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Downtown Temple,NH

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Am I a Trail Runner?

I started this blog a few months ago mostly to chronicle my introduction into trail running. I wasn't exactly sure what the heck I would write about (or why) but I figured what the heck. Maybe it would be a modified training log, maybe it would end up being a repository of useless information. I really didn't think that far ahead. If nothing else it was a place I could post or link all the things I found interesting to me, whether links to races, products or even other blogs.

Over the last couple of months I've rambled on about various races and I think I have an idea what I'd like to do with this blog. I'm not sure I'll inspire anyone but I would like to provide some useful info on various races and events. This could be via links, stories, race reports and hopefully pictures. I'm always looking for info on new races (especially trail races) and constantly search for stories or race reports, course descriptions or pictures to help me decide if I want to attempt it or not. If I could provide some useful information for 'someone' out there I'd be happy.
The trail running circuit and the snowshoeing circuit have a lot in common. From my limited involvement in each so far, I'd say they are one in the same. In other words, it seems a lot of the people are the same or at the very least, a lot of the personalities are the same. They're members of "Friends of this, that or the other Forest", they have AMC stickers on their cars, they're vegetarians, they buy organic products but mostly...they're not from around here. I suppose they might be a product of their environment, living and working in some beautiful parts of the Northeast. They have access to some incredible parks and forests. They have access to dozens of trail races a year. I am jealous, I admit it.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but positive things to say about the races and the people involved in each. Very nice, very down to earth. It seems these folks are indeed obsessed though. They ONLY do trail races, and the longer the better. As a side note: why is every trail race longer than the last? Does anyone put on a 5 mile trail race?

I'm trying to figure out if I really have anything in common with these folks or if I run these events for the same reason. I mostly run races to challenge myself, to do something the average person would not do. I always want to test what I'm capable of (physically) but I want to do this in the realm of having fun as well. Maybe the difference is I'm not obsessed with trail running. I started trail running mostly to give my wounded knees a break (having had surgery on BOTH knees in 2007). I still enjoy running on the roads though. I like small town races. The 1/2 marathon is my favorite distance. I also enjoy triathlons (as long as they are less than a 1/2 Ironman distance).

I am not suffering though. Southern New Hampshire has access to more road races than any place I've seen or heard about. From April until October it is impossible NOT to find a race somewhere within 30 minutes of home. I do wish there were a few trail races sprinkled in now and then, however.

I guess I'm probably not a trail runner as defined by what I've seen so far. I'm more of a runner who enjoys running on trails. Yes, there is a difference.

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