What Trail Running Means to Me

You may have noticed that I’ve been racing less. There are lots of superficial reasons. Injury (I’m recovered). Lil’ Golden Trails (I do find time for long runs on the weekends). Not in shape (sandbagging). The truth of the matter is that I have very little desire to compete at the moment. However, I’m as passionate about trail running as I’ve ever been. I simply enjoy spending time in nature.

I came across an article on iRunFar by Geoff Roess. He said something that just spoke to me:

“Trail running should be a celebration of the land in which we choose to run upon” – Geoff Roess

Couldn’t have said it any better.

See you out on the trails!

Somewhere on Kenai Peninsula in Alaska

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How to Ace an Aid Station

Many months of being sidelined by injury allowed me to do quite a bit of volunteering, accrue some trail karma (and free race entries), and watch hundreds of runners go through aid stations in the process. Also, I have noticed over the years that when I was racing close to others, I would often pass people at aid stations.

One of the aid stations I manned in 2011

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Running Monterrey’s Jacks Peak

When visiting the Monterey Peninsula, most people seek out super-scenic places along the coast to run on.  Point Lobos comes to mind as does Garrapata State Park .  While those places are undoubtedly among the most scenic places in the world, they are also often very crowded (especially Point Lobos).

Monterrey from Jacks Peak

Monterrey from Jacks Peak

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Snowshoeing Lassen Peak (10,462)

This past week and went out to search for snow.  There isn’t much in California right now.  So where to go? The snowiest place in California, of course: Lassen National Park. I only had a day, so that meant getting up at 3:30, driving up to Lassen, snowshoeing all day and then driving back.

Lassen Peak winter

Lassen Peak in the early morning light

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Running the Magical Trails of Point Lobos

This past weekend, I had the great pleasure of enjoying some of the most scenic trails anywhere at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve.  Located just south of Carmel and Monterrey, CA, Point Lobos is the first major park for anyone headed south along the spectacular Big Sur Coast.

Point Lobos is very popular and it’s not uncommon for people to have to park outside the gates and walk in (make sure you still donate $1 as an entrance fee! California parks are not doing well). As a run, I recommend combining the North and South Shore trails.  Be prepared to stop and be mesmerized!

Point Lobos - Whalers Cove

Waves crashing into rocks off Whalers Cove

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Photos from Trail Running Adventures

One thing that I appreciate most about trail running is getting to see places I would have previously never hiked to or visited.  Below is a collection of some of my favorites.  Enjoy!


Badlands on Oglala Lakota Reservation (South Dakota)

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Trail Running in … Atlanta

This is the first of a series trail running guides I am planning to write.  The plan is for these to live on and on and serve as a resource for trail runners living or traveling to a particular location.  I am just one person, so please add your thoughts, suggestions and resources in the comments section. As I’ll be posting this on Martin Luther King Day, I thought I’d start with Atlanta, GA. 

Atlanta trail

A typical trail in Atlanta in wintertime

Atlanta is known for many things.  ‘Gone with the Wind’, countless roads named “Peachtree [something]” and underperforming sports teams (sorry, but it’s true).  However, few outside the South think of Atlanta as a center of trail running culture.  That’s too bad, because it is.  I should know. I lived in Atlanta for almost ten years and transitioned from road to trail running in this Pearl of the South before moving west to California.

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2012 Running and Adventure Plans

2012 will be unlike any year in the past, as we will be welcoming a new arrival to the family in March.  This makes planning difficult if not impossible.  However, I do have a rough outline of what I hope to be doing.

The front half of the year is a bit thin because of the aforementioned reasons as well as my injury that I’m slowly coming back from.  (I’m taking my time and that seems to be working well.)

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Top 10 Trail Running Videos – 2011

Ok, I’ve been plotting and working on this piece for almost two months now.  The quality of trail running videos has really taken off over the past couple of years, so I took it upon myself to rank the top 10 from 2011.

Let’s get right to it in reverse order:

No. 10: Kilian’s Quest – Season 3, Episode 5

For my money, Kilian is the best trail runner in the world. And it’s not even close.  These Kilian Quest videos are, admittedly, a bit over produced.  What’s great about this one though is that Kilian teaches a couple of lessons on how to tackle the steepest uphills and downhills.

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NorCal Trail Run Options (Update 3)

If you’re reading this, then there is about 98.7% chance that you know about all the goings-on in the Bay Area trail running community.  I thought this might be a good time to outline all the different trail race options that us Bay Area residents are so fortunate to have. For each series, I tried to pull two or three race reports from people I respect.

Bay Area Ultra Runners

As John M. points out in the comments, this is oldest of the Bay Area race organizers.  Many classics such as Miwok 100k, Ohlone Wilderness 50k and Quad Dipsea are organized by this group.  (With the exception of Lake Sonoma 50 mile, these races are also all part of the PA/USATF schedule listed below.)

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