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If you’ve come this far, it’s a pretty good bet that 1) you’re passionate about running, and 2) you’re wondering whether this “Loop” thing is a good fit for you. Well, if you answered “yes” to #1, #2 is almost a certainty, because we come in all shapes, sizes, speeds, ages, professions, accents, temperaments, and from all regions in the U.S.A., not to mention a few other places around the world. This is an online community that has endured for nearly nine years, countless collective miles…and maybe even transcended its original purpose.

As far as we know (and we’re not sure of the exact date), The Loop was started around early 2009 by the website of a certain popular running magazine. It didn’t take long to grow, as curious runners navigated to our page and got hooked. From the safety of our avatars and usernames, friendships were formed and encouragement was given. And the beauty of it was that, unlike some websites, The Loop was free of judgment and snobbery. We had everything from Couch25Kers to Boston qualifiers. We had brilliant writers and other people who just wanted to ask questions, share training breakthroughs, or simply tell their personal stories.

And then a funny thing happened. Emboldened by the community’s positive vibes, “Loopsters” began to meet other Loopsters in their local areas…and then began to travel and meet still more Loopsters in faraway places. By the fall of 2010, the first “Loopfest” took place, as 18 runners and a few family members gathered in Huntington, WV, for the Marshall University Marathon. Since then, we’ve had Loopfests in places like Philadelphia, Southern California, Minnesota, Rehoboth Beach, Cincinnati, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and the wilds of a Texas ultramarathon course. We’ve crammed 12 Loopsters into two vans to run the Hood to Coast Relay. We’ve broken bread and gulped pasta the night before the Boston Marathon. We’ve paced each other to PR’s. We’ve stayed in one another’s houses, met one another’s families.

And if you can’t travel? Through the virtual magic of our blogs, we’ve accompanied Loopsters on deployment to the Middle East, over the slopes of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, and through the streets of Los Angeles during the Olympic Marathon Trials. And in between, we write about Turkey Trots, injury rehabs, and just the challenge of getting up early on a freezing morning to get in our miles. We even have a Facebook group called Loopville for shorter communications. It’s a closed group, but if you land here on The Loop and decide to stay, we’ll get you in. It’s not as if we have a secret handshake or anything.

Sadly, that certain popular running magazine took a more commercial turn over the last few years, and made it harder and harder for new people to find us. Finally, in 2017, they discontinued both The Loop and their forums altogether. Fortunately, our friend Cliff, came up with this new site and we were quickly back in business. Old friends have started coming back, and new ones are showing up. So if you feel as if you’ve wandered in during the middle of Act 2…well, actually, you have. But we’re always looking for new stories and new points of view; the only rule is to stay supportive. So come on in: the running’s fine.
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