We imagine that some (many?) of you have not spent any quality time out on the trails. While not ALL of our races will take place on the trail, our first few races will.
If you run primarily on the road, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re running on the trail that we consider critically important (Sasquatch does too!).
- Be Vigilant! Trails frequently entail uneven terrain. This means you ‘may’ encounter small rocks, tree roots, and/or loose soil. What this means is you need to be primarily focused on the trail in front of you. You need to suss out what’s in front of you before you get there. Wearing ipods/headphones is ‘generally’ not the best idea. Please be aware of your surroundings and where you’re going. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE TRAIL (roughly three feet in front, specifically)
- Be Safe! Being dialed into the trail/terrain in front of you is important not just because of the terrain, but also because there are various critters that inhabit the trails and/or woods surrounding you while you’re out on the trail. In the SF/Bay Area, said critters include bobcats, foxes, wild turkeys, snakes, etc. If you’re out on the trail early in the morning or late in the day, keep a watchful eye and be safe!
- Slow Down! There are a select group of elite level trail runners who can burn up and down the trails. ‘Most’ of us do not fall into this category. With this in mind, SLOW DOWN. If your personal best for a half marathon on the road is 2:30, your personal best on an average trail for the same distance will likely be more like 2:45-3:00. This is due to the terrain as well as ascent/descent that you typically won’t encounter on the road. You’ll need to slow down heading uphill, however whenever you go up you can usually count on going down too. Just be sure to take short, choppy steps on any steep descents so you don’t lose your balance.
- Leave No Trace! The trails are a special place. Chances are you will see some AMAZING things while you’re out there….perhaps things you’ve NEVER seen before! With this in mind, respect the trails. Take care of the trails. Don’t litter and leave no trace on the trails – all the critters out there will appreciate it (as will your fellow runners behind you, speed demon).