If you’re an avid trail runner, then you’ve probably heard the news about UTMB seemingly pushing out a local race in Whistler and setting up their own event. It’s led a lot of trail runners to call for a boycott of UTMB events.
For myself, I’ve already decided not to sign up for the OCC lottery and focus my next season exclusively on non-UTMB events.
Say what you will about UTMB, and people are certainly saying plenty, it was easy to find their races and plan a trip around them––doubly so if you’re coming from North America and you have no idea how to find races in Europe.
Fortunately, there are plenty of kickass races in Europe that UTMB has nothing to do with and deserve your support. I personally use ahotu.com to do my research.
And these races do need your support. A few that I would happily recommend have since been canceled. That said, many live on.
So today, I’m sharing my 5 favorite trail races in Europe that you should consider doing instead of UTMB.
Oh, God! That sounds so cliché. Makes me wanna vom a little. But you know what? It’s true.
So much of running just sucks.
And I don’t mean to sound like too much of a pessimist or reveal any spoilers, but so much of life kinda sucks, too!
Most of us spend a majority of our time working for the sake of a paycheck to pay bills, student loans, rent, food –– merely to exist –– and not because we’re passionate about it. We do that for like four decades and THEN we’re free to actually live at a time in our lives when we’re probably not as healthy as we used to be.
Running is a lot like that. Except fortunately, the payoff doesn’t take four decades to get to.
So here are 6 life lessons I’ve learned since becoming a runner over a decade ago.
Travel is a wildly privileged thing to do. But just because it’s a privilege to travel doesn’t mean it’s all rainbows and unicorns.
We all have travel horror stories and things we hate about travel, even if our Instagram captions beg to differ. #blessed
But what I hate most about travel has very little to do with the one-off horror story, the mundanity of waiting at an airport, or praying to your deity of choice that you can find a bathroom before your body ejects the local specialty your body’s still adjusting to.
No, no. Because when I think of travel, I’m thinking even more broadly, like going across town to try out a new restaurant as well as landing in faraway places.
And no matter where I go, the disappointment is always the same.
Few experiences in my life have been as dreadful and anxiety riddled as dealing with the German immigration system. I would rather get arterial surgery again than go to the freakin’ Aüslanderamt or foreigners office.
To be fair, thems was some goooood drugs, I got!
But if you want to live in Germany, it’s a necessary evil… Like listening to your co-worker talk about how their weekend was.
So in this video, I’m going to share my immigration experience from getting my initial visa at the German consulate in Chicago to getting my Aufenthaltstitel residency; my Blue Card; and finally last year; my Niederlassungserlaubnis, or permanent residency.
Stick around for the end and I’ll share a little update on citizenship.
It’s the first sunny morning of my trip to Swedish Lapland. This time I’m with Inger, who’s driving me back to the Tornio River that etches out the border between Sweden and Finland. Her English is so-so, the kind where sometimes I ask “either or” type questions and she responds, “Yes, mhmm” without elaborating. Having struggled with languages myself, I know that move.
But she’s sweet, pulling over on the highway at one point to show me Instagram photos taken by, I want to say, a local photographer. As we near the Finnish border, she asks me if I’ve ever been to Finland. When I say that I have not, she makes the executive decision to drive me over the border and back around the next roundabout where you can see IKEA welcoming travelers into Sweden.