Founded in 1999, Trail Runner is the country’s leading magazine for off-road running enthusiasts. In-depth editorial and compelling photography informs, entertains and inspires readers of all ages and abilities to enjoy the outdoors and to improve their health and fitness through the sport of trail running.
Your well-written query should present a clear, original and provocative story angle, not merely a topic or idea, and should reflect your thorough knowledge of the magazine’s content, editorial style and tone. When submitting a query, identify which department your story would be best suited for.
Due to the high volume of queries received, we regretfully cannot respond to each one. If we are interested in your story idea, an editor will contact you within eight weeks.
Features (2000 to 3000 words)
Our in-depth features cover a gamut of topics, including personality profiles, top trail-running destinations, race profiles/reports and issues in our sport, and generally include a short sidebar or two. Please do not submit “my first ultramarathon” stories.
Long Departments (1000 to 1200 words)
Great Escapes—stories are destination travel stories from a trail runner’s point of view, including where to run, climate, local services and community, amenities and events relevant to trail runners.
Faces—is a human interest section highlighting interesting characters in the trail-running world, from celebrities to housewives, elite runners to back-of-the-packers; it’s their story that determines who makes a good subject.
Adventure—first-person narratives of unique running-related journeys or wild undertakings on the trails
Service Departments (800 to 1000 words each)
Take Your Mark—short profile of an upcoming trail race.
Training—a focused essay on a timely training topic relevant to trail runners. Articles should be supported with input from reliable sources, such as scientific journals, experts or studies.
Trail Rx—health news for trail runners, including injury treatment and prevention and general well-being.
Trail Tips—topics can be wide-ranging, but are specifically trail-running-service oriented.
Nutrition—a focused essay on a current nutrition topic relevant to trail runners. Statements about food science or health claims should be supported by reliable sources, such as scientific journals, experts or studies.
Making Tracks—is the magazine’s news department, including short Q&A interviews, news bits and race reports, each from 200 to 800 words.
Gear reviews are conducted in-house.
Online Content (400 to 2000 words each)
Inside Dirt—Every Thursday, our Inside Dirt enewsletter goes out to 100,000+ readers, featuring unique content that includes personal essays, athlete Q&A’s, race previews and reports, training tips, trail-runner-friendly recipes and more. Length, tone and content are more flexible than in the print magazine.
How to Submit
Please submit your query or complete article, along with one or two writing samples (preferably previously published articles), including your name, phone number and email address, to Trail Runner by email to:
Editor, Michael Benge,
Assistant Editor, Megan Janssen,
Trail Runner Magazine
1101 Village Road, Suite UL-4B
Carbondale, Colorado 81623
Trail Runner regularly features stunning photography of trail-running destinations, races, adventures and faces of the sport.
Please send low-resolution samples or a lightbox to
All photo submissions are subject to Trail Runner’s rates, terms and conditions. Trail Runner does not accept photographers’ “terms and conditions” for any unsolicited slides, film or prints.