Q. What does it take to become a member of the North Texas Trail Runners?
A. Twenty bucks and a good sense of humor.
Q. What do I get for my 25 bucks?
A. Well, let's see.... We have a Facebook page that allows members to communicate with each other and find out about training runs, meetings, race schedules, results, and we are usually up on trail conditions. By the way, you get no spam and BS is not allowed, so all you get is the facts and information pertaining to running. We have three or four club runs, and most are free or real cheap for members. We have regular club meetings and a blinger of a Christmas party. Most of all you get to hear all the war stories of past running exploits. In fact, if you run with us you will hear them several times.
Q. Do you run exclusively on trails?
A. Many of us are real trail purists, but occasionally we will venture onto asphalt. After a few trail runs you won't want to run on concrete at all. We have a few members who sneak off and compete in road races, but we try to keep them from contaminating our club. Shin splints, back problems, and a plethora of muscle pulls hide in the roads.
Q. What are your favorite trails?
A. One of the best and most convenient is the North shore trail at Lake Grapevine. You can find some of us out there nearly every Saturday A.M., and several of us are at the trailhead on Wednesday nights during CDT. We also use Horseshoe Trail (nearly always dry, or semi-dry), The Dallas Nature Center (our hill training course), Cross timbers (at lake Texoma and very tough), and there are trails at Lake Ray Roberts, Lake Lavon, The Grasslands, Southlake, and Roanoke. We can usually find you a trail that is convenient.
Q. It seems like you run a lot of long distances. Do I have to be an ultra runner?
A. Nope, most of our training runs are out and back so you can get off the trail any time you like. Nearly all our races have shorter distances (fun runs). It just seems to be the nature of trail running to stay out as long as you can, and consequently we find ourselves running longer (you don't have to take out the garbage if you tell your wife, gee; I'm an Ultra runner).
Q. Are there any rules for trail running?
A. We don't have any specific rules except those outlined by the agency that is responsible for the trails. The Corps of Engineers, State Parks and Wildlife Service or the National Parks Service has jurisdiction over most of our trails. There also are a few privately owned trails. The park and/or trail rules and regulations are generally posted near the trailhead or at the park information center. We recommend you acquaint yourself with these rules. We have a few additional suggestions that you might consider:
Q. What are some of the benefits of trail running?
A. I could go on for hours; and usually do, the benefits are so many. Trails are cooler in the summer, warmer with less wind in the winter, have a higher level of oxygen, thanks to Mom Nature and her two children, Photo and Synthesis, and a lower level of air pollution (you don't find many cars on the trail). The surface is softer, reducing impact injuries, and the pace is slower due to the terrain thus eliminating injuries caused by the number one offender, SPEED.
Q. What are the disadvantages of trail running?
A. Well, there are the rocks and roots, which can cause twisted ankles and a nasty fall once and a while, and the mud can be a little messy at times, but all in all we feel the benefits outweigh a few cuts and bruises. Occasionally you will meet a snake, skunk or raccoon, but that only reminds us who really owns the trails.
Q. I'm sold, how do I get involved?
A. Join/renew online at active.com. Options are: $25 for one year, $40 for two years, or $250 for a Lifetime membership. Membership benefits include: an awesome trail running community, custom NTTR Half Buff, 15% off Running Warehouse, members group page, and discount codes to local races. The mission is the promotion and encouragement of long distance trail running and the education of the public to its benefits. Join us today!