Yep, my brain is still stuck on the trails.
I had such a good time this weekend that I've decided to sign up for my next big trail adventure-The Twisted Ankle Marathon in NW Georgia on May 12th!
In case you're having a hard time reading that, the lowest elevation point is 700 feet and the highest is about 1,550, and I get to climb it not once, but TWICE! And I get to do it all with Gail, who I've talked in to running it with me! Fun will be had by all ;)
A few days after the Fools run, I enlisted the help of a friend and my hubby to clean the race trails.
And of course, my ever loyal and occasionally hyperactive JRT, Crazy Face.
"Mom, do I have to carry the flags?"
We covered the first half of the 15 mile loop and picked up nearly three bags full of garbage. Roscoe went first to sniff the trail out (and find any tasty treats left on the side of the trail), I forged through the spider webs and picked the ribbons from the trees (so I wouldn't have to bend down), my friend got the flags from the ground, and David kept an eye out for miscellaneous garbage.
"And I'll pee on you, and you, and you and you...."
*Please note* it's never a good idea to let your dog off leash on a trail. Unless you're there on a Monday with not a soul in sight and your dog is
well adequately behaved.
So now on to the topic at hand: trail running. I by no means consider myself an expert on trail running; I barely consider myself "mildly experienced." But there are a few rules of the trail that I've picked up on that I'd like to share for the folks interested in venturing out into the woods.
- Don't litter. Sweeping the trails after the race just reinforced this cardinal rule for me. When racing on roads, it's more acceptable to toss your empty water cup or Gu pack to the side of the road where people will come by later to clean up after you. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO TRAIL RUNNING. Put your garbage in a trash can or carry it with you. Similarly, when using the "outdoor bathroom," at least burry your TP (or, ahem, *other* products... I'm talking to the women out there) so passers-by won't have to see it.
- Know when to yield. Runners can use horse trails (most of the time) but horses always have right-of-way. When you approach a horseback rider, walk or move off the trail to allow the rider to pass. Bikers are suppose to yield to runners, but it's always good to be aware and make eye contact just to make sure.
- Stay to the right, pass on the left. When you're passing someone, announce your presence. A simple "on your left" or "passing left" will do. Also be mindful that you don't "tail gate" the runner ahead of you on a single-track trail. There's nothing more obnoxious that having someone on your heels that won't pass you.
- Stay on your designated trail. There's a reason why some trails don't allow horses or bikes- they tear up the trail and make it miserable for runners. Running through horse poop sucks too. But runners should also be mindful that it's not safe to be on a horse-only trail when a horse comes galloping around the corner.
- Be prepared. You're not going to run by a gas station or convenience store to buy a bottle of water. Bring your fluids and fuel with you and always be prepared for "extra mileage" (AKA: getting lost).
- Be courteous. If you're with a large group, run single file and try not to be too raucous. I've noticed trail runners tend to be pretty friendly, so make sure you return the smile, nod, or greeting. Sharing lube and fluids is optional.
What would you add to this list?