Trail Running in Vancouver

By: Sam LaBrie

I’m not a particularly introspective person, but I’ve taken a break from Carmen’s training group and have had time to reflect on why I spend so much time on this one activity. My wife would say that I like to run for the competition and that is certainly part of it, but there must be more. The friendships we build during long runs and difficult workouts are different that those from other parts of life and are certainly important. I’ve missed my running buddies and am looking forward to rejoining the group in a few weeks. I like to be fit and healthy. I like running gear: shoes, shirts, socks, gels. I like the last interval. I like fast-finish long runs. I like pushing myself.

These factors all apply to road miles and racing. For me, there is something extra in trail running. The scenery and varied terrain are important, but the main aspect is of fun. I ran the other day on the incredible Baden Powell Trail near Vancouver. Huge trees, ferns, rocks, roots, streams, jaw-dropping views of the city and bay. The trail was difficult, up and down, twisty and treacherous. On most trail runs I’ll have a section where every footplant was solid, my center of gravity was aligned through the curves, and my speed smoothly changed with the grade. That is the feeling you can’t get on the roads and, for me, is the motivation to run the miles by myself. If I could run like that every day with my friends, the racing and other stuff wouldn’t matter. Maybe.

I snapped this with my iphone, check the website for better photos.  I missed the signup this year for a 44K race on this trail called the Knee Knacker. Maybe next year…

Here are a few interesting articles on running.  I don’t feel up to racing a horse, but maybe Paul Terranova can make this his challenge for next year:

http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2012/06/long_distance_running_and_evolution_why_humans_can_outrun_horses_but_can_t_jump_higher_than_cats_.2.html

This is an inspiring article from Sabrina Moran, who recently set the 24 hour American record:

http://notallergictoadventure.blogspot.com/2012/05/north-coast-24-hour-usatf-championships.html

The ultra marathoner Geoff Roes RAN, in WINTER, the same 350 mile Iditarod Trail used by the dogsleds:

http://www.irunfar.com/2012/03/geoff-roes-2012-iditarod-trail-invitational-350-miles-race-report.html

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