Scarpa Athlete Carmine De Grandis has been telling us about his love for trail running in this blog series. Here in part 2 he takes us through 5 more reasons you should give it a go!
6. Environmentally friendly!
“Trail running is different. We want to run in the most beautiful places on earth… but to do so, we also need to preserve our planet.
Become a more “environmentally friendly runner”. Clean up the trails and the beaches as you go. Run local, rather than adding to pollution for unnecessary journeys or run commute using local trails if you can.
Up-cycle your gear and if you enter a race think about how you can off-set the environmental impact your travelling may have. Many races offer the opportunity to “plant a tree” or donate to environmental charities a small part of your entry fee.
Let’s plan our adventure with a true “love for the Earth”. Nature is like a mother who nurtures us and welcomes us in her embrace. Let’s show her that we are committed to look after our beautiful planet. We are part of it whether we walk, run or even sit and relax.”
7. An inclusive community!
“A place everyone is welcome are the words often used by those who have joined a trail running group or taken part in a race.
Inclusivity is important, a fact the trail running community acknowledges and is working on; even better that participation in this activity actually allows you to become more human.
Those who practice it are bound by a simple principle: the well-being of the person I am running with, is more important than my individual need to win or to achieve my personal goal.
The stories which we share are often what’s left years after we have taken part in a local or an iconic race. The friendships we made are what really matters to all trail runners. Gender, race, religion, political views and nationality are all put to one side once we are on the trails. Nature is not divided – there is harmony in nature and from this harmony we learn how to live and how to be a mutually supportive community.”
TIP: Find your local trail running group or parkrun, social media is a great place to start your search. Find it, join it, be the difference!
8. Compete with the best!
“There is no other sport like trail running.
OK! I am biased, I hear you say. Take a minute to listen to my story. I have the mindset of an athlete, but I am not an “elite athlete”. I had not long started trail running, when I had a big dream… I wanted to take part in one of the biggest trail running races on earth: The Ultra Trail Mont Blanc.
This is considered the “Olympics of Trail Running” and takes place every year in Chamonix, France. The best trail/mountain runners in the world line up and run a loop around Mont Blanc going over the mountains of France, Italy and Switzerland.
In 2015, I found myself at the start line of the UTMB, along with the world’s top athletes. I was surrounded by so many others who also shared the dream of competing in the worlds greatest trail race. We all ran the same course, all equally welcomed and cheered on, every finisher received the same gilet. I can honestly say that I raced and completed the same race Kilian Journet, Francesca Canepa, Courtney Dauwalter, Damian Hall, Kim Collison and many other top athletes took part in.
If you take up trail running and your ambition is to run with the best, all you need to do is train hard and enter the race of your dreams – anywhere on the planet.”
TIP: If you have ambition and an aptitude for this sport, a coach is a worth while investment. Their expert advice will help guide you and with some hard work you can fulfil your dreams… who knows you may even share a drink with your trail running idol once you cross that finish line!? Do not forget to take that selfie every one of your friends will envy!
9.Trail running is never the same!
“If you are the runner who gets bored easily, there’s no need to look beyond trail running.
When you run in nature no day is the same. You will experience the change of the seasons, the change of terrain, the weather, the views, the new animals, or the trails you had not spotted or tried before.
You will have time to take it all in as the majority of your training will be done steady to build a strong “base”. Holidays will soon start to be be planned around where you can trail run, you will visit places you never expected to reach on foot, you will run at night with a headtorch and feel like you never did before. Every day, every run you will have the opportunity to explore your inner or outer landscape. Places, emotions, thoughts and situations will never feel or look the same. Most of all, while the trail may be the one you have run on before, you will be different every time.
Many tell me that the hardest step for a runner is the first step out of the door. I beg to disagree. The hardest step in any trail run is the one you will take to get back through your door.
TIP: As you become a more experienced trail runner and aim to achieve more challenging and demanding adventures, you’ll learn to plan in detail, become an expert and learn about all that is necessary to succeed: skills, training and the gear you will come to rely on.”
Book a weekend to learn how to navigate or gain the essentials skills for trail running or learn how you can combine it with other fun sports. It will be fun and it will be useful.
10. Find yourself!
“I would like to say that the reason most people enjoy trail running is because it is fun. This is true. It is super fun! Many trail running friends distinguish how much fun they have when running into three categories:
Type 1: You are in the zone, you love the trails, the company, the weather. Everything is perfect and you wish you could do it all over again the moment you have finished.
Type 2: You are going through a tough patch. It may be cold and miserable; you feel the burn in your legs and you feel like you heart will pop any moment. You embrace the fatigue as you know that it will pass. The sun comes out again and you get back to Type 1 Fun.
Type 3: You are spent. You have given everything and have used all your reserves. You need to use all your will power to keep going. This is the hardest type of fun, yet it is the most rewarding.
Once you have pushed yourself so hard and given more than you ever imagined, you will be rewarded by the memory of “that time where you found out what you were really made of and that you were a little bit stronger than you had ever imagined”.
You are now a “trail runner” and cannot wait to share your passion with others who, like you, are thinking: “ Maybe, just maybe, I should get a pair of trail running shoes and go find my local corner of unspoilt nature near me”. We recommend keeping a diary of your adventures, start a blog, take a video using the action camera you got for Christmas or simply go and book a trail running holiday somewhere beautiful.”
TIP: Dream big! If you really want it, you will do something amazing: “surprise yourself!”.
Get out there!
If Carmine has inspired you to try trail running you can check out the full range of Scarpa Trail Running Shoes.
You can also find out more about Carmine in our athlete pages.
Remember to share your adventures with us on social media. Tag @Scarpa_UK on Instagram and #noplacetoofar & #SCARPAUK.