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The Changing of the Seasons

A discussion of the changing of the seasons and how that affects trail running.

By on November 8, 2012 | 29 comments

Late yesterday afternoon, I joined a newcomer to Park City for a trail run up to our town’s most notable trail, the Mid-Mountain Trail, which undulates for 20 or so miles between 8,000 and 8,500’… or about half way between town (+/-7,000′) and the crest of the Wasatch Mountains (10,000′ around here). I had a busy day and am still very far from fitness, but I just had to get up into the real mountains for one final trail run this season. You see, we’re supposed to see our first big winter storm of the season tomorrow and that’s to be followed by long-term cold (and ski resort snowmaking), so the higher trails are almost certainly out of play until May or June of next year.

Armstrong Trail - Park City

A view while ascending the Armstrong Trail to the Mid-Mountain Trail. (Click here for a larger version.)

The imminent change in seasons has me reflecting back on the the trail running I’ve logged this year, here and elsewhere. It also has me contemplating bigger issues like my lack of fitness all year, relationship with running, lack of time at home during the summer, etc… but that’s heady stuff that I’ll have plenty of time to think about (and share) over the long winter. For now, I think of those runs that I have enjoyed this year… and think of both what I have to look forward to when the white blanket lifts from the Wasatch next spring and where my heart tells me I should go to enjoy some sweet, snow-free single track until that happens. Today, I will live in the moment and revel in the bliss of a final snow-free run on my bread-and-butter five mile trail loop from home.

Call for Comments

  • What have been some of your favorite trail runs of 2012?
  • Are the trail running seasons transitioning where you are? Any folks in the Southern Hemisphere excited to have summer ahead of you?
  • If winter will soon slow or stop your trail running, how do you fill that void until your trails open again?
  • Are you already dreaming about 2013? If so, what about?
Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Editor-in-Chief of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.