When Trail Running Hopes are Dashed!
Last Monday, I sat at work, getting restless, ready and eager for the Dirt Runner’s run planned at Deception that evening. I was stuck late at work, but after leaving I prepared myself for the run and was eager to hit some rocky trails. Those of y’all that are familiar with me know that leading the Dirt Runner runs is one of the highlights of my week. It’s so much fun meeting new faces, seeing friends grow in the sport, (and feeling jealous when all of y’all get faster than me!)
(Dirt runners are the best!)
Thus it was to my horror when, right around 5pm, less than two hours before our run at Deception was supposed to start, dark clouds started brewing overhead, thunder started cracking, and eventually rain poured down so hard I couldn’t see outside of my windshield. I held out as long as I could, but eventually I had to cancel the run. As much as I hated calling it, it was the smart thing to do.
Respect the Trails
When it comes to trails that mountain bikers have built, it’s not a good idea to run them in the rain. Especially when the trails are made of a soft surface like dirt, because that creates mud, and with mud comes ruts, big footprints, and walkarounds that might even bigger mud patches. That’s no fun for anybody, and it takes hours of work to fix.
(Building trail is hard work!)
But more importantly, it’s essential that you look out for yourself when storms hit. Most Austin trails exist around creeks, or at least on a flood plain (because in Austin, and throughout Texas, almost all of our green spaces are where you literally cannot build a house and make a profit). With all these trails around creeks, it makes them super susceptible to flash floods, and nobody wants to be caught in that. And though lightning strikes are very rare, thunder is still quite scary and the consequences of being struck are quite dire. The safe bet during storms is to stay inside and hit the treadmill.
(A good treadmill, however – like the one in our store! – can be great for hill workouts. Stay tuned to upcoming events for more info on that!)
As frustrating as it is for me to stay in on bad weather days, I realize it’s what’s best for me and what’s best for the trails we run. Have you been caught unexpectedly in bad weather on a trail? What have you done to keep yourself safe? I look forward to your comments below.