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how did you discover trail running?

backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Utah, United States
Posted: Wed 30 Aug 2006 04:06 am GMT   topTop
I'm interested in your "story". Are you a road runner convert? Were you a hiker first? Got any interesting first-timer stories?

I came from a hiking background. I ran on roads for exercise, but mostly because that's what everyone else did. I read about people running trails, and saw runners every now and again on the trails, but it took me awhile before trying it. Of course now I'm hooked. The "personal note" in the 'about' link below tells a bit more of my story ... but I'd like to hear yours.
agtxbb
agtxbb
Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 16
Texas, United States
Posted: Wed 30 Aug 2006 05:48 pm GMT   topTop
Well, I've always been a huge fan of running.

I joined the Air Force and am now stationed in San Antonio, TX (Lackland AFB). A few of my co-workers took me out on a trail run a few years ago and I haven't stopped/been the same since. When I first started, I didn't run as much as I do today. The reason being, about a year ago I adopted a dog (Niekko); she and I started trail running together almost everyday. It got to where I'd feel terrible if we skipped a day. Needless to say, I'm now completely obsessed with trail running. Lately, I've even been clearing out my own trails on base ... which may not actually be legal.

Moving to Charleston, SC in November. I will DEFINITELY miss the trails here in Texas!
UltrarunnerP
UltrarunnerP
Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 23
Texas, United States
Posted: Wed 30 Aug 2006 08:38 pm GMT   topTop
Hey! I'm in San Antonio, too. Well, ok, Schertz.
Not many trails out by me so most of my miles are on roads.
agtxbb
agtxbb
Joined: 28 Aug 2006
Posts: 16
Texas, United States
Posted: Wed 30 Aug 2006 09:00 pm GMT   topTop
You're right, there aren't too many. At least you're closer to McAllister Park -- such a great place to run. I live on 1604, near Sea World.
backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Utah, United States
Posted: Wed 30 Aug 2006 09:51 pm GMT   topTop
>> .. I've even been clearing out my own trails on base ... which may not actually be legal.

agtxbb, now that's dedication!

I've been thinking about getting a dog to run with. Just not sure about training it, and keeping it from taking off after deer. But still, certainly a faithful companion (and cougar deterrant :-) Maybe ...
CougarSnack
CougarSnack
Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 99
California, United States
Posted: Thu 31 Aug 2006 12:00 am GMT   topTop
Hey, I'm just moseying over from the carnival atmosphere of the RW forum. Your site is fabulous!! I will visit as much as possible, since I have the attention span of a gnat.

My story: I'd never heard about trailrunning, and did very little outdoor stuff when I moved to Foresthill. Now, I don't even recognize myself as that person of 5 years ago. I'm an avid (albeit slow) trail runner, I've taken up kayaking & backpacking, and am hoping to segue into adventure racing after I achieve a goal I have my heart set on: to get into & finish one Western States 100 before I die.

Thanks for the great job on this website :-)
backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Utah, United States
Posted: Thu 31 Aug 2006 12:11 am GMT   topTop
Nice to see you over here! And what a great username :-) Glad you like the website, and as always, if you have any suggestions or ideas, let me know (contact or feedback form, or via forum).
CougarSnack
CougarSnack
Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 99
California, United States
Posted: Thu 31 Aug 2006 12:20 am GMT   topTop
Thanks. I'll have to see what I can dig up when you get the avatar thing up and running.

And since you asked...

Am I missing an option that will e-mail me when someone responds to a post? RW got rid of the function that let's you ask to be notified whenever someone responds to anything you've posted (you now have to do it every single time you post. Aaargh!)

As it is, I have to remember to come back & check, and I don't always remember!
RigMan
Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 3
North Carolina, United States
Posted: Thu 31 Aug 2006 02:26 pm GMT   topTop
CougarSnack
I think RW still supports notification, even though I haven't tried it. If you go into your profile, and under Preferences, then posting options, there's an option for either a Daily Digest, Weekly Digest, or immediate notification.
backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Utah, United States
Posted: Thu 31 Aug 2006 04:52 pm GMT   topTop
CougarSnack - excellent suggestion, just the kind of ideas I'm looking for. I'm working on it now.
CougarSnack
CougarSnack
Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 99
California, United States
Posted: Fri 01 Sep 2006 10:11 pm GMT   topTop
Thanks, RigMan! (I guess if anybody thought I was a computer whiz, the gig is up now ;-)

I will scurry over in a minute and do just that.
CougarSnack
CougarSnack
Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 99
California, United States
Posted: Fri 01 Sep 2006 11:02 pm GMT   topTop
Backcountryrunner, you are being dangerously accommodating!
lightinaugust
Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 71
California, United States
Posted: Tue 05 Sep 2006 04:09 am GMT   topTop
Thank CougarSnack for spreading the word about this site.
(Although, after I've posted a few times, you'll retract your thanks.)

I got into trail running about two years ago, after my brother started singing its praises. We were both road runners, focused on the marathon. To be honest, it wasn't the trails themselves, but the people and events held on them. I was interested in stretching my long runs past 25 miles, but needed some camaraderie to get through it. There being a paucity of road 50Ks in my area, I just signed up for a trail race, ran it, never looked back.

Yeah, trails are nice. The people are nicer.
backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Utah, United States
Posted: Tue 05 Sep 2006 08:42 pm GMT   topTop
Thanks for posting to the forum, lightinaugust. CougarSnack, thanks for spreading the word :-)
apple
apple
Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 5
Texas, United States
Posted: Wed 06 Sep 2006 08:49 pm GMT   topTop
I lived on a ranch in the Pacific Northwest and began running trails there. I liked the Jane of the jungle feel, though my knees would turn to jello when I came upon a black bear. I never had a problem with them, probably because they were well fed from raiding the dumpster.

There were other critters on the trails like bobcat, wolf and maybe even a bigfoot or two.


[edited: Wed 06 Sep 2006 08:49 pm]
dirtrunner
dirtrunner
Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 42
Texas, United States
Posted: Thu 07 Sep 2006 03:55 am GMT   topTop
In 2005 I told a guy at Luke's Locker (local running store) that I was bored with marathons and he said I should go and watch the Rocky Raccoon 100 being run in Huntsville, TX. I was there when Jorge Pacheco, Andy Jones-Wilkins, Paul Frost and Scott Eppleman all came flying in around an 8:00 minute pace at the 40 mile mark. I was blown away. Shortly after that, Sean Meissner broke the 50 mile course record in 6:49:19. I went home and started training and have not looked back.
criosrun
Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 22
California, United States
Posted: Thu 14 Sep 2006 05:38 pm GMT   topTop
Just joined. Thanks to Cougar Snack. Long time member of the Ultalist and RW forum. I got into trails/Ultra world when I moved to San Jose, this in 1981. Was running many marathons, halfs, 10ks and 5ks. Ran a 10k in the Quicksilver area all on trails. Fell in love from the get go. Would see these runners with t-shirts/jackets with this AR 50 logo on them. Well it didn't take long and run my first 50k, Skyline 50k in Aug. of 1981. Like most of you say, I never looked back. I now have over a 100 marathons, lost count of the Ultra's. Maybe over a 100. Have started many 100's but have no finishes yet. Still hoping for a 100 mile finish before it's over for me. Turned 64 this year.
Marcel
Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 36
California, United States
Posted: Fri 15 Sep 2006 03:48 am GMT   topTop
My first marathon, it must have been in 1986, was a trail run. I was completely unprepared and just cut school one afternoon to do the race (it was on a weekday). I finished in over 5 hours and have never been so sore the day after a run. For many years after that I was a casual runner and did some 10k's. In 2004 I decided to do the Big Sur Marathon, did it again in 2005, but realized that the problem with marathons is that they are competitive, and that they are all about shaving off a couple of minutes here and there.

Last year I tried my first trail 50k, and it was so much nicer than running on the road. Nicer people, nicer scenery, better challenge. I've found that I like runs that go all day long. I get in tune with things ...
CougarSnack
CougarSnack
Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 99
California, United States
Posted: Fri 15 Sep 2006 03:46 pm GMT   topTop
Chris, I saw your name on the Tahoe Rim Trail entrants, and wanted to meet you in person, but I forgot to ask you what you looked like.

Maybe next year, huh?
redrocksrunner
redrocksrunner
Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 10
Utah, United States
Posted: Sun 17 Sep 2006 02:11 pm GMT   topTop
I grew up in SLC. I hiked alot and ran local 5k, 10k, and 1/2 marathons. I did not know about trail running .

I move to Texas and learned about trail running. I ran short trail races at first, Palo duro 20K, grasslands 10 miler, and Rockledge rumble 25 k. Then I moved up the the 50K at sunmart. I was hooked on trails.

Now I live in Utah again and get to rediscover/ run the trails that I used to only hike.
I love the trails here , both the redrock and the mountains that are close by.

Lorilie
UltrarunnerP
UltrarunnerP
Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 23
Texas, United States
Posted: Mon 18 Sep 2006 10:38 pm GMT   topTop
quote;
"I was there when Jorge Pacheco, Andy Jones-Wilkins, Paul Frost and Scott Eppleman all came flying in around an 8:00 minute pace at the 40 mile mark."

Amazing how that could have encouraged you to do the same thing. Did you see us after the next lap? Jorge and Andy may have looked convincing and I think Scott was toying with me but I was fried.

That was a great race. Glad it hooked you. Welcome to the club.
criosrun
Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 22
California, United States
Posted: Tue 19 Sep 2006 02:07 pm GMT   topTop
CougarSnack, sorry for the late reply. Been away to help support some friends running AC 100. You don't have to wait until next year. Come run the Ridgecrest 50k this December. I may be at Javalina again this year, not sure just yet.
CougarSnack
CougarSnack
Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 99
California, United States
Posted: Tue 19 Sep 2006 02:54 pm GMT   topTop
The Ridgecrest looks like fun! Usually by December I'm accumulating my 'winter coat' and not running much. Your race would be a good way to motivate myself to stay in shape. I'll definitely scope out my schedule & see what's possible.

Javalina I've looked at a couple of times because I want to try a desert-style ultra, and it would be an excellent run to bring my kids to, as the loop course is ideal for crewing & cheerleading with little hassle. But this year I have a training excercise that weekend that I have to attend, so next year would be the soonest on that one.
criosrun
Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 22
California, United States
Posted: Tue 19 Sep 2006 03:25 pm GMT   topTop
CS, Ridgecrest is fun for sure. Very friendly course and runners. Not a bad way to end the year and be ready for 2007.
I have started Javalina 2 times, 2 dnf's. That's why I would love to go back. If you make it there next year you will like it and the family will also. One can camp right there at the finish/start or camp at near by camp sites.
CougarSnack
CougarSnack
Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 99
California, United States
Posted: Tue 19 Sep 2006 03:31 pm GMT   topTop
The camping option sounds ideal. My kids would love that! I'll see how this weekend goes before I start planning another hundred, though ;-)
criosrun
Joined: 14 Sep 2006
Posts: 22
California, United States
Posted: Tue 19 Sep 2006 04:05 pm GMT   topTop
I hear ya. Lots of luck at Rio. Wish I could go and help out but just to many events to get to all of them.
Have a great race.
CougarSnack
CougarSnack
Joined: 30 Aug 2006
Posts: 99
California, United States
Posted: Tue 19 Sep 2006 04:37 pm GMT   topTop
Thank you! :-)
ALTRjeff
Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 16
Colorado, United States
Posted: Fri 19 Jan 2007 08:47 pm GMT   topTop
I was out at a lake running the pavement , when this crazed mountain biker comes flying out from the side of the road, up & over the road(narrowly missing me) & disappearing off the other side. It sorta ticked me off, so I ,without hesitation, took up a chase. Well, somewhere in the next couple of miles, I realized I was not going to catch him, so I continued to run & enjoyed it much, much more than I ever had roads.
The rest is history! I have ever since been more a dedicated trail runner than ever saying that I was ever a road runner. Trail runners have a way different mind set than road runners & are more to my liking. Jeff
backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Utah, United States
Posted: Sun 21 Jan 2007 07:30 am GMT   topTop
How funny - what an interesting (and unique) way to discover trail running!
ALTRjeff
Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 16
Colorado, United States
Posted: Mon 22 Jan 2007 12:10 am GMT   topTop
I did later meet up with the guy out on the same trails & thanked him for the distraction, or I might never have lost the focus of the pavement. I started helping the bike club to clean & maintain the trail every quarter.
A couple years later, I RD'd a 25/50k trail run in 1999 on the same trails, which as far as I know has never been repeated due to city regulations(in spite of the fact that for a first time trail run, I awarded the city a check for $1200.00 to be used for trail maintenance) I moved the next year to Colorado!
sgdesertrat
sgdesertrat
Joined: 05 Feb 2007
Posts: 7
Nevada, United States
Posted: Mon 05 Feb 2007 11:16 pm GMT   topTop
I started running when I was eight years old with my dad who had been a marathoner. I ran mostly on the roads with my dad, but one of my best childhood memories was running down the Wheeler Peak trail in Great Basin National Park in the rain at ten years old, because we were afraid of getting caught in a serious electrical storm. In the early through mid-nineties, I raced mountain bikes pretty seriously and let running fall by the wayside.
In 1995, I decided to run my first road marathon, because I was discouraged with my mountain bike race season. I ran the St. George Marathon in 1995 and 1996 in 3:30 and 3:21 respectively. Then came an LDS Mission, college, marriage and children. In 2005, I was nearly 100 pounds heavier than I'd been at 18 when I ran my last marathon. A friend of mine talked me in to running the St. George Marathon with him and I got busy. I ran mostly on some trails near my house in Las Vegas to protect my joints and also to hide, because I thought I looked so silly when I was that fat and trying to run. After losing about 70 pounds from my heaviest I ran the 2005 St. George Marathon in 4:24. In 2006, I ran my first trail race, the Wahsatch Steeplechase in 3:12. I ran St. George again that year in 3:27. On January 7 of this year, I tried my first Ultra, the Red Rock Fat Ass 50k near Las Vegas. I ran it in 6:54 and I fell in love. I'm hoping to run the Katcina Mosa 100k this August. Road running has become less appealing to me and I hope I can keep trail ultrarunning into my old age.


[edited: Mon 05 Feb 2007 11:17 pm]
backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Utah, United States
Posted: Tue 06 Feb 2007 02:12 am GMT   topTop
Welcome to the forum, sgdesertrat! That's an interesting story. You're doing very well indeed if you are equaling your previous race times at 18! That's awesome.
kirez
kirez
Joined: 04 Mar 2007
Posts: 7
California, United States
Posted: Sat 10 Mar 2007 09:11 pm GMT   topTop
ABSTRACT: I got into trail running for the sex and glamour of it. It was all about the trail runner / rockstar lifestyle. As a road runner, I was sick of being ignored by all the girls who were chasing after the guys with muddy shoes and foxtails stuck in their socks.

* * * * * *

On a chilly November morning after a thanksgiving 5k turkey trot, I sidled up to a lithe young lassie with a ponytail, wearing some sexy shoes I later learned were Inov-8... aggressive trail & fells running shoes. Just as I was offering to grab her some electrolyte-replacement drink, these two guys stop next to us and their conversation steamrolled over my opening lines.

They were talking about the exploits of their running friends, a lot of first names were mentioned... but it didn't sound like the usual running banter. I kept hearing names that ended in "... Trail," I heard the terms "fire road", "bombed down the hill," "that godzilla slope", "we startled some deer," "through fields of wildflowers."

I was also intrigued, but much slower than the beauty I had wanted to chat up. She had already turned to them and asked them if they knew so-and-so. Huh, small world, I guess. And she was gone. I decided to go back to the long line waiting for massages, or see if I could score another big plastic bag of complimentary brochures and maybe a Clif bar.

* * * * *

But that day's observations were only a representative sample. Similar scenes were repeated at local running clubs. Very proper yuppie road runners sometimes spoke with raised eyebrows in hushed tones about the legendary exploits of the truly wild and free runners, some of whom skirted the scandalous venues like Hash House Harriers.

I must have had a nascent streak of romanticism and idealism, as well as a frustrated sex life which I blamed on my 120-pound computer geek frame. The lure of being a trail running stud grew irresistible. The die was cast.
kirez
kirez
Joined: 04 Mar 2007
Posts: 7
California, United States
Posted: Sat 10 Mar 2007 10:26 pm GMT   topTop
The truth -- my own story --- the above was purely fiction, not remotely characteristic writing for me.

I lived in the desert and mountains growing up so trails were normal. In high school I ran cross-country, we ran tons of trails and hills. I was very spoiled. It was fantastic.

I got back into running after 6 years of injury, and happened across an advertisement for the Nipmuck Trail Marathon (in Connecticut; I was living in Boston). This run was just exactly my style, and still one of the best managed, funnest runs EVER. Mad props to Dave Roskquowkskiwowski.
backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Utah, United States
Posted: Tue 13 Mar 2007 08:38 pm GMT   topTop
Great story, LOL. Welcome to the forum, kirez.

I've added the Nipmuck Trail Marathon to the trail races database:
http://www.backcountryrunner.com/trail_races/nipmuck_trail_marathon/
Dolly
Joined: 01 May 2008
Posts: 6
California, United States
Posted: Fri 09 May 2008 07:23 pm GMT   topTop
Umm...I haven't yet! But want to..urban girl here...I live near TONS of trails...just need to get out and do it. Should I wear shoes different from my roadrunners?
backcountryrunner
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 197
Utah, United States
Posted: Thu 15 May 2008 04:05 am GMT   topTop
Hey Dolly - I wouldn't worry about your shoes ... as you say, just get out and do it! Give it a try and I'm sure you'll be hooked. Trail running shoes are generally more stable on trails, with protection from sharp rocks underfoot, so eventually you should try some out and see what you think.
Dolly
Joined: 01 May 2008
Posts: 6
California, United States
Posted: Thu 15 May 2008 09:14 pm GMT   topTop
I just posted my first time trail running on my favorite women's site....Its a little long, but not too long...www.traxee.com. I don't think I will be all out either, it def changed my life but I love the road like I love Vanilla icecream....its delish to try other flavors, but Vanilla never lets you down! Cool q~!
victwa
victwa
Joined: 04 Jun 2008
Posts: 4
California, United States
Posted: Wed 04 Jun 2008 01:52 am GMT   topTop
I was a hiker/backpacker since age 3, and then started running when I was 16, but only on roads. Through a friend, I ended up running with Tamalpa in Marin on one of their Wednesday night runs and was immediately hooked. Now I have a border collie/aussie mix, so I do almost all my running on trails.
Clydesdale
Clydesdale
Joined: 26 Jul 2008
Posts: 15
South Dakota, United States
Posted: Mon 28 Jul 2008 10:00 pm GMT   topTop
Loaction Location Location. I moved the the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1994. A group of coworkers were into trail running and took my out. WOw, after the first run I was hooked. It wasn't just the views or solitude. A lot of it was the feeling of screaming down a trail and being focused on one moment at a time. It is almost as if time stops, except for the next foot plant. Although I got heavy into Triathalons I have always included some trail running. Now I that I am no longer racing triathalons I have been hitting the trails pretty often, at least once a week.
jonfmoss
Joined: 11 Aug 2009
Posts: 3
Tennessee, United States
Posted: Tue 11 Aug 2009 09:08 pm GMT   topTop
I really got into trail running after moving to Chattanooga, Tennessee. It's so much more fun than plain old road running. The only thing I have to watch out for is tripping while enjoying the beautiful scenery!
jimsty
jimsty
Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 66
Christchurch, New Zealand
Posted: Thu 13 Aug 2009 05:47 am GMT   topTop
For me it was just a natural progression from running on the road. I can't remember exactly, but was probably just a case of 'accidentally' running off road at some point and really enjoying it!
I don't trail run as much as I would like to as I am about a 20min drive away to get to any decent off road terrain. Probably a couple of times a week I do my long runs up in the hills, and I make sure I try and race just as many trail races as I do on the road.
Incidentally, I tore my achilles about 4 or 5yrs ago. My physio encouraged me to include trail running as the unevenness of the terrain will help to strengthen it and reduce the chances of it happening again, Touch wood, so far I have never had another niggle out of it since.