By Mathias Eichler
The Trail Running Film Festival - Back on Tour for 2024.
Lots of words are being tossed about, but two big words stick out to me in regards to this UTMB situation.(I’m escalated it now from kerfuffle to situation, if you’re keeping track.)
I’m not even going to answer these two questions above. What I am going to say is this:
I’ve read a lot online over these last few months. I’ve even read comments on social media (god help me), chatted with folks, and debated the issue, and here’s where I land:
Folks who call big things they don’t like or don’t understand a “monopoly” and folks who say things like “friends don’t let friends run UTMB races” and call for boycotts of organizations because they don’t like an aspect of their image are rarely seeing the full picture and are mostly not correct. Not in the short-term, not in the long term, and most of the time they don’t succeed with their doomsday fear mongering. Gate keepers, accusation screechers, and moral preachers aren’t my thing.
I want to run trails up mountains. I want dream of adventures and train my body every day so I can run the races I feel like signing up for. I trust myself and my personal radar to decipher what is a positive experience and which one matches my values and my worldview.
I want to run trails with people who feel the same way. You are my people, and this is my trail community. Trail running is adventure seeking through physical and mental challenges. (And most of all a huge privilege!)