The WMTR mission is to organize activities for trail runners that encourage people to get outside, have fun, and live active, social lives together.

The group imagines a fun, diverse, inclusive trail running community that is passionate about welcoming new trail runners, exploring new trails, and becoming better informed about the environment, health, trails, and gear. We practice good trail stewardship that includes working alongside the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance and others to help build and maintain the private and public trails.

Welcome

This website of the West Michigan Trail Runners seeks to:

  • Build community among the many runners in the West Michigan area that love trails.
  • Provide information about the running trails in our area.
  • Promote trail running with a trail running calendar, gear reviews, and other informative articles.

How can you participate in this website?
Well, you can read and enjoy our blogs, gear reviews, and trail profiles. But you can also do more. If you create a user account on this site, you can create your own blog and share your knowledge, insights, opinions, and meditations about trail running. An account also allows you to post trail running dates on our calendar. Just click on Create New Account and you will be able to login and create content right away.

Why Hex Head Screws Are Not Always The Best Traction Choice

As I waited for others to show up for a Thursday night "gravel road" run at Seidman Park, I listened to the rain and wind hit my van, and watched puddles form on the ice in the parking lot. No big deal, I wasn't worried about traction, I had hex head screws on my trail shoes. As the time to run arrived, no one else had, so I decided to head out on my own. I was here, I was dressed, and I knew where to go, so I headed down the road, my hex head screws clicking on the blacktop.

Goal vs. Intention

Last week was rough. I had a minor complication from some oral surgery that left me feeling pretty miserable. Well, perhaps just a touch more miserable the pre-planned misery of oral surgery. I may not have helped matters by hyper-focusing on my training plan. The jury is still out on that one, but all of this did make me think about the idea of goal versus intention.

Sun, Sprays and SPF

It’s finally summertime in West Michigan and I am excited to be sweating it up out on the trails! There are some different challenges to trail running when it’s hot, muggy, and humid, hydration depleting weather. Are you drinking enough water during the day to keep yourself hydrated during the run? While that’s a question road runners will ask themselves too, it’s even more important when you are working harder climbing all those hills. Are you wearing SPF? Yes, you are mostly shaded by trees on the run but what about when you are hanging out before or afterwards?

...And then there was running

Why did I start running? It's probably the same reason you started running. To lose weight. I had already been on the " journey to a healthier me" for about a year when I started struggling to stay motivated. Then I asked myself a simple question, whose body did I envy? And what did they do to get that enviable body? All the people on that list in my head had one thing in common. They were runners!

YakTrax XTR (Kahtoola Microspikes)

Truth be told, I haven’t run in the Kahtoola Microspikes. But my experimentation with the YakTrax XTR, and previous reviews I've read about both, leave me feeling confident that I can comment on both.

I have already hit the snowy trails in the YakTrax Pro, HobNails, Ice Spikes, and sheet metal hexnuts, so this should finish my comprehensive coverage of your winter traction options. Let’s make this short and sweet…

Salomon Speedcross

I'm still using the Speedcross 2 that I won at the Dirty Herd Fall Classic two years ago. I break these shoes out in the winter because of their aggressive grip, which I really like in the snow and slush and mud. The tread on these seems a bit heavy duty to me for normal dry conditions, but when it gets cold, my Asics Fuji Racers are just too light weight and cold for the weather. These Speedcross are not water proof, but they do have a tight weave across the top of the foot and keep my feet dray and reasonably warm throughout my runs.

Hex nuts vs Hobnails

Today was the day. Christmas Eve morning, a loop around Pickerel Lake with 16 of my WMTR family, and plenty of fresh midwestern powder on top of even more midwestern ice. I loaded up my left Patagonia Forerunner with LaSportiva AT/Hob Nails, and I loaded up my right one with #6, 3/8 in. steel hex nuts from Modern Hardware. The question is, which option performed better?