Fall Fun – What's Yours?

Autumn is here! With it comes cooler weather, a much welcome relief in many parts of the country. You can now hit the trails and take in the changing seasons – whatever form that may taking in your neck of the woods – without needing to carry three water bottles for a two hour run. For many, it also means the end of the trail running racing season after many months of training and then racing. However, there are still some major trail races like the Lithia Loop Trail Marathon, Stone Cat 50 mile, Mountain Masochist Trail Run, The North Face Endurance Challenge Championships, and the XTERRA Half Marathon World Championships, as well as many, many other trail races. These autumn races often seem like an afterthought… a welcome bonus after a summer of hard work. In some parts, snow is already flying and the trails may be open for only a few more weeks. You’ve still got time to sneak in one last epic run in the mountains, right? Well, we’re wondering what trails runs – races or recreation – you’re most looking forward to before the end of the year. Tell us!

With two and a half months left in the year, I’ve got lots of runs I’m psyched about. In the short term, I’m excited to get in my first ever runs in the Big Sur area the next few days. When November rolls around, I’ll have two weeks of exploring the desert southwest. Never having run in Zion National Park or New Mexico, those two spots top my trip To Do list. Once I’m back in the Sierra foothills, I’m hoping to sneak in at least one more Yosemite high country run before it’s socked in with snow. Of course, once it does snow, I can’t wait to go for my first snowshoe run of the season. I’ve never snowshoed without a heavy pack, so this next snowshoe will be a fun experiment. Finally, I’ve got one more race on the schedule this year – The North Face Endurance Challenge Championship in December. I’m not training specifically for it, but it will be a good fitness test before going into a long period of race silence.

Autumn has already arrived in the High Sierras!

There are 14 comments

  1. Chris Freet

    Hi Bryon,So much for Fall Fun here in northeast PA. We are receiving snow at the present. Aside from the weather, I'm running the Mountain Madness 50k tomorrow and JFK in November. That's my Fall schedule of running fun!-Chris

  2. ultrarunnergirl

    I love the Potomac Heritage 50K. It starts right in DC, hops onto the trails of Rock Creek Park and takes you out to the beltway along the Potomac River. The leaves are always spectacular and the post-run celebration is fantastic!

  3. Anonymous

    Byron, Alex Papadopoulus may put on a Fat Ass in the Delaware River Gap in December – Since I've never run up there, I might be in for that. His 12 Hour ATR in Triangle was a lot of fun for a 6.5 mile loop course in the park – it rained acorns all day. Friends have recommended the Bull Run 50K Fat Ass put on by VHTRC, too. Bob Holzhauer

  4. wells2123

    Hi Bryon, Autumn here in Nashville is always beautiful.I look forward to the leaves changing and the cooler temps. Here in Nashville we have a 2 city parks called "Percy and Edwin Warner Parks" these 2 parks come together to make for some great Autumn Trail running in the heart of Nashville. The sweet single track covered with falling leaves makes this place even more special to me. Happy Trails

  5. trudginalong

    What do you mean last run in the mountains? Don't tell me ultrarunners don't run in the snow, some of us get excited for it! I always look forward to that first snow run. Oh, and beardcicles too!

  6. Jon Allen

    Bryon- If you're heading to Zion's, I have three recommendations. The first is rather long and requires a shuttle and car support. Start at Kolob Canyons, run down Hop Valley Trail to Wildcat Canyon, then run the whole West Rim. I believe it is 35+ miles and comes highly recommended by some friends of mine.If you want 2 much shorter runs, I did two that are great. The first is Hidden Canyon. Only 3 miles if you go to the back of the canyon but a nice jaunt with some bouldering in a shaded, beautiful canyon. The other is the East Mesa trail to Observation Pt. Starts outside the park and is a bit tricky to find the start. Most of the run is uneventful through fairly flat pine forests, but then you emerge at the amazing Observation Pt. It is the easy way, rather than climbing from the canyon.But no matter what you do, it's a great place to explore!

  7. ultrastevep

    You missed one! [broken link removed] I missed a turn at mile 53 of the 54 miler and lost 45 minutes and 4 places :-( This was in rain, fog, cold and dark…The Massanuttens are a great place, you must miss them!Steve

  8. justus

    I love fall running, especially with the lower humidity and temps here on the east coast. I am running Mountain Masochist, but the real run will occur in December when I attempt my first try at Hellgate. December in the Blue Ridge Mountains with a 12:01 AM start is sure to be fun!

  9. Bryon Powell

    Glad to hear so many have great fall race plans. Bob, I'd love to join Alex up in the Water Gap. I haven't run up there in ages but I have to wonder if Hotdog Johnnies is open in the winter!?Wells, I so miss running through the autumn leaves!Trudger, ok, ok, you got me. I've spent plenty of time on the trails after the snow settled on them. :-) Actually, I love it, too! I'd sit around until it got good and snowy and THEN go out for a trail run.Jon, thanks for the Zion recommendations. I'll definitely be heading that way. It's just a question of whether I'll be joining others for predetermined routes or out exploring.

  10. KMAX

    The PHT 50k was a blast and the colors were fantastic along the river! In my group of mostly first timers we were all commenting on how great the leaves and colors were (despite the constant rain).

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