What does it mean to be a #trailblazer?
Well, lace up those running shoes, drop RunPod a message and come and meet up with a motley crew of trail runners to find out!
The Northwest of Ireland is a trail runners dream.
Mountains, lakes, rivers, beaches and forests. It all awaits you here in the Sligo and the Northwest. Trail Running brings you closer to nature. Breathing in freezing cold mountain morning air. Startling some nearby deer. Catching a dawn chorus. Getting a particularly beautiful sunset. It’s endless. The real beauty of trail running is it sheer variety. From landscapes, to weather patterns to encounters with local wildlife. It’s something every runner should try at least once.
All along the Atlantic coast you will come across trails, a lot of them. One of our favorite things about running along the Wild Atlantic Way is it’s ability to provide two vastly different and unique experiences. On a fine day like the picture above, it’s a sunny and peaceful paradise. Blue skies are reflected in even bluer oceans.
On another day waves, meters high, carve out the rock which the coastline is so famous for. The sea swells and the sky is storm grey, it can be hard to run in a straight line with the cutting Atlantic wind!
Further inland is home to lakes and rivers where the land has been shaped by ancient glaciers. This landscape is just as unique as the coastline and running through it is an experience that all runners coming to Sligo should experience. Boardwalks dot the land making almost impassable terrain a pleasant, albeit difficult run.
Across the mountain tops are where things get even more difficult. Over the years knowledgeable locals have cut paths through the mountains and though these are often clear, can randomly disappear to leave newcomers scratching their heads. Across the mountains are dotted lakes, tombs, caves and other stunning geographical formations. Rest assured almost all of these come attached with some folklore passed down through generations of story telling Irish.
On a lot of days your standard footwear will carry you safely across the mountains. But on your typical wet Irish day we will say it’s important to have the correct running shoes. Namely trail running shoes. Downhill running on steep and wet surfaces can quickly put even the most seasoned trail runner on their bum. Look for well fitting shoes with good grip and an ability to dry quickly. Rock plates are always a plus to. Most importantly, the best trail running shoes are ones that feel comfortable to you!
Trail Running in Sligo and the North-West of Ireland is very rewarding. It is a fantastic way to break up the monotony of road running and a great way to build leg strength. If you are in the locality of Sligo town give us a shout on facebook as we meet every Thursday for a different trail run. All levels are catered for with groups doing anywhere from 5-30k. It’s free, it’s fun and it can be as tough as you want it to be!
Be a #Trailblazer