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.

Zen, Motorcycles, and Running: Gumption Traps

Thirty years ago, I used to run across people who, like me, had read and enjoyed Robert Pirsig's wonderful, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. This book remains one of the most intriguing ornaments in modern American literature, but, like I said, I haven't heard anyone talk about it for a long time.

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…

A New Year's Meditation: the Lure of Final Things

The time to make resolutions, renew commitments, and set goals comes at the worst possible time for runners--for when we step on to the trail we find a layered cake of ice and snow. It's not easy to get out in these conditions here at the turn into 2014.

What we see out the door right now is not what many would describe as the romance of winter running: lightly falling flakes, no wind, and a four inch powder cushion.

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.

Who's stupid now?

Stu-pid-i-ty
Noun
Behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgement.

Often when I tell people about my outdoor runs, this time of year, I'm met with a look of bewilderment. That's followed by the question, "why?!" The exclamation point was necessary because it's often more of a demand of an explanation than a simple inquiry. Many don't understand why I would willingly go out in freezing temps and run. And they REALLY don't understand why I seem to enjoy it.

Intention

At the risk of sounding like Stuart Smalley, there is true power in stating intentions out loud (or in writing in this case). It’s widely researched. It’s true. Energy flows where attention goes. But sometimes it sounds cliché, and I want to run in the opposite direction, to push back and resist, to prove I am different. Perhaps it’s a little left over teen angst; I am not sure, but in any case I’m calling bullshit. I am a human being. I am like everyone else. I am connected to the human race on a primal level.

The Dirty Dual

Formerly known as the Red Bull Trail Daze, the Dirty Duel is one of the only trail races in the United States that offers racers a choice of courses:
Long and Difficult (6K) VS. Short and You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me (5K)

Two groups of racers will split off right after the start in a mad dueling dash back to the finish. Will it be the “easier” long course that speeds runners to a top finish or the short but extremely nasty “trail” that racers survive on their way to victory? Celebrate after the tough run with free homemade cider and donuts from Robinette’s.

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?