If you know my race schedule, youíll know that Iíll run just about anything. But my true love is trail racing. Think about all the benefits of running trail Ė Softer running surfaces (even uneven rocks are better than pavement); Fewer people (thus a better chance at finishing in the top 100); and Pretty scenery.
Take my recently completed Way Too Cool 50K. It is the LARGEST 50K in the country Ė 600 runners. At the aid stations, you have real food and people at these aid stations can actually answer questions about the run (because largely they are trail lovers, too). For $57 (the approximate cheap cost of Long Beach Marathon), I got a well-marked course, good food and support, a technical T-shirt and a nice warm sweatshirt. All for about $1.14 per kilometer (imagine paying $5.70 for a 5K!).
The other aspect about a trail race is that you can probably kiss a PR goodbye (unless itís a new distance and they usually arenít standard distances). ButÖ this is a good thing. You can enjoy the challenge of watching your step, watching the scenery and just having a good time.
For first timers, a great (but sadly, probably last time ever) event, is this monthís Hillsea. Itís 7.57 miles (see, PR opportunity!), $20 (about $1.40/K) and the unique aspect is that every age group/gender group starts at different times. First finisher wins!
Hope to see you all out there trying something new!