Rural Missouri - April 2013 - (Page 18)
O U T D O O R S
Hit the trail for ﬁtness & adventure
by Jim McCarty
Whatever the reason, runners by the
score are joining mountain bikers, backpackers and horseback riders on Missouri
trails. Their training might be just for fun,
avid Murphy remembers exactly the day
or it may be preparation for a growing
he started running. He had joined a bignumber of trail races sponsored by groups
gest loser challenge and only knew one
such as the Ozark Mountain Ridge Runway to shed pounds. “I was 10 years out
ners, the Kansas City Trail Nerds, the St.
of the Marine Corps and weighed 230 pounds,” he
Louis Ultrarunners Group (SLUGs) or the
says. “The only way I knew to lose weight was to go
aptly named Idiots Running Club started by
back to my old Marine Corps days and run.”
So he ran a mile in January and thought he was
Bass Pro Shops sponsors a trail race at its
going to die. He stayed with it and reached his goal
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park that offers
of three miles. By June he had dropped 50 pounds.
distances from 15 to 50 kilometers. There
By November, he ran a half marathon, 13.1 miles.
are two 100-mile races in Missouri, one on
“At that point, to say I was hooked would be an
the Ozark Trail and another on the Berryunderstatement,” says David, a White River Valley
man Trail near Potosi.
Electric Cooperative member from Wasola.
“I started our trail running group 13
These days, David runs half marathons on his
years ago,” says Ben Holmes of the Trail
light training days. He’s left the marathon distance
Nerds. “Our ﬁrst ‘big’ race had 43 starters in
far behind. He’s run 100 miles four times. He’s done
2004. This year, that same race had 551, in
a host of 50K and 50-mile races.
David Murphy enjoys a day on the trail in the Mark Twain NationFebruary, no less. Most of our events grow
David is part of a new running revolution that
al Forest, site of the eight-hour Skunk Run he organizes. He says
20 to 30 percent per year.”
has made running the No. 1 outdoor activity, actrail running brings him great peace.
The two biggest races put on by the
cording to The Outdoor Foundation. The group’s
SLUGs — the Chubb Trail run in April and
latest survey shows 51.5 million Americans, or 18
ners. In winter, trees block cold winds, while sumthe Berryman Trail run in May — ﬁlled this year in
percent of the population over age 6, runs outdoors.
mer shade can lower temperatures 15 to 20 degrees.
just a few hours.
Increasingly, these runners are leaving the road
“If I can stay off the road, I do,” says David
“I am not really certain about the reason trail
behind and taking to trails for a number of reasons.
Murphy. “It’s beautiful. You can go out there and be
races have gotten so popular and are ﬁlling so fast,”
Some like the solitude they ﬁnd on the trail. Others
completely lost in your thoughts. You don’t have to
says SLUGs race director David White, a Three Rivers
believe trail running gives them a better workout
worry about a car coming or hitting a stoplight.”
Electric Co-op member from Chamois. “It may be
as they travel off-camber paths, duck under tree
He says it’s a different sort of running, at a
because the sport of running has grown and people
branches and occasionally go vertical when a stick
slower pace than what he was used to on the road.
have gotten bored with one thing and want to
looks too much like a snake.
He learned — the hard way — that trail running
try something else. Most of the ultrarunners I
“We are not seeing people switchrequires picking the feet up more.
know simply want to get away, be one with
ing entirely from roads to trails, but we
“If you don’t have good form on the trails, you
nature. If you can have some friends join
are seeing a steady increase in runners
are going to be on your face a lot,” he says.
you, it is much better.”
adding trails to their training regimens
David recommends runners transition to trails
For many trail runners, getting off
and race selections,” says David Spetnagel,
slowly, slowing their pace until they are comfortable
road means being able to run much
owner of four Fleet Feet running stores in
with the rocks, roots and fallen limbs that can spell
farther than is practical on pavement.
the St. Louis area. “One reason for this is
Those training for ultra-distance races
that new trails are constantly being intro“The main thing is just enjoy it,” he says. “It’s
must put in many more miles than a road
duced to the region. Another reason is the growth of
just so peaceful. I can come out on the trail by myrunner typically would.
untraditional races. People are looking for all sorts
self, and that is better than any therapy session you
Running on pine needles or soft ground under
of different running experiences nowadays, and that
can ever go to.”
trees is easier on the older knees of experienced runsearch is leading many people to the trails.”
Trail Running Clubs
issouri is home to several trail running
clubs that can serve as a valuable resource
for questions such as where to run, what
shoes are best and injury prevention.
Kansas City area
Contact: Ben Holmes, 816-810-0440
The Trail Nerds are known for their brutal winter
races that often require adding sheet metal screws
to shoes for traction on icy trails. The group gives
much of its event proceeds to area trail groups. It
hosts weekly group runs in the Kansas City area.
Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners
Contact: Chris Revoir, 417-343-1868
The Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners have more than
500 members whose motto is “Train for the health
of it . . . Race for the fun of it.” The group sponsors
two races, one in the spring and one in the fall, and
donates money it raises to a variety of charities.
Membership includes a monthly newsletter and discounts at local running stores.
St. Louis Ultrarunners Group
St. Louis area
Contact: David White, 573-763-5035
The SLUGs host ﬁve races including 26.2-, 50- and
100-milers on the Berryman Trail, 25K and 50K
runs on the Chubb Trail near St. Louis and a 6- or
12-hour timed “Flatlanders” run, along with a
road run held near Frankenstein, Mo. Membership
includes a newsletter and weekly group runs.
Idiots Running Club
Loosely based in the Ozarks
Contact: David Murphy, 417-239-5064
Designed to show how crazy ultrarunning is, the
Idiots Running Club hosts the annual eight-hour
Skunk Run near Wasola, or if you can’t make it, anywhere you want to run. The rules are to run as far as
you want in eight hours and to have fun doing it.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - April 2013
Rural Missouri - April 2013
Table of Contents
It’s all about redemption
Best of rural Missouri
Hearth and Home
Marmaduke’s Cape expedition
The soldier’s paper
Rural Missouri - April 2013
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