Monday, November 3, 2014

10 Uncommon Rules of Trail Running...

especially if you are trying out a new trail for the first time*

1.  Find a trail suitable for trail running.  Some areas are designated as a quiet sanctuary for wildlife and running is prohibited.  Of course, if you are being chased by wildlife... run like the wind!

2.  Do not freak out if you get mud all over your shoes and possibly your clothes.  Unless you live in a dry climate or your area is going through a drought... there will be mud hiding out somewhere.

3.  Take in the fresh air!  You feel that wind on your face?  It's fresh!  You are running like you were meant to run, through the woods, dodging branches, hunting food in the form of antelope or a fleeing berry bush, you are a survivor!

4.  Don't forget to look down on occasion.  Tree roots will send you sailing!

My phone... sailing.

5.  It's a good idea to have your phone in a waterproof covering of some sort, preferably in a color that doesn't camouflage itself in a woodland environment. This is especially useful after your phone lands 10 feet away from where you fell on your face.

6.  Take time to stop and get random photos of fungi, tree roots, and other natural objects that seem really amazing at the time.

7.  Don't always assume you know where you are going.  Never underestimate just how easy it is to get lost, especially on mountain bike trails that branch off every few feet into countless directions.

8.  Speaking of mountain bike trails, watch out for mountain bikes!  In some situations, it's a lot easier for the hiker/runner/ambler to get out of the way than for the biker to go around you.

9.  Be courteous and respectful, even if others are mocking your bewildered look and bloody knees.

10.  Enjoy your run, even if it turns into more of a jog or a stagger, with lots of photo and GPS breaks!   

*These rules do not include or replace the standard rules of trail running safety!  Obviously, do not run alone in a dangerous area; let people know where you are going; do not run if you have a medical condition without getting the okay from your doctor; do not run in an area that has had sightings of escaped convicts, zombies, wild boar, or unaccompanied teenagers;  do not run in the dark unless you are being supervised by a guide possum;  do not run in or near hunting areas during hunting seasons or Celtic rituals, especially if you have antlers;  and finally, do not run without remembering how awesome you are just for getting outside when you could have used that time to rewatch an old episode of Sherlock.