Trail Running: It’s Not Just for Runners

Paul Cuno-Booth July 9th, 2015

Trophy Series 60+ age-group leader Jane Kone racks up the trail-race finishes, but doesn’t consider herself a “runner”

Kone at the Hyner View Trail Challenge. Courtesy of Jane Kone


Jane Kone, 61, says, “Sad to say, running is not in my repertoire.” Nonetheless, she currently leads the Trail Runner Trophy Series 60+ age group.

Kone, who lives in Howard, Pennsylvania, retired as an assistant director of student aid at Penn State two years ago, and was inspired to enter her first trail race the next year, following the example of her children. On trails, Kone likes to hike and “jog a bit”—good enough for five Trophy Series finishes to date.

Here, we chat with Kone about how she started on trails and why her family remains the most important component of her “training.”

For the current Trophy Series leaderboard, see the following page.

1. What’s your favorite Trophy Series race so far this season, and why?

Hard to say. Each race has its own charm, as well as its own memory and/or challenge to cherish.

I really enjoyed Mile Run because I felt “strong” that day. I got a late start because of road closures due to a late snow storm, but finished in just under four hours (no adjustment due to my late start) which is a good time for me.

With that said, Hyner View Trail Challenge was the event that got me officially hooked on trail events, so it holds a special place in my heart.


2. You say you don’t really “run,” but you’ve finished five trail races in the Trophy Series this year. What do you mean you don’t run?

I mostly hike, and jog a bit this year. I have taught my granddaughters to always jog downhill, so I feel obligated to attempt to do the same.

I have officially completed Snowfest 5K with two of my children, my “adopted” daughter and two of my granddaughters; the Dirty Kiln 5-mile with my son and granddaughter; Hyner View Trail Challenge 25K with my son, daughter and “adopted” daughter; and Chief Wetona Half Marathon with my son. You might notice a common theme here: family.


3. How did you first get into trail running (or jogging or hiking)?

When I watched two of my children, Luke and Rachel, cross the finish line for the Hyner View Trail Challenge in 2010, I said, “I am going to do this.” I put it on my bucket list right then. I crossed it off of my list four years later, in 2014.

My first official trail event was Snowfest 2014; my second official trail event was the Hyner View Trail Challenge.


4. What does your typical running/training/outdoor activity look like?

I try to do one or two short trails during the week and one longer trail each week, mostly on weekends. The majority of time on the trails is spent with one or two of my children and, to a lesser degree, one or three of my grandchildren. For me, enjoying family time is the best part of being on the trails.  And, when I am not on the trails with my family, I am there with my [club] Central Region Trail F(r)iends.

Often my weekday trails are by myself at Bald Eagle State Park or Mt. Nittany. I also do some exercises to strengthen my core.


6. What advice do you have for other masters-age runners or hikers, or younger runners who want to stay active into their masters’ years?

To both masters-age hikers and younger runners, my advice would be to simply keep moving and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer. And perhaps that it is never too late to enjoy the trails.


7. Do you feel you have a unique perspective on running or outdoor activity that younger athletes may lack?

I think that most folks, of any age, who run or participate in outdoor activities have an appreciation for Mother Nature. Perhaps the one thing that my years have provided that younger athletes may not yet truly understand is that you should enjoy each day as it is offered. It is important to enjoy the journey.



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