Trail running seems to attract any runner who wishes to get off the roads, but it doesn’t seem to have a separate identity like the road, cross country and fell disciplines. So where does it fit in? Many senior runners come in to the sport through road running doing 5k and 10k races and perhaps onwards to half and full marathon distances. Some have a go at the winter cross country races, which are typically over marked courses in parks. Fewer still takes to the fells with its steep climbs and unmarked routes.
Trail running fits nicely in the middle. There is the advantage of a marked course, as on the roads, so there is no need to worry about navigation or getting lost. Each trail race is different depending on the terrain. You may find yourself on stony tracks, muddy fields, woodland trails or all the lot in one race. And, like fell running you see some great areas of the countryside.
In the dryer summer months you should be alright running in road shoes, but a pair of shoes designed for off road running, especially in winter, would be better. There is plenty of choice now, including Inov-8, who have a large range of trail and fell shoes.
Trail races are found all over the country with distances ranging from 4-5 miles upwards. Off road half and full marathon distances seem popular and ultra marathon distances of 50+ miles have a following.
Please contact the Trail Running Coordinator if you wish to know anything further about trail running at Preston Harriers.