I have this unfortunate habit of enjoying familiarity and challenging myself in my own big backyard, returning to the same races year after year. While I can’t complain at all about the amazing ultramarathons that are within a couple-hour drive from my house, sometimes I’m craving an altogether different experience. As running has evolved from a competitive outlet in my younger years to more of mental wellness and adventure practice in middle age, what I’m looking for in a race experience is often quite a bit different. I’m more apt to notice landscapes and flora and less phased by a fellow competitor passing me late in the race. Call it complacency, maturity, or maybe a little mellowing with age. Combining racing with traveling is my perfect fix, and I have found trail runners and ultrarunners to be the kindest people the world over.