I have had the privilege of running the Trees Trail Challenge the past two years. This well-organized event is directed by experienced ultra-marathoners and trail runners Chris Beck and Dawn Stine, two amazing individuals. This event has something for everyone, including a 2, 4, and 10-mile race. The races take place on my favorite trails in all of Fort Wayne to run – the Franke Park mountain bike and hiking trails. The 2 and 4 mile races are a little more laid back and great for family to run or walk together. The 10-mile race is a bit more rugged (which to me, equals more fun) with two stream crossings and some pretty significant hills.
If you are new to trail running this is a great introductory course and I’m pretty sure you will fall in love after this experience. If you’re an experienced trail runner like me, you will still find plenty of challenge and inspiration. Although I run many ultra-marathons up to 100 mile races, running this 10-mile event is a great way to give myself some speed training and mix things up a little. The scenery is absolutely beautiful, especially with the colorful fall foliage this time of year. There’s a great chance of seeing some playful deer or my friend, the blue heron, who I often see perched on a log on the river. It’s amazing that in the middle of the city there lies this “peace” of nature, a place to escape the stress and craziness of daily life. Finally, you will be helping a great cause by participating in this event. Proceeds of the Trees Trail Challenge go to Trees Indiana, a wonderful organization devoted to educating our youth about trees and nature. I look forward to participating again this year on Sunday, November 6 and hope to see you there too. You can register here.