Running to Stand Still is FULL WITH A WAITLIST.

Please email us to be placed on our waitlist, and we'll notify you as soon as a space opens up.



Six days of trail running + creative workshop + unrelenting humor

hosted by Brendan Leonard

16 - 21 JULY 2024  |  WHITEFISH, MONTANA

Running to Stand Still 2024


This course is currently full - if you would like to be added to the waitlist, please reach out to us at [email protected]



  • Ideally you like to write, you like to run, and you enjoy the company of other human beings.
  • Bonus if you're funny, or you think you're funny, or you like to be around other people who think they're funny.
  • All writers of all backgrounds, skill levels, and genres are welcome. 






Brendan Leonard is a columnist for Outside Magazine, and his writing has appeared in Runner’s World, Climbing, Alpinist,, Men’s Journal, Backpacker, Adventure Journal, and dozens of other publications. He has written nine books and directed several award-winning adventure films. In his workshop, Brendan shares lessons from his post-college “education,” starting at small weekly newspapers (before social media!), and the uncertain process of making a living as a full-time adventure writer, including how he grew his blog from zero readers to more than half a million readers per year, and how creatives can use traditional publishing, self-publishing, and social media to make a living in a dynamic media environment.




PERSONAL NARRATIVE  |  As a central component of this workshop, we will be reading and discussing a piece of your work. The draft should be readable and approaching a stage that feels relatively polished. We can read your work with an eye toward revision, or with intention to provide some last-minute ideas before you send it off to your editor at a big fancy magazine. It should be a stand-alone story or essay, so don't feel like you need to provide context. Please, also, do not be intimidated by the idea of workshopping an essay on the course. We will discuss norms and guidelines for a respectful, stress-free, productive workshop. Here are a few parameters:

  • The finished piece should be shorter than 1200 words.
  • Any format, structure, and topic is fine, but your piece should be a personal narrative.
  • Please bring sufficient copies: one for each cohort member, yourself, and Brendan and Chandra. (We’ll send out the grand total a week before we meet.)

Your program cost includes:

  • twice-daily discussions, workshops, and generative sessions with Brendan Leonard + Freeflow faculty
  • five supported, dynamic trail runs with Alpine Running Guides
  • professional running guides, safety gear, and high quality running snacks
  • delicious, creative, nutritious meals from dinner on July 16 through breakfast on July 21
  • plus nearly-bottomless coffee from Black Coffee Roasting Co.
  • comfy, funky accommodations at the Whitefish Bike Retreat
  • pre-course logistical support + thoughtfully curated media list
  • the full, university-accredited curriculum - whether you take it for credit or not

The course also serves as an introduction to the Freeflow galaxy of writers, leaders, and thinkers. Our alumni also receive discounts on future Freeflow courses.

If you’d like to take the course for University of Montana credit, please let us know. We also encourage you to seek financial support from your organization or employer, as Freeflow courses may be taken for professional development or continuing education. 

EARLY BIRD PRICING | $3199 until January 31, 2024

Because we believe teachers and students need regenerative outdoor experiences more than most, Freeflow always extends a small discount to contracted educators and enrolled students. We also offer a small discount to our alumni and BIPOC folks. Because we believe in paying our instructors, facilitators, support staff, and guides an equitable wage, we do not offer individual discounts that compromise the integrity of those wages. If you need financial support, please consider applying for our scholarships. If you have trouble with the applications, you can contact us at [email protected] or 406.808.8025 and we will help you.

Gratuities for running guides are not included in the program cost. We strongly suggest giving your running guides some love, and we are happy to discuss norms for tipping – just ask.

Space on this adventure is limited to 12 participants. We will close registration once the roster is full. Please apply early.

All deposits and payments are non-refundable. Payment plans are available. Payments can be made by mailing in a good old-fashioned check, or by credit card or bank transfer via our online payment system. Read more about the registration process and payment options here.



  • Running to Stand Still begins and ends at the Whitefish Bike Retreat, near Whitefish, Montana.
  • The cohort will meet for the first time around 4 pm on July 16. If you are flying into Whitefish, we can come pick you up from the airport - just let us know!
  • We'll spend our days in workshop with Brendan, running / hiking between 6 and 12 miles a day, and enjoying really good food in a beautiful place.
  • If you need any help logisticizing, give us a call! We'd love to help solve your problems! (406.880.8025)

Participants must bring their own running gear: well-fitting, broken-in shoes; good socks; hydration system; and layers of clothing appropriate for northern Montana in July. Contact us if you would like to participate but are unable to procure these things. 



Alpine Running Guides, based in Missoula, Montana, offers quality running experiences to those wanting a safe environment to explore in the mountains. ARG is designed to foster an appreciation for wilderness and nurture the adventurous spirit inherent in all trail runners by leading guided single and multi day running trips. For every day on the trails, ARG donates two hours of trail maintenance to help keep local trails safe and operational for all users to enjoy.



If this course has space, there'll be an option to "APPLY NOW" at the top of this page. Once it is FULL WITH A WAITING LIST, you should feel free to contact us to be added to the waiting list.

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