Just a quick reminder that registration will close soon for the Winter Trail Festival http://www.trailsRoc.org/wtf
If you would like to receive a shirt, you must sign up by Monday November 26th.
Description: A Winter Trail Festival at Powder Mills Park – With the options of running 5ish, 10ish, or 15ish miles – The course will be a single 5 mile loop taking you on beautiful single track in Powder Mills Park – Each loop will start and finish at Wadhams Lodge which will be our “home base” for the weekend. Your cost to race? $25 no matter the distance
The 10 miler will again be run in the name of former champion Jill Jackett
The 5 mile race will be renamed, and run to Honor Lisa Valone.
It would be an honor if you could run with the spirit of these wonderful women during our event this year!
Get in while you can – https://trailsroc.org/wtf/ and let’s have some fun out there!
On September 30th the Land and Water Conservation fund is set to expire. Since 1964 this bipartisan program has funded many projects in the geographical region that we run, hike, and play in.
This program has allowed our area to become one of the nation’s best outdoor regions. We have hiking, running, mountain biking, swimming, kayaking, fishing . We have trail-heads, and paved paths for those who can’t go off-road. We have playgrounds, parks, ice rinks and the list goes on.
None of this has happened without fierce advocating for our outdoor spaces and we need your help now to renew the fund and continue to create and conserve our amazing outdoor spaces.
The Land and Water Conservation fund is paid for by reinvesting royalties from offshore oil and gas drilling into recreation and conservation projects across the country.
We are copying in a link from our friends over at the International Mountain Bike Association which will allow you to quickly send a letter to your representative asking them to continue funding this resource.
Please support #TrailsRoc and other local outdoor organizations by contacting your representative!
Below is a list of some of the projects that locally have been funded through this fund.
|12 – XXX||HAMLIN BEACH STATE PARK||ENCON||MONROE||NY||$54,425.75||1966||1971||Development|
|25 – XXX||WEDGEWOOD BOWL||TOWN OF HENRIETTA||MONROE||NY||$12,495.00||1967||1969||Development|
|28 – XXX||SCHLEGEL ROAD PARK||TOWN OF WEBSTER||MONROE||NY||$67,608.00||1967||1969||Acquisition|
|43 – XXX||POWDER MILLS PARK SKI AREA||MONROE COUNTY||MONROE||NY||$25,000.00||1967||1967||Development|
|77 – XXX||CHURCHVILLE PARK||MONROE COUNTY||MONROE||NY||$27,649.59||1968||1969||Development|
|153 – XXX||HARRIS WHALEN PARK||TOWN OF PENFIELD||MONROE||NY||$121,300.00||1971||1973||Development|
|170 – XXX||ADELINE PLAYGROUND||TOWN OF GREECE||MONROE||NY||$19,576.12||1972||1973||Development|
|189 – XXX||PARK ADDITION||TOWN OF CHILI||MONROE||NY||$14,600.00||1972||1974||Acquisition|
|219 – XXX||RIVERTON PARKS||TOWN OF HENRIETTA||MONROE||NY||$643,343.00||1973||1975||Combination|
|316 – XXX||NORTH STREET COMMUNITY CENTER-PHASE||CITY OF ROCHESTER||MONROE||NY||$110,150.55||1975||1977||Combination|
|339 – XXX||UPPER FALLS PARK||CITY OF ROCHESTER||MONROE||NY||$104,817.07||1975||1980||Development|
|342 – XXX||SCHOOL #9 REC. AREA||CITY OF ROCHESTER||MONROE||NY||$111,541.00||1975||1980||Development|
|446 – XXX||HAMLIN BEACH ST. PARK||GENESEE SPRC||MONROE||NY||$23,000.00||1976||1980||Development|
|461 – XXX||GENESSEE GATEWAY PARK||CITY OF ROCHESTER||MONROE||NY||$555,821.17||1976||1980||Development|
|463 – XXX||LIONS PARK||TOWN OF GATES||MONROE||NY||$25,000.00||1976||1979||Redevelopment|
|480 – XXX||ADAMS STREET REC. AREA||CITY OF ROCHESTER||MONROE||NY||$117,894.84||1976||1980||Development|
|535 – XXX||EAST ROCHESTER SWIM POOL||VILLAGE OF EAST ROCHESTER||MONROE||NY||$112,500.00||1977||1979||Development|
|628 – XXX||GENESEE VALLEY PARK WEST||CITY OF ROCHESTER||MONROE||NY||$868,936.68||1978||1980||Development|
|632 – XXX||SOUTHEAST NEIGHBORHOOD PARK||TOWN OF PITTSFORD||MONROE||NY||$196,500.00||1978||1980||Development|
|640 – XXX||MARELLA PARK||TOWN OF GREECE||MONROE||NY||$150,000.00||1978||1980||Development|
|670 – XXX||LEHIGH VALLEY RAILROAD ACQUISITION||MONROE COUNTY||MONROE||NY||$32,527.98||1978||1983||Acquisition|
|672 – XXX||CANAWAUGUS PARK||VILLAGE OF SCOTTSVILLE||MONROE||NY||$2,364.83||1978||1983||Development|
|675 – XXX||RUSH STONEY BROOK ROAD PARK||TOWN OF RUSH||MONROE||NY||$15,000.00||1978||1983||Development|
|720 – XXX||EXPRESSWAY PARK||TOWN OF BRIGHTON||MONROE||NY||$75,758.00||1979||1983||Development|
|739 – XXX||PONT DE RENNES||CITY OF ROCHESTER||MONROE||NY||$475,000.00||1979||1983||Development|
|762 – XXX||HENRIETTA VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK II||TOWN OF HENRIETTA||MONROE||NY||$27,540.15||1979||1983||Development|
|777 – XXX||GREENWOOD PARK||TOWN OF PENFIELD||MONROE||NY||$124,500.00||1979||1983||Combination|
|802 – XXX||DAVIS PARK||TOWN OF CHILI||MONROE||NY||$150,000.00||1979||1984||Development|
|809 – XXX||GRANDVIEW PLAY IMP.||TOWN OF GREECE||MONROE||NY||$100,000.00||1979||1984||Development|
|854 – XXX||GEORGE BADGEROW PARK||TOWN OF GREECE||MONROE||NY||$246,166.86||1980||1985||Development|
|864 – XXX||TURNING PT. PK.||CITY OF ROCHESTER||MONROE||NY||$111,345.18||1980||1985||Development|
|867 – T||N.Y.S. CONSOLIDATED GRANT #4||TOWN OF MENDON||MONROE||NY||$28,000.00||1980||1985||Development|
|867 – E1||N.Y.S. CONSOLIDATED GRANT #4||BROCKPORT CENTRAL SCHOOL DIST.||MONROE||NY||$47,000.00||1980||1985||Development|
|929 – XXX||SLATER CREEK FISH ACCESS||ENCON||MONROE||NY||$41,920.00||1981||1985||Development|
|942 – XXX||SPENCERPORT OGDEN PARK||SPENCERPORT CENTRAL SCHOOL DIST.||MONROE||NY||$26,156.90||1981||1985||Development|
|956 – XXX||GREECE CANAL PARK I||MONROE COUNTY||MONROE||NY||$200,000.00||1981||1985||Development|
|1038 – XXX||PITTSFORD THREE SITES||TOWN OF PITTSFORD||MONROE||NY||$136,500.00||1983||1984||Development|
|1048 – A||HANDICAPPED PARKS||GENESEE SPRC||MONROE||NY||$18,113.80||1983||1988||Redevelopment|
|1086 – XXX||EDMUND LYON PARK||VILLAGE OF EAST ROCHESTER||MONROE||NY||$66,937.00||1985||1988||Development|
|1195 – XXX||DEVIL’S NOSE AREA||NEW YORK STATE||MONROE||NY||$109,810.00||1997||1998||Development|
|1264 – XXX||Hilton Village Park Enhancement Project||Village of Hilton||MONROE||NY||$182,834.00||2004||2007||Development|
|1276 – XXX||Meridian Centre Park Expansion||Town of Brighton||MONROE||NY||$150,000.00||2005||2008||Development|
|546 – XXX||SULLIVAN PARK POND & DAM RESTORATION||TOWN OF SULLIVAN||MADISON||NY||$19,164.20||1977||1979||Redevelopment|
|873 – XXX||VET’S MEMO. PARK AND POOL||CITY OF ONEIDA||MADISON||NY||$85,000.00||1980||1985||Development|
|922 – XXX||CHITTENANGO FALLS BLDG.||CENTRAL SPRC||MADISON||NY||$41,536.80||1981||1985||Development|
|70 – XXX||CONESUS LAKE INLET||ENCON||LIVINGSTON||NY||$36,643.75||1967||1970||Acquisition|
|375 – XXX||PARKLAND ACQUISITION||VILLAGE OF DANSVILLE||LIVINGSTON||NY||$12,500.00||1976||1978||Acquisition|
|450 – XXX||STONY BROOK COMFORT STATION||FINGER LAKES SPRC||LIVINGSTON||NY||$11,512.55||1976||1979||Development|
|638 – XXX||GENESEE STATE PARK||GENESEE SPRC||LIVINGSTON||NY||$30,775.34||1978||1980||Development|
|729 – XXX||DANSVILLE PARK IMPROVEMENTS||VILLAGE OF DANSVILLE||LIVINGSTON||NY||$100,000.00||1979||1983||Development|
|867 – Z||N.Y.S. CONSOLIDATED GRANT #4||VILLAGE OF GENESEO||LIVINGSTON||NY||$9,057.61||1980||1985||Development|
|868 – XXX||LETCHWORTH RD. REHAB.||GENESEE SPRC||LIVINGSTON||NY||$81,542.66||1980||1985||Redevelopment|
|953 – XXX||CALEDONIA PARK IMPROVEMENTS||VILLAGE OF CALEDONIA||LIVINGSTON||NY||$13,539.20||1981||1985||Development|
|1033 – XXX||RICKY GREEN PARK||CITY OF CONESUS||LIVINGSTON||NY||$75,884.76||1983||1984||Development|
|1084 – XXX||BELLAMY MEMORIAL PARK||VILLAGE OF MOUNT MORRIS||LIVINGSTON||NY||$59,253.00||1985||1988||Development|
|374 – XXX||VILLAGE PARK IMPROVEMENT||VILLAGE OF GAINESVILLE||WYOMING||NY||$3,450.00||1976||1978||Development|
|471 – XXX||LETCHWORTH ST.PRK. IMPROVE.||GENESEE SPRC||WYOMING||NY||$75,000.00||1976||1980||Development|
|674 – XXX||CASTILE TENNIS COURT RENOVATIONS||VILLAGE OF CASTILE||WYOMING||NY||$5,000.00||1978||1983||Redevelopment|
|881 – XXX||LETCHWORTH ROADS||GENESEE SPRC||WYOMING||NY||$65,936.99||1980||1985||Redevelopment|
|959 – D||CONSOLIDATED GRANT #9||GENESEE SPRC||WYOMING||NY||$5,041.68||1981||1985||Redevelopment|
|1016 – XXX||LETCHWORTH ROAD REHAB 83||GENESEE SPRC||WYOMING||NY||$55,352.17||1983||1988||Redevelopment|
|1101 – XXX||PERRY VILLAGE PARK IMPROVEMENTS||VILLAGE OF PERRY||WYOMING||NY||$60,356.00||1986||1988||Redevelopment|
|1156 – XXX||LETCHWORTH STATE PARK||NEW YORK STATE||WYOMING||NY||$295,413.94||1991||1993||Redevelopment|
|1207 – XXX||SILVER LAKE COMFORT STATION||Genesee SPRC||WYOMING||NY||$75,000.00||2000||2002||Development|
|1209 – XXX||LONG PATH ACQUISITION||ENCON||GREENE||NY||$185,850.00||2000||2002||Acquisition|
|68 – XXX||TONAWANDA GAME MANAGEMENT AREA||ENCON||GENESEE||NY||$24,000.00||1967||1970||Acquisition|
|152 – XXX||GENESEE COUNTY PARK & FOREST||GENESEE COUNTY||GENESEE||NY||$10,900.00||1971||1973||Development|
|381 – XXX||GENESEE CTY PARK & FOREST–PHASE III||GENESEE COUNTY||GENESEE||NY||$36,375.00||1976||1979||Development|
|526 – XXX||WILDWOOD PARK AND PRESIDENTIAL ACRES||VILLAGE OF LEROY||GENESEE||NY||$124,702.00||1977||1981||Development|
|760 – XXX||BATAVIA MINI PARK||TOWN OF BATAVIA||GENESEE||NY||$49,326.65||1979||1983||Development|
|845 – XXX||DARIEN LAKES SEWAGE TREATMENT||GENESEE SPRC||GENESEE||NY||$91,229.60||1980||1985||Development|
|867 – V||N.Y.S. CONSOLIDATED GRANT #4||GENESEE COUNTY||GENESEE||NY||$25,000.00||1980||1985||Development|
|887 – C||N.Y.S. CONSOLIDATED GRANT #6||GENESEE SPRC||GENESEE||NY||$26,873.40||1981||1985||Redevelopment|
|946 – XXX||DARIEN LAKES SHOWER||GENESEE SPRC||GENESEE||NY||$94,320.00||1981||1985||Development|
|999 – XXX||DARIEN LK C.S.||GENESEE SPRC||GENESEE||NY||$24,710.11||1981||1986||Developmen|
|11 – XXX||SENECA LAKE STATE PARK||ENCON||ONTARIO||NY||$277,845.62||1966||1968||Development|
|139 – XXX||GANONDAGAN STATE HISTORIC PARK||FINGER LAKES SPRC||ONTARIO||NY||$30,750.00||1971||1978||Acquisition|
|323 – XXX||D/MARON BEGGS MEMORIAL PARK||CITY OF CANANDAIGUA||ONTARIO||NY||$362,700.00||1975||1980||Development|
|368 – XXX||COMMUNITY PARK||VILLAGE OF MANCHESTER||ONTARIO||NY||$35,000.00||1976||1979||Development|
|467 – XXX||GENEVA ICE RINK||CITY OF GENEVA||ONTARIO||NY||$586,605.00||1976||1980||Development|
|476 – XXX||MARINA CIRCULATION CHANNEL||FINGER LAKES SPRC||ONTARIO||NY||$10,000.00||1977||1979||Development|
|604 – XXX||NORTH FARMINGTON PARKLAND ACQUISITIO||TOWN OF FARMINGTON||ONTARIO||NY||$11,253.15||1977||1980||Acquisition|
|771 – XXX||SHORTSVILLE VILLAGE PARK||VILLAGE OF SHORTSVILLE||ONTARIO||NY||$38,500.00||1979||1983||Development|
|867 – G||N.Y.S. CONSOLIDATED GRANT #4||TOWN OF FARMINGTON||ONTARIO||NY||$81,000.00||1980||1985||Development|
|976 – XXX||CANANDAIGUA LAKE RECONSTRUCTION I||FINGER LAKES SPRC||ONTARIO||NY||$182,080.00||1981||1985||Redevelopment|
|1121 – XXX||GENEVA LAKEFRONT REC. PROJECT||CITY OF GENEVA||ONTARIO||NY||$187,425.00||1987||1991||Development|
On September 8th join us for the Webster Trail Classic – A beautiful run through 3 amazing parks near the shores of Lake Ontario.
With 2 options, a10 mile tour of the parks or a 3.5 mile tour of Webster Park there is an option for everyone-
Both races start and finish at the same point.
Please join us and help us raise money for the Friends of Webster Trails and the Webster Volunteer Ambulance company.
#TrailsRoc Trailgiving day to celebrate Earth Day
THIS SUNDAY – 4/22 From 9am-noon – Open house style
Every time we talk with folks we hear ” Let us know when the next trail work day is” Well you are in luck, we have one scheduled to celebrate Earth Day this Sunday!
Please join us in celebrating Earth Day with a day of events at Black Creek Park:
9:00am Group run/Family hike and fairy 🧚♀️ house making – We have some supplies, but feel free to bring your own materials to build your own Fairy House for the occupants of our trail
10:30am Trail work – Bring gloves and clippers, we have everything else for the projects. We will have projects as simple as trail clipping and cleaning to as complex as walkways/bridge building. You can choose when you arrive.
12:30 tailgate potluck lunch – We will hang out in the open air shelter and share our stories and you can hear about all of the amazing things #TrailsRoc has planned this year!
Afternoon of trail work will be offered as needed
Please come and go as you are able. We will meet at the open air pavilion path finder shelter.
This event is replacing our spring race as we felt it was time to let the trails recover and heal after a few harsh springs and race seasons. This is our way of giving back. Please join us and help us continue to create beautiful outdoor spaces for all to enjoy!
Facebook has changed the way you see posts from a page. As a 501c3 Not For Profit, we are not in the position to pay them for you to see what is going on so we likely will not be in your news feed.
You can however be sure to get our posts in your feed by simply opening our page – clicking “following” – and then checking “see first” We have attached a screen capture with some fancy circles and arrows to help you out.
In short – If you want news from us, you might want to do this.
In other news in case you missed it (Thanks, Facebook) – We have a few fun events planned this spring.
- March 3rd – It’s our birthday!!! Come join us for a 9am group run celebrating 6 years of trail love! We will meet at the Beach Lot (Mendon Ponds Park) for a 1 hour run and then have a potluck breakfast party in the pavilion, bring a dish to pass. Board member and tech guy McBeth reports the 6th celebration is the year of candy, and we won’t complain if that is what you bring!
- April 22nd Earth Day Event – Join us in celebrating Earth Day with a day of events at Black Creek Park:
9:00am Group run/Family hike and fairy 🧚♀️ house building for the Fairy House Trail we built
10:30am Trail work – It’s our chance to give back!
12:30 tailgate potluck lunch – Bring something fun to share
Afternoon of trail work as needed/motivated to get on with.
As always – Our races are open for registration and our group runs are free and fun. Information can always be found right on our website
Thanks everyone –
2018 came in with a blast of cold air and in typical fashion, many of you decided to enjoy these cold days with us out on the trails – It was a challenge and you took it on with ice beards and frozen eyelashes! Kudos to you for being inspirational to us!
During those days we kept warm over here by planning out a new year of amazing new trail opportunities for you and we are so excited to share that with you. There are a lot of changes below so please take a look!
All race registration is open now –
All these races sold out last year, so don’t wait!
0 SPF – July 14th 2018 –Our classic summer 1/2 marathon is back and we are excited as always. Join us on with a new start time of 7:30am. Every runner will receive a t-shirt and post race food at one of the best post race gathering locations in all of local trail running!
The Webster Trail Classic: This is where we have some really big news. We have acquired this event and are so excited to bring you the Webster Trail Classic. A ten mile loop running through 3 parks in Webster, NY.
The biggest change to the event is that we will be moving to the fall, giving the Rochester area a premiere early fall trail event. On September 8th, 2018 join us for a #TrailsRoc rendition of the Webster Trail Classic.
Winter Trail Festival – December 15th, 2018. Back for another year of hell on roots, ski hills, and creek side single track. This race is our big fundraiser for the year, so join us and help us raise funds for trail projects!
The Filthy Formal – Previously known as Mess The Dress. This race has been retired. We will replace this race (one that created considerable damage to the park trails) with a special trail day in Black Creek Park – Check out special events below for more information. We know that even with all of the trail work we do, the message of responsible trail use could not hold weight if we did not act appropriately. Instead of wrecking the trails this spring, we will repair them and we hope you and you families will join us.
Ready, Set, Glow! Has been placed on hold as we evaluate the sustainability of the event.
Special Events –
#TrailsRoc Earth Day Redemption Event – Join us on Earth Day (April 22nd) for a special trail event day. We will have a schedule of events soon to include a potluck lunch, great trail project, family hike, and an opportunity to make more Fairy Houses for the Fairy House trail that we built this past fall. Stay tuned for details. After 5 years of thrashing through Black Creek at Filthy Formal, this is our chance to give back and really care for the park in a fun family friendly event.
TROY Series – Back for another year with a few twists. We have added an ultra to the middle of the schedule (Many On The Genny) and we have moved the Webster Trail Classic to September, and changed the distance on the Mendon Trail Run to the 20k.
Take a look at the series. These are all races that consistently give back to the community in terms of trail work, volunteering, group runs and the keeping true the spirit of our sport. We hope that when you choose races for the year, you choose local, independently operated races that fulfill the spirit of trail running and keep the sport simple and to it’s roots. We wanted to highlight races that will continue to keep our community grounded as corporations move into the world of trail running.
Group Runs – We continue to offer 3 unique runs each week. Our Trail Learning Crew meets on Sundays and explores our local parks. Our Trail Workouts are hosted on Tuesdays, consisting of hill repeats or speedy loops. Our morning midweek run is staying on Wednesday, and will have a rotation of locations. We love seeing all of you out at our always free, and totally fun group runs!
The App – If you have not downloaded our smartphone app yet, you should. We have added some great functions including a “share location” and the ability to send stickers via messenger. In addition we have added hundreds of points of interest that include water stops, bathrooms, and shelters. You can plan out your long runs and bring the app for emergencies!
You can now also access the app via a web browser at https://map.trailsroc.org/
2018 is shaping up to be an amazing year on the trails. Our goal is to continue to share our journey with you in the woods. We are thankful for all of your support over the years and we cannot wait to see you where the pavement ends!
The past few months have been pretty hard on me as I recovered from a devastating surgery on my achilles tendon. At the same time it gave me the opportunity to take some time to evaluate the role running plays in my life. I can tell you this, it’s a big role. From race directing, to writing, to group runs, and volunteering, it really takes up a big portion of my day to day activity. In an instant it was gone and I was suddenly surrounded by something I loved that I could not do. Sort of like being in a room full of fresh pizza that I couldn’t touch. It was frustrating so I had to find a few ways to cope. Here is my advice below
- Don’t abandon running all together. Volunteer, cheer, make silly signs at a race. Stay involved.
- Find some way to stay active – I ended up at 4-Performance in Brighton. They have kept me moving while I wait this recovery out.
- Make plans for the future. Don’t let this set you back from your future PR’s.
- Be angry, it’s ok. Trust me if you love running, you will be angry about not running. Let that happen
- Make it your goal to help another runner reach their goals. We brag about community here a lot, this is part of where that comes in.
- Start back slow when you are given the all-clear.
Hang in there, I can speak from experience that once you are able, running will be there for you. The trails will wait, and your friends will cheer! See you on the trails.
-TRAIL NEWS –
Group Runs: Always fun – Always free!
Tuesday Trail Workouts – 6:00PM. A change to these runs! We will now use Tuesday evenings for hard workouts. We will organize either hill work, speed work, or longer hard runs. This will be done in a way that ANY pace can show up. Join us and learn about these great workouts
Wednesday Morning Runs– 6:00AM. We will post the schedule on our facebook page each week and the website is updated as we go.
TLC- Our “Trail Learning Crew” Will work with the same concept of SAS but will now include more of a structured “learn the park” style runs. Days and times vary so for more information on these group runs check out http://www.trailsroc.org/tlc
Friday Night Lights – It sure beats trying to pick someone up in a dark bar! In all seriousness check out the Friday night schedule here
Please join us for our upcoming trail work days –you use ’em, so help us to build/clean them up (and get in some nice cross training in the process!) :
Sunday June 11th -Black Creek Park @ 9am – Trail Maintenance – Woodside Lodge Parking Lot. Please be sure to park in the section of the lot that is not reserved for the Lodge.
#TrailsRoc: The App: Updates coming soon! Stay tuned!
Know a good trail that is not in our database? Keep sending us your GPX data and allow others to share that trail with you. Contact TrailsRoc@Gmail.com with GPX or comments.
0 spf half-ish marathon – The race is sold out but the wait list is open, it moves pretty fluidly so if you did not get in I would get on the list soon. You can get yourself on the waitlist here
This is our 5th year. We have a few streakers left and can’t wait to add some new faces to the list of finishers. See ya out there.
June/July Runner Spotlight
Michael is a staple at many of the toughest races in the area and surrounding states He has finished a slew of ultras, including the Beast of Burden hundred miler this past January. Michael always has a mind to challenge himself, in turn inspiring others to do the same. Here Michael shares what the community has meant to him :
Hi Folks! I consider myself very lucky to call many of you reading this, friend. To others, I hope to do the same in the near future.
I love trail running. Love competing in events, especially ultras, and have recently achieved some big goals, like completing my first hundred miler this past January at the 2017 Winter Beast of Burden. Impressive? Sure. But, everything is relative. We all have great stories to tell. Here is a piece of mine.
I started active life late, mid-forties. Prior to that I was relatively healthy, but never really fit, and certainly not athletic.
About 10 years ago I found myself with a busted marriage, no job, a mortgage, and a family to support. At one point during this time I was lying on the floor with back pain so bad it took me over 5 hours to get onto the bed that was right next to where I Iay. That was my low point. Something had to change. I had to change.
I was stuck in a logjam. Floating in the flotsam with no easy way out, unable to escape to the river of possibility flowing by me. That’s how I felt. Trapped. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t think my way out of my mess. My cerebral abilities had served me well to this point in life. Or, so I thought.
Eventually, I did find the key. I had to stop thinking. For me, it was the over-reliance on rational thought that had placed me in that logjam. The bane of an over-active mind, bent on analyzing everything with logic, leaving me clueless to the factors blocking my path. Although there was plenty of opportunity to blame others, or just circumstances in general, doing that would be just another trap. I had to find a way to stop thinking so much.
It was physical activity…vigorous, sustained, physical activity…that got me out of my head and reconnected to the rest of me. Orienteering first, then combat sports, yoga, outdoor boot camp classes, running, and finally trail running.
Why trail running? Many reasons. First, it is the awesomeness of our trail running community. The community makes it super easy to progress. It supports consistency of effort. If you show up and participate you will get results. It gets easier. Yet, stays just as hard as you want it to through the aspiration of new goals. It does all this in the background, whether we realize it or not, while we make new friends and share great times. A lot has been said about our trail running community, but mere words don’t do it justice. It is just awesome.
Trail running requires you to be in the moment. It is possible to zone out on a road run or a bike ride. But if you do that during a trail run, especially around here, it won’t be long until you are eating dirt after a face plant, or wincing in pain from a twisted ankle.
I remember thinking, “what would I think about when running a 50 miler which could take 12 hours or more?” Well, the answer has more to do with listening, than thinking. Our bodies tell us so much, but we have to be open to it. We have to stop the self-absorption of paying attention to what our rational mind is saying and instead listen to what the rest of the body is signaling.
I believe this “in the moment” thing is the key. The present moment is all we truly have. Even when we think about the past, or dream about the future, we experience those thoughts in the here and now. We react and respond in the moment that is “now”. Trial running supports this. Safe, injury free, trail running requires it. We must listen and feel with open senses and open hearts to what the moment tells us.
We all have our own challenges, our own demons. It is the space in our minds we are forced to return to whether we are honest with ourselves, or not. I call this metaphysical place the “edge”. Our individual “edge” is where attention is placed to move us forward. Attention is “in the moment”.
Where is your “edge”? How can trail running affect it?
- Vigorous exercise battles weight issues head on and builds overall strength.
- Community eliminates loneliness.
- Activity and movement counteracts depression.
- “In the moment” focus clears the ills of an over-active mind in this 21st
Freedom. Not sure if it is the centeredness achieved, or the oneness with the surroundings, but trail running makes me feel free. While I’m running through the woods I can think and feel whatever I want.
One of the best parts of this trail running hobby for me occurs before a big race. I get so excited. It is a feeling that is real and powerful. I experienced it again recently as I was heading to central PA for the Hyner 50K. The realization that I am going to run through the woods challenging my whole self for 7 hours with (in this case) over 1000 like-minded crazies has at times brought me to tears of joy (no…it hasn’t) ((ummm…yes it has!)). It is a feeling of real freedom, and of real connection. It is me, leaning over my edge, and moving down that river of possibility. It starts low, travels up my spine, and busts out of my cranium. Bam!!! Yee-haw!!! Whazooey!!!
Of course, the trail running event eventually ends. We go home and return to normal life. But, there is better balance and more peace. Tomorrow, the sun will rise. The mountain will stand. The forest will vibrate with life. It is there, waiting for us. Time to lace up and head out once more. Happy trails, everyone!
It is always amazing to travel to races and see how well our community is represented. Recently, many of us took on the challenge of the cayuga trails series of races in Ithaca. While there I had the chance to see for myself the wide reach our organization has within the trail community. It seems that Rochester has indeed developed a reputation for talented runners and rugged trails. Wearing the #trailsroc logo, as well as running along others who do the same, usually prompts at least a few conversations with new friends. It is a symbol that means a lot to myself , and to so many others in our community. I am hoping this summer we can take the next steps in making our trail community even stronger as we look toward the anniversary of a special race. A race that indeed was the proving ground that #trailsroc was not only a needed organization, but a sustainable and thriving not-for-profit that continues to embrace us all. See you out there soon on the trails