If you like hiking and running then trail running is perfect. Nowadays we often "build" our trips around a running race. We think it brings a lot of added value to meet people sharing the same interest and you also get to see places you otherwise perhaps would not have visited. Below we share some of these experiences including how to apply, where to stay and how to get to the race.
Most trail running competitions offer half and full marathon. There are often some shorter distances of 5, 10 and 15 kilometres too. That´s great if you are a couple or friends travelling together and some want to run long distances while others prefer shorter ones.
In larger and more well known trail running competition there is also at least one ultra marathon distance. The classical distance is 100 kilometres or 100 miles but ultra can be shorter too. The definition of ultra is that it is longer than a marathon, that is 42 kilometres.
We plan to add a lot of trail runs (competitions as well as other great trail runs) on this page in the near future. Also, most hiking trails works just fine for running as well so just choose a country among all our destination and pick your trail.
To maximize the views of wineyards we join the Italians and take part in a trail running competition in late October - the Ecomaratona Chianti Classico. It is also a perfect race to start with if you are new into trail running and want an experience of a kind. This competition offers half and full marathons...
This beautiful point to point unofficial trail takes you from San Sebastian along the coast to the beach El Cabrito. It is not a competition but perfect if you are in La Gomera and like to run. The distance is around 15 kilometres passing by two pebble stone beaches and with the ocean right beside you all the way...
How to start trail running?
I guess most things might seem difficult in the beginning. If you already used to running, then it is not that hard to try some trail running. You simply add some small paths in the woods to your usual runs and then gradually increase the difficulty by running paths with more stones, roots and elevation.
After a while you should add some serious elevation. If you have a ski slope nearby, then that is perfect! Otherwise perhaps you can find some hill or shorter slope. If the slope is steep it is just fine to walk up, since that is what you will do anyway if you run longer distances. If it is less steep, well, then you just run. Remember to practice running down too and run as fast as you dare. It takes a lot of courage to run fast down a ski slope but it also brings so much fun to get the feeling of almost flying!
You also have to be patient. If you are used to run say 10 kilometres in 40, 50 or 60 minutes, it will probably take you some 5-10 minutes more in the woods even if it is not hilly at all.