What makes a Trail Runner different?

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Hosted by
Don Freeman

Trail runners are a bit off…….off in a good way 🙂   What makes us different?

So Nation Members help us build the list.   What makes a trail runner unique?

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  • Trail runners have wonderful personality traits. Upbeat, optimistic and full of positive energy.

    If you lined up 10 people it would be easy to pick out the trail runner! (Not because they have a recognizable limp, tan lines from the sun glasses, an old race shirt and wearing a bright yellow or green shoe that the ordinary person would NEVER select from the rack)

    Race day is a pretty cool experience. Imagine 250 trail runners sharing the same small space. Sign me UP !!!!

  • Trail runners refuse to suck exhaust like their road running brothers and sisters; running on a well established forest trail is an absolute dream, e.g. 5 Peaks Golden Ears race, the last descent home, all downhill….I smile every time I think of it.

  • They Do it in the Dirt and love it!
    In the heat or cold frost, in Rain or Sun, Blazing trails Night or Day it the way we like to Play. What not to like about trail running. Besides when was the last time a pavement pounder had a l wildlife audience staring at them like they were nuts as they ran by?

  • Honestly so much comes to mind…but I cannot get over the fake tan I get from some quality time on the dirt trails. Reference the sock line post run, now thats a cheap tan session!

  • One of the many things that makes us different is that we all understand what John Muir meant when he said, “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
    ― John Muir

  • A big smile, the kind that resembles a child, because you really do love this. And the smile grows when people think you’re nuts. You know they’re right. But you also know that they’re just jealous because we have the kind of adventures that only their World of Warcraft characters could dream of (except for fighting goblins…except for that one at the Chimera 100…).

  • I never felt so accepted by a group of peers as I felt the first day I stepped on the trail. The group I was invited to join was a group of ultra trail runners who were all age group competetitors. I was fat and slow. They made me feel like I was one of them from day one.

    I am now an ultra trail runner and age group competetitor. I LOVE trail runners.

    • Trish, AMEN!!!
      I never felt at home in my family, my church, my neighborhood, anywhere….. very homeless indeed!

      But after that first race with my ultra running family, I finally found a home!!!

      3 years later, I’m still an overweight back of the packer, but they love me anyway and treat me the same as they do the race winners. The hugs and love keep me going back to races month after month. I wouldn’t trade them for the world….

      Some of you can have some of my family members…. please, take them!!! LOL but I’m keeping my running fam!

  • You know trail runners are different because: we see a trail as an adventure, we will follow the single-trek whether or not we know where it goes, we enjoy coming home covered in mud, we duct tape the holes in our shoes instead of going out to buy new ones so we don’t loose one minute of our running time, we don’t mind switchbacks uphill or down and we can have only running in common with a person and that is more than enough.

  • – They won’t judge you if your shoes don’t match your shirt
    – Trail runners won’t run around a fallen runner, they will help ’em up
    – We don’t brag about our splits, we brag about our blunders

    • OMGosh Tim, so true “we brag about our blunders”!

      Someone on one of our AR running forums was amazed (they were a road racer) about how we even admitted to a bad race a DFL or a DNF! That was new to this person, and they said they learned so much from what we shared about why our race went sideways.

    • That’s very true Tim – you are more likely to hear a story about a bonk rather than a victory story. The bonks make for better stories.
      Whenever I hear a bonk story, it makes me happy I am not in the middle of one.

  • Trail runners see pushing 6 inches of snow as a must do adventure. Trail runners cringe at the idea of a 20 mile road run, but grin like a fool for all 20 miles on the trail.

  • We don’t take off our socks and shoes at water crossings or go around mud puddles. We embrace them and go straight through with a smile.

  • We’re all a bit masochistic – there is something enjoyable about inflicting pain on ourselves.

    I’ve also noticed a theme in some of the podcasts referencing OCD (and I agree 100%).

    You’ve never met a nicer bunch of OCD mosochists anywhere!

  • Besides all of the things mentioned above, I think trail runners are happier people by nature and treat each other much nicer than road only runners. I think it may be all that pounding on the pavement and boredom makes folks grouchy

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