Update: The Trophy Series grand prize for most miles is now a seven-day trail-running tour with Run the Alps.
The thrill of competing—with other runners, with benchmark race times, with our own past selves—is one of the main reasons we show up to trail races. The Trail Runner Trophy Series, presented by Altra Running, takes that thrill and spreads it over an entire season of racing.
That season kicked off over the weekend, with three of the 202 (that’s right, 202!) Trophy Series races taking place: the Foot Hills Ultra 50k & Bear Crawl 10 Miler, in South Carolina; the Laurel Run Switchbacker 10K, in Pennsylvania; and Moab’s Spring Trail Run and Duathlon 8K and half-marathon, in Utah.
With races all through the summer and into September, there’s plenty of time to get into the action. (Check out the complete list of races here; it’s got 5Ks, 24-hour timed runs and just about everything in between.) Regularly updated standings let runners track their progress through the season, and see how they stack up against nationwide competition nationwide.
And while speedsters may fight it out for the top positions in age-group categories, those slow-but-steady, grind-out-the-miles types have their shot at glory, too. The Trophy Series runner who logs the most miles (“Mile Mogul”) in 2016 wins a seven-day trail-running tour in the Europe with Run the Alps, and the runner who finishes the most Trophy Series races (“Trail Fiend”) will be featured on the cover of Trail Runner’s March 2017 issue.
Of course, racing is about more than the tangible rewards. Last year, Dave Hale, 53, of Columbia, South Carolina, ran 21 Trophy Series races, for a total of 406.3 miles—earning him the title of both Trail Fiend and Mile Mogul. Not content to rest on his laurels, Dave has big aspirations for 2016: he wants to shatter the Trophy Series record for most miles run in a single year. The current record is 489; Dave’s gunning for 800.
Whether your goal is racing 800 miles in a summer, winning an age-group division, setting a trail-marathon PR or simply finishing your first trail race, we’re confident the Trophy Series has something for you. So lace up your shoes and hit the dirt!
Trail Runner is the leading North American publication covering the sport of off-road running. Through gear reviews, training tips, stunning photography and compelling stories about the people and places that make trail running what it is, Trail Runner speaks to athletes of all ages and experience levels.
Altra Running is now the fourth-largest trail-running shoe brand sold in running specialty and have three of the top seven trail-running shoes, according to data from NPD: Altra Lone Peak, Superior and Olympus.
Altra’s running-shoe innovations are born from long hard runs in the Wasatch Mountains, just minutes from Altra’s Utah headquarters. Founder Golden Harper, a former All-American runner who loves to race trails and run to the top of difficult summits, invented a cushioned Zero Drop shoe and a foot-shaped toe box, features that are now found on every Altra shoe. Co-founder and VP of Sales Brian Beckstead finished UTMB and the Wasatch 100 in 2015 and will race Eco-Trail Oslo and Hardrock 100 in 2016. Altra® Footwear and iFit® technology are registered trademarks of ICON Health & Fitness, the world’s leading health and fitness innovator, based in Logan, Utah.