Trail Running FAQs
So you're just getting into Trail Running and want to know what the hype is all about? Or perhaps you're an experienced trail runner and you're thinking about signing up for one of the River Valley Run trail races? Either way you've come to the right place. There are lots of great questions to ask about Trail Running so that you get the most out of your training and race day experience. Read on and feel free to send us your questions about our trail races.
Trail Running in General
What kind of shoes should I wear for trail running? Can I wear my road running shoes or do I need to invest in trail-specific shoes?
While you can wear your regular running shoes, we would highly recommend investing in trail-specific running shoes. There are several areas on our courses, and many running trails, that will be challenging (rocks, roots, water, uneven terrain, gravel, etc..) and trail shoes are the best way to get through them. Trail shoes have extra protection to the soles of your feet and toes along with extra traction.
I am scared about getting injured. Is trail running more likely to result in ankle injury?
The chances of getting an injury are higher in trail running because of the technical uneven terrain you’re running on; however, if you take it a little slower and watch your step in the technical sections you should be fine.
River Valley Run Races
What is the course terrain like? Will I have to climb anything?
The course has several different types of terrain which consist of flat grassy fields, rock gardens, roots, gravel roads, fire roads, and flowing single track. There is also a Rock Scramble section that will only be encountered by Half Marathon and 10k runners.
Will I get wet on the course? Should I wear special clothes for that?
There are several very small stream crossings in our races which will have rocks to use in order to cross. It is more than likely your shoes and calves will get wet.
Can I walk some sections of the trail or do I have to run?
Yes, almost everyone walks at some point :) Trail running is more about experiencing and enjoying your surroundings than it is about getting your PR. A good strategy many trail runners take is to walk the larger hills and run the rest. If you end up walking significant portions of the trail, that’s fine, but remember that many races (including our Half Marathon) have “Cut Off” times. Cut off times can be either a maximum amount of time you are given to finish the course or certain points in the course you have to make it to within a given amount of time. Our Trail Festival does NOT have a cut-off.
Do you have a cut off time for your half marathon?
In order to help our races run smoother and more efficient, we have implemented a cut off time for the half marathon. The cut off time will be 3 and a half hours and the distance will be the 11 mile mark. We feel this time and distance is fair and very attainable.
How can I carry hydration?
It’s recommended to carry your hydration in a running vest, with a ‘Fuel’ belt or with a hand-held bottle.
Should I be training on trails to get ready? Can you recommend some local trails that mimic your courses?
You should ABSOLUTLEY should be training on trails. The trails around Pretty Boy, Loch Raven, Oregon Ridge, Gunpowder State Park (all locations) and Patapsco State Park ( all locations) would mimic our property nicely. If you are not near these locations, we strongly encourage you to at least find some hills where you can train.
I'm afraid of getting lost. Will the course be clearly marked?
Our courses will be very well marked. Plus, with our large amount of runners, there should always be another runner within sight. Roots, stumps, and other hazards will be clearly marked with orange spray paint.
Will I be able to run alongside my friend or is the course single file?
You should be able to stay with your friend while running. There are a lot of open areas where you will be able to easily run side by side but there are some narrower parts as well.
Can I run with my dog/pet?
Even though we at RVR loves all animals, we ask that you leave them at home for our event. Some of our stream crossings and rock scrambles could prove to be difficult for our four legged friends.