I lost a good friend over the weekend. I met John Morelock on Runner's World Magazine online forums back in 2002 when I started running. He was a frequent contributor to the trail and ultra-running forums, and always had wise advice for those new to the sport, and was well respected. I had several online interactions with him there, and I had the pleasure of meeting him at Rocky Raccoon en route to my 4-lap DNF a few years ago. He was working the Damnation aid station. I knew he was going to be there and I was giddy about introducing myself--but he treated me like I was an old friend. Again, at Rocky Raccoon a couple of years later, he was volunteering again, and he remembered me by name and even asked about a couple of races I had recently run.
John's philosophy on trail running pointed more toward taking in the sights, breathing in the air, listening to the sounds of creaking trees and babbling creeks, seeing eagles and whales, getting lost on purpose and living each day to the fullest. On the forums, he would always end his posts with "Run gently out there", and eventually "RGOT." He wrote a book of his past adventures and poetic ponderings--
Run Gently Out There. This is a must-have for anyone who loves the trails.
I was saddened to read that his health was failing, and Sunday he passed away. I would have loved to chat with him again. We have lost an amazing man. Friends have amended his tagline to ”Run Gently Up There.”