A different offshoot from track and road running events, trail running is a different breed of running competition. Mostly taking place on hiking trails, trail running courses commonly use trails inaccessible by road. Trail runners are expected to face a course traversing on various terrain types, rocky roads, narrow passages, hills, soft underfoot conditions and steep inclines.
It isn’t really a wonder why trail runners invest in high quality trail running shoes, considering what they have to face in a trail running race.
Trail runners enjoy their passion for the outdoors in recreational trail running runs, as well as organized trail races. Though commonly running in groups, trail runners basically engage trail running as an individual sport, with distances ranging from five kilometers, ten kilometers, twenty kilometers, thirty kilometers, fifty kilometers, even up to a hundred miles. Trail runners are faced with the challenging their stamina levels, their running speed, and their navigation skills.
As an Ultra Marathon event, which are characterized as events going beyond 42.195 kilometers, which is the standard distance of a Marathon Run, trail runners are not only left to face the challenges in running a long distance course, they have to deal with the elements of nature as well.
The Western States Endurance Run, known also as the Western States 100, poses to be the quintessential Ultra Marathon devoted trail runners categorize as “have to be part of”. Other organized events for trail runners include the New England Trail Racing Circuit, also known as the “Grand Tree” and the “Lakeland Trails” of Great Britain, which is known to be well attended by trail runners, with over 3000 participants in 2006.
Trail runners have grown in population as trail running has grown popular throughout the world. The United States alone has over 6.7 trail runners, with over 40 million all over the world. Mountainous areas like California and the Western parts of the United States are notorious to have a heavy following of trail runners.
Though with all the challenges trail runners have to face, there remains a beauty in trail running, not often experienced in a running competition, or recreational running activity. Because trail runners take on courses set deep into woodlands, trail runners enjoy the wonders of nature during a trail run.
Trail runners are left treated to nature’s solitude, leaving them to pace themselves at their own pace, calmly. One could say trail runners are running to stand still, figuratively. Of course, lack of knowing the course’s trail could lead to trail runners getting lost, which of course would be a bad thing.
Bottom line, trail runners are a different breed of runners. At home being in the heart of nature’s wonders, they are a perfect analogy to the ideals of the signs of the times.
Where competing in a race, where simply being part of the race, not necessarily winning it, matters the most, having already won by simply basking in the beauty of nature.