It’s All About the Stories

Abraham in Sedona, AZ

Abraham Kosgei in Sedona, AZ

One of the best things about running is the stories. What a premium use of time – creating new stories while sharing others along the way, and having plenty of time to let your mind wander! Running is the time to open our minds and extend and expand our journeys and bonds.

The stories are the heartbeat of the people. They are passed along from messenger to messenger, some repeated, spreading across the land according to their value and vision. For a message or story to be relayed across long distances and generations is a special gift. To tell such a story is an honor. To have journeyed with others whose own stories are legend, and to have helped them on their way, is a singular experience.

Over the next few months, we will be sharing the stories of friends with whom we share our journeys. Abraham Kosgei’s story is central to Global Running Culture’s existence and mission. Abraham and I started running together some 7 years ago and we have experienced more adventures, challenges, joys and miles than we can share at one sitting.

Of course, it is all one big story that lives in real time for each of us. Sharing stories is dessert, just like going for a run. Catching up, taking care of business, imagining and planning our path forward, and expanding on the various ongoing threads of the common path we are treading. Just recently, we headed toward Sedona, AZ with laughter and excitement about the 7 hours of mostly backroads ahead of us.

Abraham and Randy

Abraham with Santa Fe Thunder Ambassador Randy Brinkley, who is preparing to run his 50th Half Marathon!

We departed from I-25 west at our first opportunity and headed southwest through the Malpais, through the Pueblo of Zuni (home of champion runner Kevin Gia), up to the Painted Desert and south through the Petrified Forest, up to Flagstaff and then down a dark, snowy and windy road into Sedona. A day of celebration, that we followed on Friday with the Sedona Marathon Expo (a top notch destination event!), where we made new friends and caught up with some old ones, including dinner with our amigos from Santa Fe, Armand and Anita. Saturday we headed afield to carry out some research in the Verde Valley for our projects in Kenya, then headed up into the mountains for an overnight visit with family. After a Sunday breakfast, we headed east, into the White Mountains of eastern Arizona and later through the other side of the Malpais.

Joseph in Sedona

Joseph enjoying the beauty of Sedona

We’d love to hear YOUR road trip running stories. Email us at and include a few photos. Three stories will be selected for our Running Road Trip Contest and posted on the Thunder Blog, and our Facebook page. The winner will receive a poster autographed by our friend Olympic Champion Billy Mills, and the other two selected stories will receive a special prize! The winner will determined by a vote based factoring in Likes on the Santa Fe Thunder Facebook page.

Until then, smooth running,

Joseph Karnes
Race Director