Running on a trail, that’s really all there is to it. More to it once you’re out there, but that’s for you to find out. My first taste of this activity occurred while doing a portage in Quetico Provincial Park. On a return trip to grab the last of the provisions, I found myself without a 16 foot steel canoe on my shoulders, moving swiftly on a rocky path through the trees. And thought, “Oh, this isn’t bad.” And thought, “What if I were to do this for a few miles? Could be fun.” I finally tried it (10 years later), for 6.4 miles, and it wasn’t fun. Certainly no feelings of “enjoyment, amusement, or light-hearted pleasure” were had, but it was a thing that I did. And, quite inexplicably, will do more of.
To start, you will require running shoes with deep treads, the will to run, access to trails, and a bit of balance. Trail running is one of those few things that seems to be improved by (afterwards that is), miserable conditions. Mud – great. Rain – even better. Extreme temperatures – oh yes. The course never actually goes downhill – that’s the best. I like to pretend I’m chasing after an unknown and curiously nimble creature that is always just a little too far ahead to get a good look. But if I keep pace, I may have a chance. Which provides sufficient motivation up to a 10K distance; anything farther, I have neither experience nor suggestions. Despite the underlying dissuasive tone, this is actually a recommendation post, and perhaps the links below will persuade you to try running on a trail sometime.
Get on the Trail:
REI Trail Run Series (check back for 2018 race dates)
Some real crazy (inspiring?) folks: