The Spectator Trails
Watching is better than you think
One of the biggest downfalls of trail running is that it's not a spectator-friendly sport. You never see tailgating parties, ...
Illustration by Kevin Howdeshell
One of the biggest downfalls of trail running is that it's not a spectator-friendly sport. You never see tailgating parties, cheerleaders or couch-potato beer-drinkers lining the stands at a trail race. The only way to get a good view of a trail race is to pay the entry fee and run it, which is a real buzz kill if you're a beer-drinking spectator.
But even if we race, our own drama is all we really experience, or perhaps that of the person right beside or in front of us. At the end of events, posted results allow us to marvel at the winners' times, but we never see how they did it, how they suffered or how they thrived.
In June, I was able to spectate the inaugural Vail Pass Half Marathon at the Teva Mountain Games (I was saving myself for a 10K the next day), and I'm here to say wow. It was fun.