With every step into the earth your form changes, compensating for the change in texture from asphalt to dirt, rocks, roots, mud whichever you encounter you take gladly. Your pace slows slightly from road racing to trails but you don’t mind as you take in the scenery along your route. You have left your music at home to have less distractions and keep your focus forward. There are no water stops you carry your own respecting the rules given. You make sure to wear shoes that have more grip at the bottom to take quick but careful steps. You pause when needed to take in the beauty that surrounds you whether it is the sun breaking from the trees or a perfect view of the landscape. You leave your run with a bit more respect for nature from when you started.
Trails give you back more than what you put into it. Experience them for yourself and find one near you today. For Louisiana runners we are fortunate to have some options.
Q50 Races: I guarantee you will not find a more friendly race director on the planet. Cesar Torres genuinely cares about the environment and has a found a way to share his love of nature through trail running. Cesar has even been featured in Runner’s World Magazine. He has several events coming up to wet your appetite for trails. Check out the Q50 Website or the latest updates on Facebook. There you will find distances from kids run to ultras.
FORGE RACING: Check out their “Ales N Trails Run Group” and race schedule. Just one of three races coming up this fall is the “Cajun Coyote” 100M, 100K and 20M single track loop trail around the lake at Chicot State Park, Ville Platte, Louisiana. This event is definitely for those looking to get off the beaten asphalt. You can find the latest updates on meet ups of their weekly run group and upcoming races on Facebook. The Forge Racing website is in the process of being updated so please check back.
Not sure if you want to run but want to be a part of the experience? VOLUNTEER! Course support is invaluable and I guarantee after you spend the day at one of these events you will definitely want to join in on the action next time.
Still undecided? Check out the below recaps from a couple of my trail experiences:
Click here to find more trails in Louisiana such as Tammany Trace, Chicot State Park and more.
Need help to find a trail outside of Louisiana? Go to this link and enter your state or zip code.