Taking Up Trails
Toe the line at your first trail race
The sun was just rising at the start of the Desert RATS Trail Running Festival 25-Miler in Fruita, Colorado, ...
Photo by Glen Delman
The sun was just rising at the start of the Desert RATS Trail Running Festival 25-Miler in Fruita, Colorado, on April 16, quickly warming the crisp high-desert air with dry. It would be nearly 40 minutes before the lead pack reached the first aid station, and closer to two hours for some.
There, cheerful aid-station volunteers, refilled racers' hydration systems, before sending them off on another stretch of solitude, a long section of slickrock trail with snaking switchbacks that ascended to an overlook of the mighty Colorado River.
This season, thousands of runners will toe the line, which often is just a toe-scratched line in the dirt, at their first trail race. Here, seasoned trail runners and race directors offer advice on making the most of your trail racing experience.