Wednesday, December 13, 2023

The spirit of trail running and my two cents

 Things are changing in trail running.  What used to be a crusty, niche sport is growing and shinier, larger races are being offered.  More people are learning about running trails and venturing into the woods for their races, and there is something to fit everyone now.  If you are a fan of running through crowds of cheering people and having your name announced on a speaker at the finish, or if you like a quiet finish with just a few friends and family clapping and celebrating your achievement, there are races to fit each scenario. 

I have always believed, and still do, that anything that attracts new people to our sport is good.  If you are coming from road races where you are accustomed to big crowds, a larger race may be in your comfort zone.  If you are trying to get away from that type of race, there are options out there for you as well.  I think that it is all good for our sport. 

But, one thing that does bother me to a degree is how expensive some trail races are becoming.  I don't like the idea of trail running becoming an exclusive sport only for those who can afford it.  I get it - you put out a product and set the price and if people are willing to pay it, then so be it.  The problem that I am seeing is that many times the cost itself makes the event more desirable - not the value of the event.  I am guilty at times of buying a more expensive version of the product assuming that along with the higher price comes better quality, and many times that is wrong.

Yes, race directors need to make a living too, but I think it can be done without scalping people.  Do your research on an event before you sign up to be sure your expectations match with the reality of the race.  Some race directors do what they do for a love of the sport, others are just greedy.  It's up to you to decide who is who. 

So, that was my two cents.  And here is what you can expect for the next three years of Loup Garou (if you haven't heard about the race coming to an end in 2026, read the earlier post) - there will be no price increases.  I will also continue to bring in quality merchandise for you to purchase to celebrate your race at a reasonable price. 

I want Loup Garou to be something you can bring your friends and family to, and where you can feel like a part of a trail running community.  That is what made me fall in love with the sport, and I want you to have the same experience.  Here's what I mean:

So many smiles! 

Our ace cooking team making the most of the weekend! 

Family and friends doing hard things together.

Enjoying a post race beer and waiting for a friend to finish.

Find a race that looks fun!  Find one that lights you on fire and makes your training exciting (as much as it can be). Find one that is hard enough to challenge you so that you can fully experience the joy of the finish line.  There is every kind of race out there - find the right fit for you and do big things. This is the BEST sport with the BEST people, and you are one of them. :-) 

Happy Running! 

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