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.

Lessons learned on my first ever trail marathon (& mini YSTR race report)

I am currently in the process of training for my first 50K. As part of that training, I ran the full marathon in early June at the Yankee Springs Trail run for part of my training buildup. Technically, I wasn't "scheduled" to hit a 26 mile training run yet, but I really wanted to do it this year since I ran the half there last year and really enjoyed it. I planned to run the marathon slowly and treat it as a training run, because I wanted to make sure I could keep on with my normal 50K training volume and not need to take a ton of time off after the race.

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?

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.

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.

Winds of Change

The Winds of Change

Running was always my way of talking with Dad, it has served me well my whole life.

On a lonely beach, on a quiet forest trail, even in the madness of a city, the connection could always be found!
There was always a simple beauty in it, running is simply putting one foot in front of the other, nothing more, nothing less.
Yet this simple act of freewill can defeat even the strongest of men.
It can also bring the meekest to great pride in themselves!

Overindulgence = a sluggish pace

Ever notice that when you drink some "adult" beverages or make bad eating choices that your running always suffers the next day? Either you choose to not to run at all or, like me, you force yourself to go run anyways and feel horrible, slow and like a ball of sludge on an endless uphill climb. It's just not enjoyable, people! So, why do we do it to ourselves?

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.

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.

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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