Meet a Rogue Expeditions Runner: Albert (Moose) Marino

What type of people go on Rogue Expeditions running trips? It seems that everyone worries that they'll either be too slow, or too fast. That the mileage will be too difficult, or not challenging enough. That they'll be too old, or too young. That the other people will be super serious running geeks who talk about nothing but training, or that the other people will all be there to take it reeeeeeally easy. That they'll be the only person who doesn't know anyone else.

In truth, there is no "type." The trips attract all sorts of backgrounds, all sorts of ability levels and all sorts of motivations for being there, and the beautiful thing is that it works for just about everyone! To prove it, we are highlighting a number of our runners using their own words. Read on to find out about the running background, pre-trip hesitations, favorite trip memories and most surprising realization of a Rogue Expeditions runner.

Our trips draw a mix of the less-traveled and the very-traveled, and our style is flexible enough to work for all of them. Today we're talking with Albert Marino (better known as Moose in some circles) who had been just about everywhere prior to joining us last spring - in fact, he landed in Marrakech right off the back of several months spent cycling through India, wandering through Vietnam and visiting family in his native Romania. Despite admittedly little running during that time, he knocked out his first-ever 100 mile week in Morocco!

Morning run in the Todra Gorge.

Morning run in the Todra Gorge.

Which trip did you do and when?
Morocco: Gorges & Sahara, April 2016

Describe your running background.
Marathon group training for last two years, running about 60 miles a week. Before that I was running 30-40 miles per week of easy running.

How did you end up on that trip? What led you to the decision?
I've wanted to go from the moment I heard about it. I was already in the neighborhood (Romania, a $100 flight away) and was on an extended trip so it didn't interfere with work. 

Any hesitations or uncertainties going into it?
Zero, zilch, nada, rien, niet.

Did you know anyone else in the group beforehand? How was it traveling with a group of strangers?
I knew a few people somewhat but no one really closely. It was exciting to get to know them better and meet some awesome strangers. 

What was your favorite run and why?
The Todra gorge. It was actually a poopy run in the sense of I was low energy trying to get through 20 miles, but aside from that, it was so beautiful, hard to believe really.

Food is a huge part of any travel experience. What was your favorite thing that you ate?
The tajine was fun although it did get old by the end. It was nice to know we were eating authentic, not western tailored fluff.

Both travel and running have their ups and downs. What was your most challenging moment or issue during the trip? How did you overcome it?
This is true usually, but I really didn't have any downs. I thought about it, searched for it, but it didn't happen. This trip was perfect from beginning to end.

What surprised you the most about the experience?
How close we got with our local guides. Unlike some trips were the relationship can be awkward and almost 'servant' like, Hamid and his family became our friends and companions, and that made for a very comfortable experience as a visitor in a country where the culture is very different, 

"Runcation" vs a race: what do you think are some of the key similarities and differences? Or are they even comparable?
Racing is serious. It's fun but there are nerves, there are things you can and cannot do. I enjoy racing, but it's a process. A runcation is strictly fun. It is what you want it to be. Some people drank a lot of wine, some people spent a lot of time taking photos or playing cards, some people caught up on their reading. It's beautiful to be able to do what you want, spend your time how you prefer. That's what a vacation should be. You just happen to be surrounded by awesome people who also enjoy running, and you happen to be in one of the more majestic places on earth. 

Sum up your Rogue Expeditions experience in one sentence:
If running is a part of your life, no matter how large or small, an RE trip will be one of the best weeks of your life (for goddamn sure).