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
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
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
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 in the early morning light
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!
Waves crashing into rocks off Whalers Cove
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)
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.
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.