A bit of background:
I’m working my way through some of the running magazines on sale here, and seeing what I make of them!
- Easily found at Barnes and Noble under ‘Sports’.
- Cover price – $4.99
- Issues reviewed here: July and September 2013 and a very old July 2012 copy.
- Pagination – July – 70, September – 62
- Advertising Pagination – July ’13 – 35 pages (50%) and Sept ’13 – 26 pages (42%)
- Annual subscription price: $21.99
What did I like about it?
- Oh my word, the photography. Every page seemed to hold a photo of runners running somewhere spectacular and it made my heart ache to go out for a run somewhere superb!
- I really loved a couple of articles. One was on the 3 Peaks Race in Yorkshire in the UK. I’ve hiked the 25 mile route in the past (hardest thing I’ve ever done) so it made me happy to see it in the magazine. The other was on the top 8 trail towns in the US. My suburban town wasn’t on the list. Darn.
- I liked their clothing features – liked the layout and the stuff they chose. I particularly loved that the models they used in the running skirts article were very clearly proper runners and not models. Hats off to you for that, people!
- This sounds silly but I liked a lot of the advertising. Great photography and often ads for races that look fantastic!
What was I not so keen on?
- It’s a bit gnarly. Maybe even a little elitist? It seemed very focussed on Ultras and the super-cool, long-distance crew. Nothing really for beginners or those who don’t run ultras! Interestingly, there was a letter in the July letters section mentioning this – a lack of coverage of shorter distance races. I totally agree. I would never suggest that the magazine dumb down or change its core audience – experienced trail runners. But with the influx of new runners taking to the trails in the past year or so, including articles intended for them would be useful.
- Very little ‘how to’ information. Training plans, how to run the downhills – that kind of thing. Maybe I’m just too much of a beginner.
- The advertising percentages are kind of ridiculous! 50% adverts? Come on!
- I found Trail Runner to be pretty inspirational – it made me want to get out and run trails, and also introduced this relatively new US resident to some beautiful parts of the country!
- I don’t know if I’ll be subscribing but I’ll definitely be picking up future editions.
Next up: Runner’s World
(Yes, I know EVERYONE’s read RW and my humble thoughts are inconsequential, but it would be weird NOT to include it in this little series).