With registration now open for the 2017 ShoeFly Trail Run Series & Trail Running Weekend Festival, we know you have questions and we want to give you answers!  Here are a few for starters, more to come as we brainstorm (OK, maybe more at braindrizzle) the realities of what lies ahead.

What’s included with Trail Run Series Registration?

You mean, besides the thrill of roaming dirt?  Your $45 buys you opportunity to run in all 10 Series hikes/runs in both Parker Mtn and Kingdom Trails locations; a ShoeFly logo screened technical T (diff colors across genders, even!!); a chance to earn some nifty trinkets ‘n prizes (see FAQ “What can I win?” below); and snacky stuff to keep your energy up while roaming.

Since the Series runs are at day’s end, should we plan to bring our own post-hike/run dinner?

We plan to either cook food (think “grilled something”) or bring in vendors to appease your palate, at a reasonable cost; but bringing your own food to satisfy your own particular taste is equally fine.  In the days just before each hike/run, we’ll advertise (see FAQ below “How do I know where to go for any particular Series run?”) the anticipated menu and price tag, to help you decide to enjoy our fare or your own.

How do I know where to go for any particular Series run? 

We’ll use the ShoeFly News page as portal for all “near on the calendar” activities.  E.g., for the April 20th run on Kingdom Trails, we’ll post to the News page not later than 3 days prior any details about where we’ll meet, general description of planned routes, what food we intend to provide, etc.  And if weather threatens comfort on the dirt, we’ll post  promptly to the News page any change in plans.  The ShoeFly News page will likely be our most dynamic page as the Series unfolds and the Festival draws close.  Visit often – maybe that page will help put you to sleep at night!!

What’s included with Trail Running Weekend Festival Registration?

A bunch of stuff!!  Some of it is obvious, some may be subtle.  You’ll get your spiffy Patagonia Long Sleeve Capilene Lightweight Crew T, snazzily screened with the ShoeFly logo.  Stick around as the weekend unfolds, and you’ll enjoy a variety of musical entertainment that floats over the hours, from Friday evening to Sunday morning.  We’ll have product and food vendors to engage your senses.  Then, depending on which events you’ve entered, some will have some “surprises” associated with the miles you find – why divulge ALL the cool stuff here, when a little mystery may entice your choice to join us for all available hours?

Is there a festival admission cost for non-runners (i.e. non-running family members and friends)?

As of this writing (we’re sneaking up on April), we anticipate a “community experience” for the weekend, so friends and family are most welcome to join you, cost-free, without expectation that their numbers will exceed participant numbers threefold or more.  E.g., those doing the longer ultra distances likely may invite friends to crew them through the hours (condolences to them), but a 10K runner who’s getting married when s/he crosses the finish line ought not invite the entire 100 person  wedding party to crowd the Finish area and party through the night there.  Unless they bring enough champagne for all of us…

What can I win?

A bunch of stuff!! (didn’t I just say that somewhere else?)  Both the Series and Festival intend more emphasis on the thrill of dirt and finding miles out there, than on an experience that rewards the best of competitors over the self-recognized sense of accomplishment. In that vein, prizes and trinkets (some with real value, some maybe tongue-in-cheek oriented) will land in the hands of those both slow and not so slow, maybe some fast and not so fast; those adding to the camaraderie of the experience; those with prominently artistic/colorful costumes; those luckily finding the special treasures/chits found out on the trails; those appreciative of our energetic entertainers and (likely to be maligned) Volunteers.  Bottom line:  play well (whether solo or in the crowd) and ye shall be rewarded… if not materially, surely from the festive feel of your miles on the dirt in the atmosphere we hope to create for you!!

How do I train for trails?

By first just visiting them, if your shoes til now have only traveled pavement.  The uneven surfaces command attention, else the chance of falling down, go boom! can be high, so best to start out somewhat gingerly, eyes scanning the surface in front of you much more intently than if running roads.  And that’s a challenge, since most trail motion invites viewing the scenery around you — training your eyes to capture both will enhance your appreciation for a great dirt experience!  Once this “eye-foot coordination” skill gains competence, how to train for a particular distance compares reasonably to most training regimens in the popular press, with one notable exception:  pace on the trail tends toward slower, even more so if the terrain is particularly rugged.  It’s not uncommon to have a trail pace double what one experiences on road surfaces.  And if this short introduction doesn’t sufficiently feed your curiosity, well, send us a separate note and we’ll e-chat…

Wuddya mean, “fall down, go boom!”?

Nature and her terrain have a sense of humor, slapstick in many ways.  Might your shoes catch on a root/rock/stick/mystery-object and fulcrum your body to the ground?  You can bet on it.  Most times, one just mutters words of frustration, gets back up, and motors along (who’s going to come find you to help you home, huh?), and somewhere down the trail chides one’s self for one’s clumsiness and laughs it off as s/he continues to enjoy the dirt.  More opportunity to practice that “eye-foot coordination” thingie from above, as you’ll surely persist with as you soak in the splendor of your woodsy environment.

I’m anxious I’ll be too slow to join your fun.  How much does speed account in deciding to participate?

The thrill of dirt includes a high disregard for speed.  For any ShoeFly venue offered, of course, you’ll want to finish in time to enjoy post-run/hike food and camaraderie, but that is your calculation for time on your feet and distance to cover, not something imposed by the venue itself.  “Fast” runners cover more territory, but don’t get any more enjoyment from the dirt than those who cover a third the distance in the same time.

Perspective: when Scott Jurek, the first person to win 7 consecutive Western States 100 Mile races, established a new speed record on the 2,100+ mile Appalachian Trail, he bested HIKER Jennifer Pharr Davis’ 4 year old record time by a mere 3 hours!!  Hence, move at your own “speed” and enjoy the dirt…