Monday, May 25, 2015

Local trail races ready to go

More and more runners are trading in pavement for the trails. The hills are more unpredictable, typically more scenic and trail races are beyond compare.

We’re very fortunate to have a pair of local trail races coming up in the next two weeks. And the race directors recently shared their thoughts on trail running, why their race is important to them and what folks can expect at their race.

Karey Humphries-Cooper is the race director of The Loco Go Big or Go Home Challenge. The event (the second annual) is on Saturday and features 10k, half marathon and 50k distances. Online registration closed last week, but you can still register at packet pick-up on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Fleet Feet Chico.

What’s your running background?
I’ve been running since I joined the Army way back in 1998. I hated running back then and had never run an entire mile in my life! I don't really have a favorite distance. I just love a good challenge and running with other fun, crazy runners. I used to be a pavement-only runner but once I was properly introduced to the trails, well, let's just say that I am hard-pressed to go enjoy a run around the neighborhood!

What’s the inspiration behind the Loco Go Big or Go Home Challenge?
So many things. Mainly it was that although I love running in Bidwell Park and the races there, I really wanted to find something different to try out that was still close enough to Chico to make a day trip out of it. I love Butte Meadows and have always been amazed that many people have never been up that way, so the Loco Brain Child was born! Now we have two big races that go through the area and the community up there is incredibly supportive, they have become like family!

Why trail running?
I love trail running because you can get lost in the absolute beauty of the nature that surrounds you. Running the trails seems almost effortless in a way because you’re brought back to your primal roots of being outside, breathing in the rich fresh air, stomping the earth underfoot and experiencing Mother Nature at her finest.

Online registration for The Loco 200 Relay, which takes place Sept. 11-12, is now open, and you can go here to register.

Jason Donnell is the race director of the inaugural Rim to Rim Trail Run, Chico’s first ultramarathon, starting in Upper Bidwell Park on June 6. The Rim to Rim includes half marathon, marathon and 50-mile distances. Online registration is open for all distances until June 5. Race day registration will also be available.

What’s your running background?
I started running regularly in 2009. I’ve always focused heavily on trails, and I log very few miles on pavement. Before I took up running I enjoyed rock climbing, mountaineering, and backpacking, and the tendency for long hours in the mountains easily translated to long distance running. I really enjoy the 100-mile distance; the extreme challenge makes it such a rewarding experience.

What’s the inspiration behind the Rim to Rim Trail Run?
Being a long-distance trail runner in Chico means logging a lot of miles in Upper Bidwell. We’re fortunate to have such an extensive trail system in our own backyard, and after years of running there I really want to showcase the Park with a race. I want to combine the ultramarathon experience with the rugged beauty of our local trails and make it a destination event for runners looking for a challenge. In addition the challenge, runners get beautiful views of the foothills, the river, and the valley from both the north and south sides of the canyon. The distance, the beauty, and the challenge combine to create a unique ultramarathon experience.

Why trail running?
I love being outdoors, and especially love the mountains. Long-distance trail running gives me a way to be surrounded by their majestic beauty while being physically and mentally pushed to my limits.

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