It was with great sadness that I read at the weekend that trail runner, writer and photographer, John Morelock had passed away.
John was a veteran trail runner, and describes his running career like this: “I took up running on August 17, 1984 at 4:30 in the afternoon and ran my first ultra in 1986. I have completed several ultramarathons (ultras) – most of them in the Pacific Northwest, but also in places as diverse as Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, California, and Arkansas.
Although I was largely unfocused as a racer, I managed a victory in each of my first two decades of running ultras, one at the 100k distance and one at the more standard 34.5 miles.”
However, he brought much, much more to the sport than just his running talent. He was a wonderful photographer and also shared his experience through his writing.
He wrote the Run Gently Out There column for Ultrarunning magazine for six years and published his book of the same name in 2013.
Accomplished in all these fields as he was, he will be remembered for his kindness, generosity of spirit and love for the outdoors, wildlife and also his fellow human beings. I only knew him from Facebook, but he took time to message me and encourage me in the things I was trying to do, even when life was treating him harshly.
His wife, Kathy, posted this message shortly after his death:
“From Kathy to John’s many Facebook friends who have been following him in these last months. John died last night at home with his family around him. You have all been so kind and the trail tribute was precious, especially as he couldn’t go out himself. I’m sure he’s back to running now as, in my mind, Heaven is a joyous place. For those of you who have been praying, thank you for your prayers. We were certainly lifted up by them. Of course, I am sad, but feel blessed to have spent so many years with my best friend. Go out and run today. I can think of no better tribute.”
Rest in Peace, John Morelock.