Running is an emotionally intense sport with participants often spending hours at a time on their own, with nothing but a playlist, a good podcast or their own thoughts for company. A new magazine, titled Make Running, is aiming to highlight stories that those who run (those who make running, running) have to tell, proving that while the sport is a linear motion, it’s filled with nuances.
The idea of Make Running came about when its co-founders – Ben Clement and Nils Arend – were chatting while Nils was visiting Ben in Amsterdam. “Essentially,” Ben explains, “we wanted to create a magazine made by people who run, something with new conversations, a twist on editorial approach that is unexpected (in the world of running).”
Each issue of the new publication will focus on one moment or place, with the first focusing on The Speed Project, an annual event that Nils started in 2015. An unsanctioned race – a phenomenon borne out of a disenchantment with big races which ask for high entry fees, and which are often over-crowded – The Speed Project sees 40 teams invited to relay 340 miles (550 km) from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to the “Welcome to Vegas” sign on the Las Vegas Strip. Starting at 4:00 am in LA, teams usually complete the race in between 36 and 48 hours. “Teams with a likemindedness come from all over the world and share the desert roads together,” Ben continues. “And because it is unsanctioned and there are no rules, teams come up with their own strategy on who their team is, how they get from A-B, and everything else in between.”
Clearly a monumental event, the pair chose The Speed Project as their first to focus on as it “sets the stage and tone for the magazine.” Practically, however, “most of our editorial team [which hails from Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, CapeTown and Melbourne] would be there and had previous experiences with the event. Nils is the founder of the event, James had run it the year before, Scotty and Vasha are the hosts/MCs of it and I’ve previously sent two teams and featured the race through my other magazine Good Sport. We knew the event in a way that we could analyse really and execute ideas that didn’t just scream ‘running’,” Ben tells It’s Nice That.
Sam Bailey came on board to design Make Running creating an altogether slick and intriguing visual language, unlike that of any other sports magazine. With a strong sense of experimentation but also consideration, Make Running takes cues from the likes of The New York Times, The New Yorker, Mono Kultur, The Plant and The Happy Reader resulting in something enticing but digestible and readable. A large part of the design comes from studio thr34d5 who are skilled in strategic design and data visualisation. Thr34d5 pulled data from the running Strava which brought in time, distance, heart-rate and speed. Mixed with topographical, geographical and weather-based data to create a series of visualisations, this addition helps give Make Running its distinctive and intriguing look, firmly placing it in the world of running but appealing to those with an eye for design as well.
Finally, Ben gives us a heads up on some of the pieces we can expect from the first issue: “We have a piece that tells a brief history of delusion and its relationship to running. It’s one part anecdote and two parts science and history lesson. We worked with a social anthropologist and neurologist to gain information and aid the writing. There is a piece from the perspective of one of the female teams about pushing bodily limits, listening or not listening to your body and how a race like this, even if you are an olympic time qualifier can really mess with your body," he explains. "We also interviewed the Mayor of Adelanto which is a small town the route of the race goes through. There is a famous aeroplane graveyard there, it’s pretty desolate with a lot of wild/stray dogs around. The interview talks about peoples perception of the place, its history and what kind of future they are aiming for based on current political and economic climates in America.”
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