NC3 Athletestated love running and racing on the trails, and I've been doing them for a few years now. There are 40km of trails practically right out of my backdoor. This fall I am registered for 7 trail races. Haven't done a trail marathon yet, but a few 14-milers and half marathon distance races. I do most of my running on trails in general; running on pavement is not very interesting, and it seems to make me more injury-prone
I agree NC3 - I think what has turned me to trail running is the majesty of some landscapes and the serenity of it all....as I was approaching the 17 mile run on the trail marathon, the trail descended to a forest area where some of the biggest redwoods were located, climbing to an unprecedented height, but also the sunlight coming through an angle in essence sort of a cathedral...hard to explain...the closet of imagery would be one of the Lord of the Rings movies... with a classic Marathon you certainly do not get this. However, some of the trail was dangerous very narrow only one runner at a time could go through, but I noticed that this specialty of runner is far in between, in this Marathon the number of participants is less about 40 to 60 compared to the normal Marathon venues, also the support and praise of each runner was a bit uncanny as you would pass someone or someone pass me by was just continual support for the run. I did hit a wall on mile 20, which my back started hurting, which is a reflection now on more core workout and also switching to a camel hydration back pack rather than the waistline hydration pack I was using. Oddly, enough my legs, calfs, and quads were fine and I know it was the weightlifting program on the lower body that helped also.
On the injury side, I noticed that I need running shoes gear to more trail running rather than my high profile sole as my Brooks Addiction in view that in some areas of the trail it was all plain roots of the redwoods covering the trail, at one point I bruised my ankle because of my foot trying to land in a flat surface which was hard to gage. This is also the new argument against shoe manufacturers that has surface to move to a more minimalist shoe wear rather than all the padding currently in our running shoes which are causing more injuries...running even barefoot or moving to Vibram Fingers. I am in the process of buying some Vibram and start to do this since a friend of mine has started the process.