Introducing a new BDN blog, Runner’s High by Finn Melanson

Welcome to the new blog, Runner’s High!

My name is Finn Melanson, I grew up in Cape Elizabeth, and I am an Ultra-Marathoner.  The latter part means that I run and race distances longer than 26.2 miles.  50 miles, 100 miles, and 200 miles are typically in the cards, but in some really audacious, dreamscape moments, it could mean the entirety of a national scenic hiking trail.

My fascination with our state’s involvement in this sport was primed by my northbound thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in the summer of 2014.  On the final leg in Maine, I navigated the Mahoosucs, climbed the Bigelows, canoed the Kennebec, forded the Piscataquis, and immersed myself in the majesty of the 100 Mile Wilderness before summiting Katahdin.  Along the way, I passed through towns like Andover, Rangeley, Caratunk, Monson, and Millinocket.  I met the people, stayed in their homes and hostels, ate at their dinner tables and restaurants, traded gear in their living rooms and purchased more from their outfitters.  From these experiences, I came to revere the awesome beauty of the land and the close-knit communities in these parts that had designed much of their economy and livelihood around the endurance community and the overarching concept of the trail.  When it was all over, I thought about how I could remain involved.  In spite of the ongoing mass exodus of young people seeking opportunity and qualify of life elsewhere, I was intent on replicating the lifestyle here in Maine.

From time to time, similar to the description of my thru-hike, I will use this blog to publish race reports and to document my training for various long-distance races.  From this angle, my hope is that you enjoy following along and are inspired to pursue your own adventures on the roads, trails, and in the great outdoors of Maine.

More often, however, this blog will assume a broader scope of human interest that showcases the state’s thriving road-running, trail-running, and hiking communities.  Their stories come at an important time as mainstream society begins to appreciate the positive social and economic transformations provided by the community of this sport.  Cities and towns like Caribou, Millinocket, and New Gloucester have already realized the benefit and received significant press coverage for their annual efforts to host marathons and other running festivals that drive tourism and other modes of economic development to their areas.  From this angle, I will show how running plays a part in the revitalization of Maine communities, and we will hear from the small business owners, race directors, volunteers, runners, and fans who organize and make it all happen.

Finally, while some of these posts will take on longer form, there will be relevant news articles to share, quick hits, and concise, daily content that is published.  In these posts, I will often describe and recommend trails to visit, races to run, gear to use, and local brick and mortar outfitters to patronize, among many other topics.

Over the coming weeks, months, and hopefully, years, I look forward to sharing with you my insights on the diversity of Maine’s running community and its contributions to the state’s overall quality of life.  For now, I will leave with you with the links below to a number of Maine’s most active and prominent running cubs, as well as links to my additional social media pages.  Thank you for reading.

-Finn Melanson

For information on some of the clubs and associations that rally around these sports in our state, here are some of the links:

If you enjoy this blog and are interested in following me on other social media outlets, here are the links: