Trail Running for WTA
A lot of WTA members are trail runners--it's a great way to get some serious exercise out in the amazing landscapes Washington offers. Winter is actually a great time to get started if you've never tried trail running before. You'll generate your own heat in the cool weather, the trails aren't as crowded, and you'll burn off all those Russian tea cakes, gingerbread cookies and assorted holiday calories.
One way you can support WTA and get inspired as a trail runner is to
purchase the 2009 Tribute to the Trail calendar. Find more info here. Now in its fourth year, this fantastic grassroots fundraising project is put together by trail runners Glenn
Tachiyama and Wendy Wheeler-Jacobs. The calendar has awesome
photos--from the Chuckanut area to the Pacific Crest Trail--plus a list
running events. All of the proceeds benefit WTA. Thanks, Glenn and
Wendy! You can purchase the calendar online at zombierunner.com or at various running stores in the Northwest (click here for locations).
Now that you've been inspired, grab some trail shoes, a water bottle, and hit the trail. According to Cheri Pompeo Gillis's book 50 Trail Runs in Washington (Mountaineers Books) here are three great all-season runs:
5 mile loop, 700 feet elevation gain
A lovely set of loop trails easily accessible from I-5 south of Bellingham. Take exit 24 to Old Hwy 99 southeast for 0.3 mile to reach the trailhead.
Greg Ball/Wallace Lake
13 miles round trip, elevation gain 1,500 feet
A wide, well-graded trail that's a great route for beginners. Take U.S. Hwy 2 to Gold Bar, turn left on First Street then right on May Creek Road, following signs to the Wallace Falls/Wallace Lake trailhead.
Tiger Mountain Loop
16 mile loop, 3,700 feet of elevation gain
This is described in Cheri Pompeo Gillis' book as "Seattle's Favorite Loop." Popular with runners year-round, this is a great workout within easy distance of Seattle and its suburbs. You can find a complete description in the book, but the loop goes from the Tradition Plateau Trailhead to the Swamp, Brink And Adventure Trails. Then it continues on the Poo Poo Point Trail, One View Trail, Poo Top Trail, NIER Bypass Trail, Tiger Mountain Road, Section Line Trail and finishes on the Nook and Bus Trails.