Friday, October 28, 2022

Episode 69: Writing about Running, with Terrell Johnson

 Episode 69 of the Running Anthropologist can be heard nearly anywhere you find your podcasts, including Apple, Google, Spotify and Anchor!

This episode focuses on the work of Terrell Johnson, running-focused author and journalist, founder of The Half Marathoner, which covers the most unique half marathons across the US, and beyond. For many runners, half marathons are much more manageable for goalsetting and running multiple races throughout the year than 26.2. One can for example work in a small, unique half marathon at a national park vacation, or find one in just about any state any weekend of the year! 

Tens of thousands of runners read his weekly posts on Substack, contribute and explore for themselves. He is not able to run all of these, but does his homework, and makes it to as many as he can. This episode is less about specific half marathons, and more about the process of researching, writing about and building the community around Half Marathoner over the 17 years. He often focuses on the internal life of runners in his work, and how running helps improve our lives all around. At times, his Substack newsletter reads as not just about half marathons or directly about running at all, but about our shared humanity and what inspires us, that runners also happen to be a part of.  

For any aspiring writers, this episode also has some hidden gems. For anyone hoping to run a half marathon, he explains why and how to find a good one- including using his own Substack site weekly to learn and share our own favorites! While this episode is certainly not a how-to guide of half marathons, there are some useful resources in his training plan and half marathoner online community. 

Terrell fills a void in those of us searching to find corners of running culture, that is the half marathon is often neglected in articles and writing. In fact, before he started one in 2006, there was not website dedicated to half marathons specifically. Most of the content of his newsletters are completely free, although one can subscribe and get much deeper if you find you like it and want more. 

You can find Terrell's The Half Marathoner Substack at and you can find us on IG or Facebook @RunningAnthropologist

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