What is trail running…?

Last updated: 06-Nov-18

By Ian Corless

Trail running is freedom and pure bliss. Trail running is all about hard lessons and suffering that makes the rest of life seem so much easier. It’s about exploring the world and tapping into ones primal self to move quickly through the mountains and woods. Trail running is an attitude and a lifestyle.

But trail running is so many things for so many different people…

I asked the question to the ultra running community….

“What is trail running…?”

“Trail running is living and everything else is just waiting.” – Michael Roberts

“Trail Running is peacefully, a way to escape the every day.” – Kevin McFaul

“Infinite horizons and broken limitations.” – Bazimus Dunn

“Trail running for me is a release…a time to just let go and zip through the trees and rocks and fell without a worry in the world!” – John Gaivin

“Trail running for me is about kissing goodbye to asphalt and saying hello to nature.” – Kevin O’Rourke

“Trail running for me is the opportunity to experience God’s creation and have an adventure!” – Christopher Wiley

“Trail running is breathing.” – Sarah Lo

“Trail running is moving through nature, swiftly, lovingly, and peacefully.” – Iain Wallace

“Trail running is using your physical body, your strength, your sweat, your ability to push yourself, to take your spirit into new landscapes and adventures.” – Torsten Stuart Norgate

“It’s my escape from health issues and work related stress. A valve through which I can release tension. A way to get closer to nature. And my legs look great!” – Henrik Modin

“For me it’s all about the fun of jumping in muddy puddles.” – Robert Nelson

“A reconnection to true origins, primordial places, to distill to basics, and appreciate the simplicities in life.” – Franz Dill

“It’s about seeing what I’m made out of physically and mentally. It started as a way to see more of the mountains I’m used to skiing and has become so much more.” – Nate Blouin

“Trail running is nuts, bonkers, and crazy. So I stick to pub-crawls…” – Simon Dick

“Trail running has become my new adventure!” – Steven Stainthorpe

“Trail running for me is a way to experience nature in total freedom!” – Marco Balsarini

“To do what should not be possible, to be free, to explore an unknown, forbidden place.” – Chris Valenti

“Peace.” – Graeme Waterworth

“Simplicity.” – Shannon Koch

”Trail running is my commune with nature, the very necessary nourishment my soul demands to remain sane.” – Charlie Hunsberger

“Trail running brings me back to the origin of human move on earth.” – Sabrina Moscatelli

“Trail running to me is about finding myself, testing my limits, and hopefully making my heart donor proud, as I thank him on every run.” – Adam Briggs

“It is my release, my liberation.” – Cait Morgan

”For me, the trails are simply an analogy for life. Along those paths, whether it is high in the mountains of Chamonix or at the start of Badwater, I, along with others, come to find and connect with us, with others, and with life itself. I can either be in a race with 2000 other runners or be completely alone in the mountains; I am, with each step, with each breath, and with each heartbeat, humbled and forever grateful to be given such an opportunity.” – Dan Ripple

“Friends for life.” – Darren Hutchings

“Trail running is a means to stay in touch with Mother Nature and help me remember what’s important.” – David Eastham

”Uff…difficult to say and to answer…. It’s everything for us!” – Transvulcania Isla De La Palma

“Trails are my temple and running is my religion together I’m practicing my religion in my temple as much as possible.” – Mikey Pm

”For me, trail running is The Way – If you are in The Way, you are of The Way and not in the way but are one with The Way. If you are not of The Way, you are in the way, and must be moved out of the way and toward The Way. We who are in The Way know The Way and follow therein. Those in the way know not The Way and must be shown The Way lest they remain in the way. Some seek The Way and need guidance. Some seek The Way and need no help to find their own way to The Way. Some seek not The Way and need guidance to see their need lest they remain in the way. We of The Way must seek our way to guide those poor wayward souls not in The Way to The Way so that they may become one with The Way the way we of The Way are now.” – Tony Branam

“Freedom, peace, breathing.” – Kate Newman

“Trail running is for my freedom and are one with the nature!” – Marlon Voorn

”It’s a place without time where you can meet yourself. At the same time that you enjoy all around and get worried on the basics: breathing, eating, and drinking.” – Pablo Aznar

“It’s about leaving the crowds behind. We all start in the same place, but trail runners reach heights no one else can.” – Ronan Hickey

“Trail time is dreamtime. Everything that a dream can hold is within reach while on the trail/mountain.” – Gavin Markey

“Trail running is the runner’s mirage; always calling, forever a little further away; filled with dreams and possibilities and maybe, just maybe, if you take just one more step, there’s a runner’s oasis on the other side.” – Amanda Hyatt

“Trail running is my religion. There is no place I feel more alive and happy as when I am outdoors exploring nature and running. Most people go to church on Sunday mornings. I hit the trail.” – JP Syverud

“Trail running is a way out of myself, a way to forget the world’s problems and merging with Mother Nature. I feel as small as an ant when I run in the mountain, and that feels so good.” – Emanuel Simoes

“Trail running is about the adrenaline fuelled terrifying descents.” – Daniel Henderson

“It’s a desire that is with you every minute.” – Ewa Crazychick

“Trail running is an escape. An escape from the urban jungle and cluttered life that man has created that takes us back to the ‘real world’. A world where we can take a moment to breathe, to see, and where our soul is stripped bare.” – Phil Beeston

“Trail running is going back to the roots, to a time when being fast on your feet meant the difference between life and death, between progress and decay. If we are here today it’s only because our ancestors ran… in nature. It’s only natural that we crave to follow in their footsteps!” – Antonio Moreno

“Trail running is about being at one with yourself & nature!” – Reece Ingram

“Trail running is always a “get to know you” session with myself. I rediscover who I am, gain perspectives that probably wouldn’t be gained anywhere else, and simplify my life to it’s barest essentials. It allows me to strip away the fluff of the world and emerge free and satisfied, yet yearning for more.” – John Bryant

“Being out on the trail: Space to think, feel & move at the same time.”
– Claire Akin-Smith

“Trail running clears my mind; quality time on some single track makes me ready to take on the FWY’s of life.” – Shirley Treasure

“Trail running is about freedom. Yes, you can follow a trail but the beauty is making a trail of your own.” – Bernhard Rohrbacher

“Trail running is the beginning of the rest of my life…” – Pablo Cascante Barahon

“Trail running is pain, sweating, sore quads; lost toenails, skinned knees, blisters and chafing.” – Craig Calderwood

“Trail running gives you the opportunity to be with yourself away from the life’s low-level distractions. It brings you closer to God and humanity.” – Gabriel Drilea

“A good reason to exist!” – Mark Johnston

“Trail running is the heart of my life.” – Kerstin Grupinski

“It’s about the five foot of trail ahead of you and constantly scanning it to decide where your foot will land in 3 steps time. Until you lift your head and discover you are 15 miles from where you started.” – Mark McGinn

”Trail running is simply escaping from the man made and trying to reconnect with nature and our inner-selves.” – Paul Hart

“When I run the trails. I feel alive. I feel and believe I can conquer anything life throws at me… I am a free spirit who can soar to the highest mountains… endure distances unlike any other, and I can just be me…. without judgment as I just flow and go deep into my soul.” – Tammy Clauser Wuerth

But what is trail running for you…?

"When I run the trails. I feel alive. I feel and believe I can conquer anything life throws at me"

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Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

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Increase of up to 1500 metres

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