With its popularity growing, Trail Running is enjoyed by adventure runners all over the world. With over 40 million trail running enthusiasts, 6.7 million trail runners from the United States alone, this variant breed of race running has captivated the focus of runners, making it a superstar-in-the-making among the ranks of running events.
Trail running basically differs from the now staple road running and track running events, in the sense that the races generally take place on hiking trails, literally living up to its name. The courses used in trail running are oftentimes inaccessible roads, accessible by trail head paths, which lead most trail running courses to traverse on hills, forests, narrow passages and dry desert-like roads.
Geared to test a runner’s speed, stamina levels and ability to adapt to changing course types, trail running courses commonly run from five to fifty kilometers. As a recreational activity or an organized racing event, trail running ideally fits the bill for adventure, being an avenue for runners brave the elements of nature.
Runners on trail running events usually bring with them water bottles, which are somewhat a necessity. In recreational trail running excursions, navigational skills are equally important as the cumulative running skills needed in a trail run. Getting lost in the wilderness isn’t exactly a wonderful thing to happen to a runner on a trail running competition. Though readily available portable navigation devices geared for trail running excursions can be found in most sports shops, having basic navigational skills prove to be advantageous.
As an Ultra Marathon Event, trail running is quintessentially represented by the Western States Endurance Run. Ultra Marathon Events differ from regular marathon runs, in the sense that Ultra Marathon Events run longer than 42.195 kilometers, which is the standard distance of a regular Marathon Run.
There are more trail running events all over the world, aside from the Western States Endurance Run, or the Western States 100. The New England Trail Running Circuit, also known as the “Grand Tree Trail”, and the Great Britain “Lakeland Trails”, which boasts the biggest trail running series with over 3000 registered runners in 2006, to name two.
But with all the differences that define trail running from regular track or road running events, a runner’s closeness to nature, and the solitude thereby experienced, is the appealing x-factor of trail running.
Crowd support is understandably limited in a trail running race, making runners rely on their inner resolve to win. Bottom line, a runner’s determination fuels him/her, in facing the challenges of a trail running course.
Both mind and body are put to the test in a trail running course.