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Monday, 16 March 2015

Hitting the Trails: Give it a Go!

As many of you know, I love to hit the trails when I can - even if it means driving for an hour or more! I thought maybe you might like to know HOW I got started ... (maybe it will peak your interest in trying some trail!)

I got my introduction to trail running back in late spring of 2011. I was training for my first half marathon and came across a brochure at a local run shop for a trail run series. I had never heard of  5 Peaks. But the timing was great to go out to Sundre Snake Hills area for a run. I tried in vain to get someone to come with me...but to no avail. So I bravely packed up my trainers and run gear and off I went.

I had NO CLUE what to expect. ermigahhh ... I would have to run without earbuds and music.

It was June. Had been raining all week. Was it going to be a mess? But, the sun was out -- a great day for a run. I was excited. Nervous too. Didn't know a soul. I looked at all these people wearing TRAIL shoes. They looked like they knew what they were doing. Here I was in my road shoes, certain I stuck out like a sore thumb. And then just as the festivities were starting, Evan, the Race Director and best MC ever, says ... "Raise your hand if this is your first 5 Peaks Race!" I sheepishly raised my hand. Instantly I had several Hi-5s and a whole lotta welcomes shouted out at me. The nervous and sheepish vanished.
Running that race was muddy. REALLY MUDDY. Hilly as hell. HARD. And one of the most invigorating experiences ever. And, I loved it!

When I crossed the finish, people made a point to say how did you like it? Are you ready for the next race?

I really was blown away. I was also so surprised I didn't miss my tunes one little bit.

And right then I found the volunteer coordinator and signed up for the next few races to help out.

Since then I have run and volunteered at almost all the runs in the Central Alberta series! I even did a few up in Northern Alberta. Met all kinds of new folks and had a blast.
C'mon...get Dirty! 
I have made great friends, and honestly (as cheezy as it sounds) feel like I am part of a big old family!I have introduced at least a dozen friends to the trail and they love it too. I have made some wonderful connections. 
Ran a few trail relays - Grizzly and Sinister 7. I even ran my first trail half marathon last fall! 
I screwed up some courage and ran a few 25k races too.

5 Peaks really gave me confidence to #trynewthings!

This year I am pretty pleased to be an Ambassador with 5 Peaks Trail Race Series. It gives me even MORE opportunity to say to my fellow runners - have you tried trail? I am not at all the fastest. But I think that am a bit of a model in perseverance. Once you get over the initial intimidation of the trails, you realize that there is a lot of fun to be had in experiencing nature and getting a killer workout rolled into one. And, making a heap of new friends.

If you want to register for 5Peaks you can HERE.
Events are in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan,  Ontario and Quebec!
Early Bird rates are in effect til the end of March.
As of April 1, use code TINA to get $5 off any individual race!
Still need convincing?
THIS is why you should run trail!

Check out some old blog posts on 5 Peaks Fabulousness here, here or here
Sitting on the fence? More trail reports here or here.

Have your tried trail running or done a trail race?
Where do you hit the trails?
Give me a hint of the MOST awesome trail race I need to try!

Come and join me and #getofftheroad 
(First race in Central Alberta is in MAY 9!!)


  1. Congrats on your ambassadorship! I love trails too! I just hate snakes!

  2. Love all the pics! And you are the PERFECT ambassador!

  3. Yeah!! I love trail running. I usually go alone also. I am so lucky to have mountains 2 miles away.