Thursday, September 21, 2006

My recent trail race in Haliburton!

This was the most difficult race I've done to date. I had the greatest time in the Haliburton forest and will be back next year to do it again.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Beauty that is Trail Running

I recently completed my 2nd to last trail race of the season and it was by far the hardest race I've done. This particular race in Haliburton consisted of many steep hill climbs, rocks, tree stumps, muddy marshland etc.

I have been running road and trail races for just over 1 year now and it still amazes me at just how different the two races are. The obvious difference is the terrain but it goes beyond even that as far as I'm concerned. You will find more people competing in road races but the people who come out to the trail races are some of the most positive people I've ever met.

Because of the nature of the trail races (hilly, rocky, unstable footing etc.) people are less concerned with their finishing times and more concerned with the excitement of being in outdoors and enjoying their surroundings.

I drove 2.5 hours to Haliburton to do my most recent race (26K) and the weather was cold and wet. I again met the usual trail racers that have come out to these races and by now we all know each other and it is like running with members of one big family. During the race I was constantly supported by all the runners along the way. This is something that I've yet to see consistently during a road race which is unfortunate. During a trail race there is always the chance of getting lost and this just adds to the excitement. Fortunately this race was very well marked and I only made one wrong turn (LOL). There were many times during the race where I didn't see another runner for 10-15 minutes. This gave me time to really concentrate on my running and also to dig down deep to finish the race. It becomes very clear when you are trail running that it is mental battle between you and the terrain. It is expected that you will stumble, trip or even fall along the way (all of which happened to me during this race) but you just dust yourself off and keep going.

I finished the race in just over 3 hours and I usually finish this distance in anywhere from 2:20 to 2:30 minutes. I'm happy to report that I am currently in 3rd place for my age category with 1 more race to go and I'm excited about the prospect of finishing in the top 3. With or without a top 3 however, I realized once again that trail running, for me, is far more enjoyable than road racing and I encourage everyone to experience the difference.
For more information about the series that I'm in or about upcoming trail races, visit the following link: