As 2021 draws to a close, we can say with certainty this year has been a marathon, not a sprint. We wanted to take the month of December to look back at the milestones, miles, and memories that shaped the past twelve months. We put a call out to our staff and the AMR community, asking for their highlights—from PRs to first races to life changes. Here are just some of their inspiring responses.

When large, in-person races were delayed or cancelled, a fair number of you took to the trails. And you weren’t the only ones. Sales of trail running shoes increased by 28% in 2021 compared to the same time period in 2019, proof that trail running is one of the fastest growing sports out there.

After a year of being cooped up at home, we don’t blame you for wanting to get as much space as possible between yourself and virtual learning, endless kitchen messes, and Zoom meetings. The ability to run in nature and leave your day-to-day stresses behind is something we can all appreciate.

Angie S.: Running the Thelma and Louise Half Marathon with my high school BFF. It was her first half and it was so much fun to experience it with her. And Moab is such a gorgeous place for a run!

triumph on the trail

The Thelma and Louise Half in Moab!

Kate W.: The weekend before Thanksgiving I ran the Dead Horse 50K in Moab, UT with my good friend and fellow BAMR Julie Patno. This race was nearly a year in the making with Covid deferrals. The training cycle was hard fought with professional obligations and family commitments competing for my time, energy, and attention. The weeks leading up to the race weren’t ideal, but I made it to the start well trained and ready to go. The terrain was wholly new and unfamiliar to this midwest girl, but the park was stunning. Julie snapped this picture of us as we made the final push to the finish line. I finished strong thanks to her friendship and support, the excellent TLAM Ultra plan, and the AMR community. “…our friends are why anything works at all.”  Anne Lamott

triumph on the trail

Kate (right) feeling every bit of the trail.

Sara M.: I joined the awesome ladies in the Train Like a Mother Ultra program and finished my first 50K race in April. I was super proud of accomplishing something I said I’d never do. So thankful for my BAMR friend who trained with me, encouraged me, and stayed with me for the race!

triumph on the trail

Sara, left, kicking booty at her first 50K.

Louisie R.: After 6 months of hard training, I completed my goal of running a 50 miler the year I turned 50! 50 miles for 50 years. Just wanted to complete it, but I finished in under 12 hrs and 8th in my age group.

Louise T.: Hiked the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim to celebrate my 50th birthday! Here I am at Ribbon Falls, my favorite part!

triumph on the trail

Anne E.: 2021 50K Yeti Challenge—7.77 miles every 3 hours x4 with my BRF Cecilie. It was my first ultra but not Cece’s first rodeo! It was the perfect day, the weather was fantastic, and the fall leaves were gorgeous. Running it with a friend made all the difference!

Linnea L.: I backpacked over 50 miles in 12 days with my family and 20 other Scouts! The longest I’d been out before was 3 days. It was amazing!

triumph on the trail

Linnea, a true BAMR!

Anne L.: Running three half-marathons between May and October and coming in third place female overall at my first trail race: An 8k in Moab!

triumph on the trail

The trails agree with Anne.

We want to know: Did you tackle the trails in 2021?