So, I went off-roading this weekend. Yes, partially inspired by a post on RunChat challenging runners to get off the roads and hit the trails, I ran to nearby heritage park. It's a perfect mile and a half warm up run to get there, but I just don't go there nearly enough. I have no idea why. There are wonderful hills that go on just long enough, a mix of wide, meandering trails and small, twisty, off-piste single track where you have to choose your landing area three steps ahead and bounce off roots, fallen trees, and rocks.
|Heritage in the Summer|
It always feels more like play on a trail run, it forces me to not always gauge my speed and mileage. On nearby streets, I know the exact mileage between pretty much every telephone pole, landmark, and my brain's just a GPS-ing Garmin. On a trail I leave all this behind and feel free and easy. Easy like Sunday Morning.
Heritage is not huge, and it's hard to get in a ton of miles here without running the same track twice, but there are also tons of off-shoots to get lost in. Nearby are the incredible longer trails of Potto, Maybury, and Pontiac Lake. If you live in Michigan, chances are you've scrapped some flesh off on a rock at one or all of these. Running Fit's Trail Marathon, one of the toughest 25 marathons in the country, (as ranked by Marathon & Beyond) is one that I finished in record
slow and grueling time and is ran on the Potto trail.
I've always admired trail runners. They have an edge to them, a hardcore halo over their heads that I admire, yet a peaceful aura from their hearts that can only come from so many miles in the woods.
My eight miles in pictures.
|If you want the best condition trails and dirt here, you have to go off-piste.|
|A nice downhill with a little barrier in the middle. Too high to jump over, too low to duck|
|Yes, that's a deer at the tip of my finger. I ran upon him and he barely moved. Object is closer than it appears.|
|A troll who lives under this bridge runs the trails by night and sleeps by day|
I leave you with Rudy the Rabbit, who displayed the incredible extra strength runners can infuse when they run trails, and let their animal instincts take over. His trail-run victory in the movie Meatballs, inspired by one of the greatest pep talks of all time, still brings a tear to my eye.
The Jade Rabbit, on Amazon $3.99, the story of a miraculous marathon run.
STRAY on Amazon $2.99
(Currently #1 Substance Abuse Focused book in the UK)