloved sport available to such a wide audience.

dvroes said...

Andy,

Right on. If no Bryon & Meghan we would have to go to all races in order to know what's going on and even then I sometimes have to call home to get information while I am navigating between aid stations.

Ultra168 said...

Great article Andy nad I for one are grateful of iRunFar. From a lay perpsective, I see 2 key events that has brought ultrarunning to the masses, firtsly the publication of Dean Karnazes book and secondly the iRunFar.

If immitation is the best form of flattery, then I am happy to declare that our own website www.ultra168.com was modelled on Bryon's insight, speed and access to the world of ultrarunning. My colleagues and I regularly quote "We want to be the iRunFar of AsiaPac" or "What would Bryon do?" when debating certain stories and articles to publish.

We certainly wait with baited breath for the next iRunFar post and the debate it often causes.

Heres to an even more tweeted 2012

cheers

Marcus Warner

www.ultra168.com

Meghan said...

Happyfaces for a tied poll. And I voted for Bryon!

Oh gosh this post makes me want to go crawl in a cave of darkness so I can blush all alone. Thank you, AJW.

Bryon is the iRF powerhouse, you know. He has amazing capacity for pulling all nighters and other feats of epic work that would send me into a vegetative state.

If iRF was a wild West movie set, then think of Bryon as the building fronts and the gun show and me as the 2x4 framework that holds up the set. I feed Bryon well, edit stuff when he lets me, and swat him out the door if he needs a little extra motivation for a run.

iRF and Bryon's dream wouldn't exist if it weren't for passionate and excitable runners, though, so thank you to the community for giving Bryon an outlet for all his energies!

Bryon Powell said...

If Meghan and I both voted for each other than Meghan wins the non-iRF vote. Hooray for Meghan!

Paul Charteris said...

As we all know, there's a lot of volunteers that help this wonderful sport of ours, so I salute Bryon, Meghan, and Marcus (in Australia) for their efforts in raising the profile of long-distance trail running.

Bryon, I am sure you get it a lot, but it sure is rewarding when people come up to you and say "your blog post inspired me to enter..."

I also believe that a large number of people really got passionate about this trail ultra. stuff because of Scott Dunlap's blog too. Gotta love that guy with his racing trail puggy.

The AJW / Thornley banter is still some of the best stuff on the Internets too.

Cheers, Paul

Will Thomas said...

Amen.

@Terrysrunning said...

Couldn't agree more, AJW!

paul reynolds said...

@ Paul C
Scott Dunlap, got me hooked. He put down foundations, that's for sure.

destination unknown said...

irunfar has a vast legion of followers here in Europe too... Most of the posts in forums are spanned by irf reviews.

And it was a pleasure to meet Byron in Courmayeur while doing our "pitstop" at UTMB. Nice lad.

C.J. Hitz said...

Great post AJW. I've also really appreciated the work & effort Bryon & Meghan put into iRunfar. Always interesting and relevant.

Also really enjoy the Taproom as you have wonderful and experienced perspective. Looking forward to possibly meeting you one day.

MtUnpaved said...

Great Post, I have to say when I first started running again 2 years ago at the age of 38, finding irunfar was a godsend. I had started to get bored with just road running and Bryon's site gave me a glimpse at what else was out there!

Also I ran my first 2 ultra's in a pair of shoes that I won in one of his contests! Now how cool is that?

Thanks you guys for a great site and everyone else remember to support the site, cause we want to keep them around!

Mike Place said...

Dammed straight. Those two deserve all the success in the world. Thanks to both of them for all their work over the past year.

vickya said...

Excellent Posting Good Job. By Regards Wholesale Printers And Business Cards