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Brendan Leonard

Why I run

I guess I was curious back in 2015 if I could be one of those people who finished an ultramarathon, and then I just kept going? It’s become the best way for me to get thinking done—I don’t listen to music or anything, and prefer to run alone so I can come up with ideas for creative projects and work out solutions to sticking points I’m having in my work.

My favorite trail to run

There’s a forest on top of one of our local mountains here, and it’s about 4 miles and 2,000 feet up from my house, and if I get to be there on a run, I’m having a pretty good day.

What I hope to convey with my writing

I want to help people laugh, mostly at ourselves, and maybe think about things, and maybe even help them do something a little differently in their lives that results in a tiny bit of happiness or meaning. Is that too much to ask? OK, let’s just go with “I want to help people laugh.”

More about Brendan

My newsletter about adventure, creativity, running, and enthusiasm goes out to 15,000+ people every week. I write poetry on Strava, draw things for Instagram, and have had a column at Outside since 2017. All of it can be found at my website at

Instagram: @semi_rad

Strava: Brendan Leonard

Recent posts by Brendan Leonard

Bad Advice for Ultramarathon Runners

In Brendan Leonard’s latest for UltraSignup News, the man known as Semi-Rad, shares Bad Advice for Ultramarathon Runners.

If Foot Races Were Big Gulps

In Brendan Leonard’s latest for UltraSignup News, the man known as Semi-Rad compares race distances to sugary convenience store drinks.

How Are We Preparing for Crewing Season?

The latest from Semi-Rad for UltraSignup News. Follow Brendan Leonard on Instagram.

Marathons vs. Ultramarathons

Same, same, but different. Right? The latest from Semi-Rad for UltraSignup News. Follow Brendan Leonard on Instagram.


Reasons I will not win certain famous Ultra races this year

New Year, And?

A Semi-Rad original for UltraSignup News.

Why I Love Races

The latest humor by Semi-Rad for UltraSignup News.

My Momentum During an Ultramarathon

What can stop me, miles 0-31ish. What can stop me, mile 31 and beyond.

Adventure as a Training Plan

A couple years ago, I signed up for three very different races within nine weeks of each other: The Rut 50K in Montana in September (a steep 31 miles with 10,500 feet of climbing, up to 11,000+ feet), the Mines of Spain 100K in Iowa in October (62 miles, 8,400 feet of climbing, much closer […]

The Ideal Ultramarathon

A Semi-Rad original for UltraSignup News.