A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'll Take Trails Over Roads Every Time!

Trail running vs road running. I've seen a lot of intense debates all the time in running forums.

There is a BIG reason why I converted big-time from road running to trail running.

The freedom to travel EVERYWHERE!

I'm not limited to a strip of asphalt when running in far off places. For example, I don't have to see the White Mountains of New Hampshire from afar while on the road. I can actually go up INTO the White Mountains and see the scenery up close.

And this is enhanced nicely when running ultramarathons. This year, I will be doing the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, and ALL FOUR of these races are in such beautiful places that I am willing to take an action cam with me as I run them to take a picture of the views.

I picked some random pictures from the web of the four races of the Grand Slam and tell me why I should prefer road running over trail running.

Western States 100

 Beginning of Western States, Emigrant Pass, going downhill.

Red Star Ridge - Beginning of Race

Unbelievably beautiful. I am glad to get the opportunity for Western States!

Western States Trail near Squaw Valley - Why run on the roads nearby when the trails takes you THROUGH this!

Vermont 100

I've been here twice before, and it's great up there too. I have my own pictures, but will only post the scenery only for this blog entry.

The Start Line...Majestic!


Most of the scenery is like this, rustic little farms in a green, rural setting.

Around Mile 28 of the race. The horses are with the runners early on, adding to the beauty of the race.

The hills are alive, with the sound of music! Ahem...sorry. Great vistas here though

Leadville 100

I quickly fell in love with the Rockies when I went to Leadville 2 years ago. I didn't make the finish, but vowed to come back, partly because of unfinished business, but mostly because of these views!

Above the treeline! Hope Pass. With Twin Lakes in the background.

The COLD stream crossing at the foot of Hope Pass.

Powerline Hill at Mile 82 - Rugged Beauty

Wasatch Front 100

This race is perhaps the most beautiful and scenic of all four races. If this race doesn't kill me first, I will be definitely soaking in the vistas in this great race!

The view like this will be stunning for most of the race!

The pics are just breathtaking, it's going to be even better seeing it first hand!

Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads!

The Wasatch Front Range. Just a quick little run through them. A little hilly though... ;-)

There's a whole big world out there than just the Triple Crown. And most of that world cannot be reached by roads. Trail running gives me the complete freedom to touch the tops of the mountains themselves, to enter and traverse different canyons (including the Grand Canyon!), and to see exhilarating vistas that no road can deliver. 

And since trails are, well, NATURAL, only a small percentage of trail runners suffer chronic or permanent injuries as a result. 

So if you're one of those road runners that have treated trail runners as second-hand runners (yes, I know a lot of you personally) take a look at these pictures and tell me if you can honestly find more breathtaking views from a strip of asphalt.

Thank you.

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