With dirt patches reappearing on the sides of Waterworks and Mount Sentinel we know trail season isn’t too far behind. But, as excited as we are to get out and run some fresh single track, we do keep in mind a few rules for spring trail running etiquette.

  1. Trails are not like Valentine’s Day, we want single! Help keep single track trails single by continuing to run through the snow and ice. A lot of times the actual trail holds packed ice longer than the adjacent dirt, but tough it out and stay on the path. Every time someone avoids the ice by running alongside the trail, the path widens slightly. Keep it single!
  2. Run through the mud! As the ice melts we may see a week of puddles and mud in the path tempting us to run on the fringes. The same rules apply as to the ice; run through puddles, run through the mud. Some discretion is required here, however. If the mud is incredibly deep and sloppy, please consider not running that trail for another few days. Give it time to dry before you leave deep footprints that will be there until August.
  3. Pick up dog poop bags! This time of year we start to see lots of little ‘presents’ emerge from the snow left behind by our furry friends and lazy owners. Please don’t leave dog poop bags behind thinking, “I’ll get that on the way out.” Please clean up after your dog all the way to the trash can! We can also help keep our trails clean by picking up bags that are not our own. One of our customers reported finding just over 60 bags left on the trail in one outing thus leaving the trail much, much cleaner than she found it.

With Bitterroot Runoff, Sentinel Hill Climb, 11 Miles to Paradise, and Mountain to Meadow all around the corner we are looking forward to putting in some miles on the trails and we hope to see you out there (respecting the trail of course)!

 

 

In 2018 we used over 20,000 disposable cups at our events. That’s a lot of trash! Moving forward we are working on ways to host more sustainable, community minded events and part of that is a commitment to reducing waste.

For 2019 all Runner’s Edge races will be entirely cupless!

What this means for you:

-If you are going to want fluids on the course please plan on bringing your own bottle, or collapsible cup. We will still have water and electrolyte drinks at aid stations, just nothing to put them in!

-If you would like to take advantage of pre-race coffee or hot chocolate (event dependent) please plan on bringing your favorite travel mug.

-For post race fluids (recovery drink, water, beer, mimosas, chocolate milk, bloody mary’s, etc.) please remember to bring an extra cup in your travel bag. In case you forget, we will have a fleet of reusable cups for you to borrow for finish line beverages that you can return and we will wash for the next event.

-We will do a better job of marking recycling bins, trash bins, and compost bins. Moving forward any plates, bowls, and flatware that we provide for post-race meals will be compostable. Please be aware of what bin you are tossing items.

Our ultimate goal is to leave an event with less than one bag of trash. Going cupless is one step in the process and we want to help you help us! If you don’t have a bottle option or collapsible cup we will give you a cup if you plan on running one of the Runner’s Edge Trail Series events.

Thank you for helping us reach this goal. If you have any questions please let us know.

 

Evie Tate put on a show at the Treadmill Challenge pulling away dramatically in the last four minutes. In 2018 she finished 4th in the Missoula Marathon, and won the Elk Ramble. Evie is also in her second year of Physical Therapy school.
Name: Evie Tate
Hometown: Spartanburg, SC
What brought you to Missoula? I moved here for physical therapy school and the goal is to stay here once I graduate.  I love the proximity of the mountains and also, have yet to find a pizza better than Biga’s so I can’t ever leave!
How long have you been running? I have been running competitively on a team for 11-12 years but really have been going on runs for fun pretty much as long as I can remember.
You ran for a very competitive Clemson program. What has the transition been like from collegiate running with a coach and a team, to running for yourself? Though I loved having the opportunity to live out a dream and compete at the collegiate level, I have really enjoyed competing for myself on my own terms.  I thought I would take an extended break from running once I finished, but I sort of fell back in love with the sport again.  Moving here has been a fun challenge running and training for longer trail races (and the occasional treadmill competition) rather than a fast 5K on the track.
What’s been your favorite thing about the Missoula running community? I love all the people I have met so far! That is another thing I love about Missoula is how large the running community is.  It makes the races seem more like a social event rather than a stressful competition.
What are you training for this year? I will be running the Bitterroot Runoff and am a part of a relay team for the Hootenanny 100K.  I may try to find a faster road marathon later in the year.
Thanks Evie! Good luck this summer!

With March upon us it’s time to start thinking about training for the Missoula Marathon! But how do you start a run training program while snow is still falling, streets are icy, and ski season is alive and well? Here’s a few tips and tricks we’ve picked up over the years….

  1. Ease into it – whether you’re coming from a winter of skiing or a few months of enjoying dark beer and warm cookies, running will add an extra stressor on your body. Give your muscles and tendons time to adjust! Maybe start by running every other day, or significantly fewer miles than you think you can handle. A run/walk approach is also a good option. Take that transition slow and monitor how your body responds!
  2. Keep that traction handy! – today it’s an easy decision: take those traction devices with you. But in two weeks when the roads may be much less icy you may be tempted to put away your traction for the summer. We encourage you to keep traction devices accessible so your decision to take spikes is never determined by what is easily accessible.
  3. Talk to other people – if you are participating in the Run Wild Missoula marathon training class you have plenty of people sharing the road (and the pain!) with you. If you’re not participating in the training class, find a buddy to share the road (and the pain!) with you. Running with others makes the miles fly by!
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – on the surface running a marathon seems easy: the gun goes off and you run until you cross the finish. But there is more to it! Nutrition, shoes, body glide, hydration, and what color sweatband to wear all come in to play. Not to mention the training! No one runner knows all the answers, or what is best for you. Ask questions, play with different options, and figure out the puzzle to the perfect marathon!

As always, feel free to come by Runner’s Edge and ask any of our knowledgeable staff for their marathon (or other distance) training tips. We love to talk running!

Lee Macholz is one of our 2018/2019 RErun ambassadors. She is a stud! After work and family time, she still manages to volunteer and/or run many events through Runners Edge and Run Wild Missoula. Bunions effect many people around Missoula and the world and they can be very irritating when wear or buying shoes. We brought in a Bunion Relief sock and asked Lee to review our new product. Her thoughts below…

OS1st Bunion Relief Socks

I have to say, I really like these socks. I can’t tell you first-hand if they relieve the pain of a bunion, but I did a little research and here is what learned. Bunions develop slowly over time, so while I don’t have one now, I can see by the shape of my foot that the potential is there for one to develop. A bunion is a bony bump on the inside of your foot at the joint of your big toe. They develop when there is regular pressure on the big toe that causes it to lean toward the second toe. As such, I can see how this could be an issue for runners! I think that recent shoe design can help prevent bunions
as we are seeing wide toe boxes in many shoe styles, but can these socks help as well?

Fit: There are two elements to this sock that I think would be beneficial for treating / preventing bunions. First, the Bunion Relief Socks are designed with a split toe. I’ve never worn a split toe sock before and so it was pretty weird at first. But, I can see how this design relieves the sideways pressure on your big toe that you could get in a regular sock, especially a compressive one. I liked that my big toe could move more freely and I could feel the difference. The second element to this sock that is specific for a person with a bunion is the padded area at the joint of the big toe. It is a softer,
thicker area that fits just right and would provide nice padding to a painful bunion. Moving up the foot, the sock has good compression over the rest of the foot that results in a high performance and very comfortable fit. I like the height of the sock as well – though I am partial to a quarter-height sock.

Performance: I have been running in these socks through January and February in Montana – it is snowy and it is cold. I usually like a taller sock in the winter so my ankles don’t get cold or wet, but as a quarter-height design, these socks have been just high enough. I am not sure if it is the material, or the split toe design, or both but I find these socks to be on the warm side. Which is perfect in the winter, though I likely won’t wear them much in the summer for this reason, we’ll see. I have been washing and wearing them regularly and they are holding up really well. The compression zones are just enough to feel good, but not so much that they cut off my circulation.

Bottom Line: While I can’t speak to the pain relieve side of the equation. I do think that the split toe design and extra padding on these socks will help prevent / ease the symptoms of a bunion. Bottom line is that once I got used to the split toe, I like them and will keep them handy!

Sean Kiffe is a Runner’s Edge Ambassador for the 2018/19 season. He is very visible around town as he runs just about every Runner’s Edge race
and Run Wild Missoula event each year. We asked Sean to review a new anti-chafe product called Squirrel’s Nut Butter. Read his review below and you can also follow Sean’s adventures on instagram@seankiffe.

Squirrel’s Nut Butter is a newer line of anti-chafe and skin care products with an all natural ingredient list. At first glance I had to wrap my head around the fact that this product was not food. With nutrition products on the market like Clif Bar’s Nut Butter Bars it can be confusing. That said, the Squirrel’s Nut Butters list of ingredients does not read like a chemistry textbook and would more than likely be just fine to eat. The product’s invention was intended as a treatment for eczema for one of the founder’s children. It would appear that the uses of this salve are far reaching beyond athletic purposes.

I tested the Anti-Chafe Salve in the stick format (it also comes in a small tub container). The primary ingredients are coconut oil and beeswax. Any endurance athlete knows the discomfort that chafing can cause and the invaluable proactive benefits of a product like this. I used Squirrel’s Nut Butter primarily on my two problem areas, the nipples and inner thighs. The butter applied easily and was scentless. For anyone running medium to long distances, this is a must-have product.

Other products like Body Glide, Gold Bond and Chamois Butt´r have been around for a while but neither have the simple, hypoallergenic ingredient list like Squirrel’s Nut Butter does. It should be noted that there is a vegan option as well.

I like the “deodorant-stick” style application method. It helps to keeps your hands free from the product directly and also limits the amount of mess and waste created from applying it. The all natural ingredient list is an obvious winner for people with sensitive skin or allergies, and in this day and age of space-age polymers infused into every product we buy it’s great to keep it simple with “real” ingredients.

I’ve used Body Glide for years now and by comparison the Squirrel’s Nut Butter product was just as effective, if not more so. The anti-chafing quality was excellent and it did not lose its effectiveness after prolonged effort and sweating. I’d strongly recommend this product to any athlete. It’s inexpensive, made from a simple list of natural ingredients and it works as promised. The Squirrel’s Nut Butter Company also offers products for cycling and skin restoration, all boasting the same all natural ingredients.