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.

The Edge

I started running in 2007. I actually just had to look up my first 5k time to see that it really had been that long ago. I tried running a couple of times prior to that, but it didn’t take. My husband Patrick, an amazing runner and athlete, wanted so badly for me to start. But the more he pushed, the more I resisted. I’m a bit like a feral cat in that way. It was too far past my edge. Slowly something within me shifted, and with the support of Patrick and my dear friend Trudi, I decided to try again with a “couch to 5k in five weeks” training plan.

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.

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?

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?

Altra Superior 1.5

Old news: I love Altra shoes, but I couldn't run in the original Superiors. New news: I still love Altra and the Superior 1.5s fit better!

I may have mentioned this before, but I find it funny how Altra is numbering their updates. Since they have only changed the upper they didn't upgrade to a full “2nd version” title. They will only use that title when they change the entire shoe, including the midsole and outsole.

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…

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.

Take Two Hours of Pine Forest and Call Me in the Morning

These days, screen-addicted Americans are more stressed out and distracted than ever. And nope, there’s no app for that. But there is a radically simple remedy: get outside. Florence Williams travels to the deep woods of Japan, where researchers are backing up the surprising theory that nature can lower your blood pressure, fight off depression, beat back stress—and even prevent cancer. By: Florence Williams

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