, Salem, MA


July 10, 2014

On The Run column: Level Renner provides runners with an alternative publication

As the popularity of running grows, so does the amount of literature dedicated to it. There are plenty of books, magazines and websites about running, but one Boston-area publication is doing its part to give runners a different point of view.

Since August 2011, Level Renner has taken a literary approach to writing about running. Editor and publisher Kevin Balance of Norwood took his inspiration from the Hockomock Swamp Rat, an unorthodox magazine published by Peter Wallan that covered the New England running scene until the summer of 2010.

“I created Level Renner in an attempt to fill the void created when HSR stopped publication,” said Balance, who has been a competitive runner since childhood and had no publishing experience before launching the magazine.

“The genesis of the Level also resides in a desire to put a spotlight on all of the great things runners are doing in our community, both on and off the roads. Putting in 80 miles per week while balancing a career and family isn’t easy, but people are doing it and this needs to be recognized. You can do it, too.”

Level Renner (the name itself is a literary reference to English poet Geoffrey Chaucer’s word for runner) is published six times per year and is available for free at, where readers can subscribe and receive notifications when a new issue PDF is available to download. The magazine (the latest issue is 36 pages) contains athlete profiles, running club information, columns (on nutrition, training and injury prevention) and other running-related material. The website is updated daily with breaking news, race reports and video clips.

Balance and web director/second-in-command Eric Narcisi (who also works as director of brand development at New England Running Company in Beverly) produce the magazine and website with the help of contributors, who provide articles, photography and artwork. There has never been any intention to print the magazine; it’s much more cost effective to produce it digitally, said Balance.

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