What’s this newsletter all about?

“Colorado Mountain Running & Living” features personal essays with practical advice about trail running, mountain life, and midlife grit.

Me training on trails above Telluride.

On this newsletter’s second anniversary, I conducted a survey to find out who reads this newsletter and why. Here’s a small sample of replies:

  • Sarah inspires me to keep running as I get older and not be afraid of doing longer distances.

  • I get inspired and feel connected to a running community.

  • I came for the ultra content and stayed for the writing.

  • I want to still be running trails when I'm in my 90s, and Sarah is showing me the way.

  • I live vicariously through Sarah’s adventures.

  • I'm a newer ultrarunner, and Sarah shares valuable information on running.

I started this newsletter, which comes out Wednesdays, in September 2021 to share training and life advice developed over 30 years as a dedicated long-distance runner and coach. More than a running newsletter, however, I write about leading a rustic, outdoor-oriented life in the San Juan Mountains and using the practice of mountain running to nurture health, adventure, and a connection with the natural world.

Who reads this newsletter? My audience tends to be: runners, especially mountain/ultra/trail runners; Colorado residents or those who wish they lived here; older runners who want to stay athletic; and anyone interested in healthy living and mountain life. They share a love of running or hiking on trails, an interest in country living, and a desire to escape to the mountains.

Whether or not you live in Colorado, whether or not you’ve graduated from 5Ks to ultra-distance running, whether or not you’re an over-50 woman like me—if you’re interested in running, if you care about wellness and longevity, and if you desire to read stories with advice and inspiration that transport you to a scenic corner of Colorado, then this newsletter is for you.

All subscribers receive a weekly post delivered by email. Those who subscribe at the supporting level ($6/month or $60/year) also receive bonus content and an invitation to weekly online meetup where we discuss goals, training advice, and sometimes have a Q&A with a special guest.

About me

For eight years, I specialized in coaching scores of runners in mountain/ultra/trail running, and I wrote a book (The Trail Runner’s Companion) that has the information and inspiration one needs to effectively self-train. I’ve run over 100 ultras and marathons since my first marathon in 1994, including some of North America’s toughest 100-milers. In my prime, I won several 50Ks and earned podium spots and age-group awards in ultras of all distances. When I turned 50, I won the 170-mile self-supported Grand to Grand Ultra, considered one of the toughest ultras on the globe.

You can find out more about my background at LinkedIn. Follow me on Instagram @sarahrunning and Strava.

Sarah in Silverton ultra
A shot from the Silverton Ultra Marathon, photo by Howie Stern.

I’m a 54-year-old empty-nester (my son, 22, is finishing college in Boulder; my daughter, 25, is working as a product designer in LA). I’ve been married for 33 years to my best friend from high school, Morgan.

Morgan and me at the start line of the High Lonesome 100-mile race.

After two decades raising kids and developing careers in the East Bay Area of California, we started a new life outside of Telluride, where my family roots stretch back to the 1870s. We built a home from scratch and filled our empty nest with two horses, two dogs, two cats, and a dozen chickens.

Sarah on her horses
Me with Maverick and Cobalt, our two quarter horses.

This newsletter grew out of my decade-old blog, TheRunnersTrip.com. I’ve written for running and lifestyle magazines including Trail Runner and Telluride Magazine, and I’m a columnist for UltraRunning magazine.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you’ll subscribe and share it with friends.

- Sarah

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What You Get with a Paid Subscription

You can subscribe for free to receive the weekly newsletter.

Of course, I’d appreciate if you would join with a paid subscription of just $6 monthly or $60 annually to support this endeavor. Paid subscribers will get a bonus post each month with inspiration and recommendations, plus an invitation to join a monthly Zoom discussion, where I’ll host a Q&A for coaching advice and invite participants to talk about their running journey.

Supporters who join at the Patron level of $200 annually also will receive a signed, personalized copy of my book.

Subscribe to Colorado Mountain Running & Living

Personal essays with practical advice about trail running, mountain life & midlife grit.


Sarah Lavender Smith

A longtime mountain/ultra/trail runner & coach, columnist at UltraRunning, mother of 2, and horsewoman, finding adventure in Colorado in midlife. Author of “The Trail Runner’s Companion: A Step-by-Step Guide to Trail Running & Racing.”