Facing the crowd
Facing the fear
Usually I find myself looking out onto a mountain or in the mist and rain amongst an out crop or filming a runner straining up a climb.
But last night saw a different view-
Set in the Arc’teryx store in the heart of Piccadilly’s Circus in London I found myself on a panel of adventurers talking to a crowd about why we run.
Being amongst so many inspiring people, discussing past adventures and the emotions and experiences attached to them was an absolute treat.
A diverse bunch surrounded me.
Ones who had run across and around countries, Traversed continental mountain ranges, created trail events inspiring thousands of people to explore and engage and stories of epic adventures across entire continents, self sufficient and in one case bare footed.
This is not your average Wednesday fireside chat and I loved the passion In the room.
Who would have thought central London would be a place of inspiration to run free.
But It’s was a perfect combination of location and participation, with the host Simon from Like The Wind magazine
who are more about the emotion of adventure running rather than the podium results
and Arc’teryx who’s mindset is to allow us to explore rather than just compete
or as they put it to create equipment that enables a person to be immersed in the moment of doing, regardless of external conditions.
It was a place we could be honest about what’s drives us to run long, what challenges come from pushing into the unknown and where we sit on the line between runner and adventurer.
And It’s a fine line, one we criss cross with each step of the journey.
With my dual view of an eye In the sky as a drone pilot showing the magnificent landscape we explore as well as a mountain / ultra runner.
I tried to encapsulate these emotions and challenges that drive me to run, film and explore.
The unique stories of the other panel members really reaffirmed my love for adventure and if anything have given me even more fuel for future explorations.
The crowd raised some interesting questions, from training to trauma but one which stuck with me was these experiences and their ability to assist children to over come fear, challenges and the benefits to working towards a goal.
As discussed these adventures can be quite singular / self indulgent – running for weeks / months sometimes alone.
It’s a personal challenge but conversely this journey of emotions and lessons learnt can be used to inspire others and can be directly related to other issues happening in our lives.
Fundamentally these self indulgent adventures could make a positive difference to someone else.
And the best way to start is with an open conversation about it.
This panel was one small platform to open discussion and hopefully plant or water the seed of adventure in others.
Why do we run? And are we adventurers Or runners?
Well it’s the unknown that turns running into adventure.
So take yourself outside, set audacious goals and share your experiences with others
I’m sure this will be as start to answer the question “Why we run!”
Here are links to all the panel –
Please embrace their journeys and I hope they inspire you to run free.
Katharine Lowrie was the first to run the length of South America as part of the 5,000 mile project.
Theo Larn Jones is founder of Love Trails Festival and Útilív Adventure Festival.
Elise Downing ran a lap of the British Coast and likes running in nice places.
Douglas at FullCourseTrails is dedicated to inspiring people to run free.
Jennifer Tough is an adventure traveler and lover of mountain challenges.
Aleks Kashefi is an adventure runner who ran the length of Europe.
Many thanks to Arc’teryx and Like The Wind for hosting us Dirtbags!
Until Next Time
Douglas is a mountain runner, commercial drone pilot & founder of Full Course Trails
You can find out more about his work @