About five years ago Beth Hall and Spencer Tirey and I were biking on the Northwest Arkansas Greenway from the Fayetteville Square to Lake Fayetteville, around Lake Fayetteville, and back to the Square.
The ride was around 22 miles and we were riding mountain bikes. The trail was mostly pavement but when we hit Lake Fayetteville we would mountain bike around the lake on the dirt trail. We always enjoyed the mountain biking part and at some point we started talking about trail running. I have never been much of a runner in my life. I tried jogging but jogging was not much fun for me. I had run only on pavement and it always hurt my knees. But trail running was a whole different kind of running. No two steps are the same because you’re stepping on a different piece of ground with every step. I believe that trail running has made me a better sports photographer because of the way you run on trails. You have to pick your feet up more and you have to watch where you step. Sidelines at different sporting events can be a hazard with all the cables and equipment.
But the best part of trail running is being outdoors, being in the woods when nobody is around, and you’re just enjoying being with Mother Nature. We have run in rain, sleet, snow and all kinds of weather conditions. I have run trails in Arizona, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Washington and Arkansas.
One of my biggest enjoyments during warmer weather is to watch the radar for storms moving through and heading out to run in the rain. I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to be out in nature and getting muddy. Having rain pour down on you while you are running and you don’t care how wet or how muddy you get. The feeling of not caring and just enjoying the rain. Being outside in the rain during a rain storm is something I recommend to everyone. Whether you’re running or walking or laying in your yard and letting the rainfall on you, I am warning you, it’s like being a kid. Getting wet and getting muddy is like being a kid again and it is an enjoyment we lose later in life.