Years ago I raced in short trail runs. Basically 5K equivalents in beautiful wooded settings. I still prefer running on the trails as opposed to asphalt and concrete. Running on trails puts me much more in the moment, thinking about foot placement, breathing and trying to get in a peek at the scenery is much more rewarding than pounding it out on the road. I think the main reason is my mind is kept very busy by the activity when I’m running on the trail. While running on the road I can still think about work and family issues, money, etc., on the trail it’s all about survival. In a good way.
So the other day I was talking to Fred Philips of DLTEvents. Fred is an old friend who manages the DeGray Lake Triathlon, the Big Dam Bridge 100 and the Arkansas Mountain Biking Championship Series. He was telling me about a new series race for trail runners.
Now trail runs have been a popular sport for outdoor athletes in Arkansas for a long time, mostly of the ultra-running length. Races like the Arkansas Traveler 100, The Ouachita Trail 50 and The 3 Days of Syllamo have become classic well attended races but are really long. Not everyone is ready or capable of introducing themselves to competitive trail running in a 20 or 50 mile race (let alone 100 miler).
So along comes the Arkansas Trail Series. Four races of about 4 miles each in various locations around the state. By competing in all you can earn points toward a series contest. This is much like the Arkansas Mountain Biking Championship Series. The first race of the year is coming up quickly. January 29th, 2011 the 4.2 mile Cadron Trail Run near Conway, AR will kick everything off. The three other races in the series will be at DeGray Lake, Burns Park in North Little Rock and in Hot Springs at Cedar Glades Park.
The series is over in March making this a great way to get warmed up for spring racing in Arkansas. Lower pricing for the entire series on the first race is available until January 27th. We hope to see you out there.