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Howie Stern

Why I run

I originally took up running as a way to get in shape for downhill ski racing because I was tired of my teammates beating me in the gates, but after college it just became part of my lifestyle. I’ve always been a trail runner, and when I moved to the Sierra in the late 90’s, it became my way to explore the vast backcountry wilderness. I never liked backpacking, so running enabled me to cover in a day what backpackers would cover in a week, yet still be home for dinner and sleep in my own bed. Running to me is the perfect vehicle to take my mind and body to a higher plane.

My favorite place to run

My favorite place to run is in the San Juan Mountains, which is where my hometown of Silverton Colorado is located, and a close second is where I used to live, the Sierra Eastside. I fell in love with the San Juans after my first Hardrock finish in 2005, and was so hooked on their beauty and vibe, that I came back every year until I had ten finishes. At that point I decided I may as well live here so I can experience the sublime beauty of the area year round. It’s probably the only place I’ve run where I continuously say out loud, “how can this be real?” They just never get old. As for the Sierra, there is just nothing like running in the remote wilderness ringed by some of the most striking granite ridges and walls in the world. I’ve always felt that being in the Sierra backcountry was like running on another planet. It’s so easy to disappear deep into it and be truly alone with your thoughts.

What I hope to convey with my writing

Through my images and words (yes, that’s a Dream Theater reference) I hope to capture the gritty reality of human struggle and triumph. To see an image, or read a story and go, “I want that or I can do that…”

More about Howie

Instagram: @howiesternphoto

Recent posts by Howie Stern

The 2023 Cocodona 250

Photos from the life-changing adventure through Arizona.

The heart and soul of Hardrock

Howie Stern offers a collection of his favorite photos representing the enduring tradition of Hardrock.