Trail running competitions can give you a sense of achievement that improves self-confidence. But are there trail running competitions you can be a part of?
If you are an experienced trail runner and feel like the activity lacks a sense of competition, you might want to start looking for trail running competitions around you that you can participate in.
A number of trail running competitions are organized around the US every year, including Western States 100, The TNF EC 50 Mile Championships, The Lake Sonoma 50, The Moab Red Hot 55K, The Rocky Raccoon 100, The Leadville Trail 100, The Big Sur Marathon, and The Hood to Coast Relay.
The different trail running competitions have different difficulty levels, and you can choose one that suits your fitness level best. The list of the benefits you can reap by becoming a part of a trail running competition is a long one.
I have been a part of some of the trail running competitions mentioned below. The health and mental benefits listed here are backed by scientific research and studies from different credible sources.
Are There Trail Running Competitions?
Yes, there are trail running competitions! In fact, trail running is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. And with the popularity of trail running, more and more competitions are popping up all over the globe.
So whether you're looking for a local 5K or an international ultra-marathon, there's sure to be a trail running competition that's right for you. And who knows, maybe you'll even come out on top!
Many runners enjoy the challenge of competing in races, and trail running is no different. Trail running competitions can be divided into two main categories: those that focus on speed and those that focus on endurance. Speed-focused events tend to be shorter in the distance, while endurance-focused events are longer and often include elements such as climbing and descending.
Participating in a race can be a great way to push yourself to your limits and see what you're really capable of. It's also a great opportunity to meet other runners and explore new trails.
A trail running competition is a unique experience that is unlike any other type of race. The scenery is often more beautiful, and the environment more peaceful than a road race. This makes for a very different and often more enjoyable experience.
One thing to keep in mind when trail running is that the terrain can be quite varied. You may find yourself running on anything from dirt paths to rocky trails. This means that you need to be prepared for a variety of conditions. It is important to choose the right shoes for the terrain you will be running on and to be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Another thing to keep in mind is that trail running competitions are often much longer than road races. This means that you need to be prepared to run for a longer period of time. Be sure to warm up properly before the race and to carry enough food and water with you.
Overall, the experience of a trail running competition is one that is both challenging and rewarding. It is a great way to see some amazing scenery and push yourself physically. If you are prepared, it can be an enjoyable experience that you will remember for a long time.
11 Trail Run Races To Invigorate Your Training Regime
The Barkley Marathon
Considered by many to be the toughest footrace in the world, the Barkley Marathon is an ultramarathon that takes place in Tennessee over a 60-mile course with a total elevation gain of more than 20,000 feet. The race is notoriously difficult to finish, with only 15 runners out of nearly 1,000 entrants managing to complete the course in its 34-year history.
The Leadville Trail 100
Held annually in Colorado, the Leadville Trail 100 is considered one of the most challenging trail races in North America. The race covers a 100-mile course at an altitude of more than 10,000 feet, with runners having to contend with steep climbs and tough terrain.
The Big Sur Marathon
Held every year in California, the Big Sur Marathon is one of the most scenic trail races in the world, with runners getting to take in the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean while they run. The marathon course covers a distance of 26.2 miles, with runners having to deal with hilly terrain and some tough climbs.
The Hood to Coast Relay
Considered the largest running relay race in the world, the Hood to Coast relay takes place over a distance of 200 miles from Mount Hood in Oregon to the Oregon coast. Teams of 12 runners take on different legs of the race, with each leg varying in length and difficulty.
The Rocky Raccoon 100
Held annually in Texas, the Rocky Raccoon 100 is a 100-mile trail race that takes place in the beautiful Dallas-Fort Worth area. The course features a mix of singletrack and fire roads, with runners having to contend with some tough climbs along the way.
The Moab Red Hot 55K
A relatively new addition to the trail racing scene, the Moab Red Hot 55K is held every year in Utah. The race takes place in the stunning Moab desert, with runners having to deal with hot temperatures and challenging terrain.
The Zion 100
Another ultra-marathon that takes place in Utah, the Zion 100, is a 100-mile race that starts in the town of Springdale and finishes in the Zion National Park. The course features a mix of singletrack and fire roads, with runners having to go through a variety of different difficulty levels along the way.
The Lake Sonoma 50
Held every year in California, the Lake Sonoma 50 is a 50-mile trail race that takes place in the stunning Sonoma Valley. The course features a number of uphills and downhills, allowing only the fittest to win the thing.
The Javelina Jundred
One of the most popular trail races in Arizona, the Javelina Jundred is a 100-mile race that takes place in the stunning Sonoran Desert. The trail is pretty demanding and is not easy on amateurs.
The TNF EC 50 Mile Championships
A relatively new addition to the trail racing scene, the TNF EC 50 Mile Championships is an annual race that takes place in California. The race covers a distance of 50 miles, with runners having to deal with some tough climbs along the way.
The Western States 100
One of the most iconic trail races in the world, the Western States 100, is a 100-mile race that takes place in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The course is notoriously difficult, with runners having to contend with hot temperatures, tough terrain, and some significant climbs.
Benefits of Taking Part in a Trail Running Competition
Trail running is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature. But did you know that there are also many benefits to taking part in a trail running competition? Here are just a few:
Boost Your Fitness Levels
Whether you're a beginner or an experienced runner, taking part in a trail running competition can help to boost your fitness levels. The off-road terrain and varied terrain mean that you'll be using different muscles, which will lead to improved overall fitness.
Improve Your Mental Health
Running has long been known to be good for our mental health, and this is especially true when it comes to trail running. Being out in nature can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and the sense of achievement that comes with completing a race can be extremely beneficial for our mental well-being.
Meet New People
One of the best things about taking part in a trail running competition is the opportunity to meet new people. You'll be spending time with like-minded individuals who share your love of running, and you may even make some new friends along the way!
A trail running competition can be the perfect way to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself both physically and mentally. Whether you're aiming to beat your personal best or simply want to complete the race, setting yourself a goal will help you to stay motivated throughout.
Explore New Places
If you're someone who loves to travel, taking part in a trail running competition is a great way to explore new places. With races taking place all over the world, you'll have the opportunity to see some amazing scenery while getting some exercise at the same time!
About THE AUTHOR
I’m a hiker, backpacker, and general outdoor enthusiast. I started hiking out of college while working for the National Forest Service, and have been hiking ever since. I’ve been solo hiking and leading hiking groups for two decades and have completed hundreds of small hikes and some majorones such as the Appalachian Train and the Pacific Crest Trail, and hiked on four continents. I’d love to share some of my insight with you.Read More About Peter Brooks