VIMFF 2016: 3 Things I Learned About Trail Running
Last night, the RunGo team had the opportunity to attend the Trail Running night at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF). Incorporated in 1998, the film festival has grown exponentially over the years and hosts a variety of outdoor films & speakers at their event annually. An almost full house event, the night covered many aspects of trail running from obstacle courses to Skyrunning to some of the most beautiful trails in BC and beyond! Not only was the event inspiring but educational and here are some things I learned about trail running:
Its all about the community
A recurring theme in last night's presentations was the notion of community. As a newbie trail runner, I can definitely attest to that. I remember being nervous before my first trail race less than a year ago but if there's one thing I remember, it is how supportive everyone was that day - it was a competition with oneself and not with each other which is not a common sight in a race.
The idea of community was not only present between runners but also between the people who work to preserve the trails which was brought up by many runners. In a time where we're constantly pushing rapid urbanization, this thought of giving back to the community and society through running is very refreshing and definitely something that should continue to be promoted.
Pushing your boundaries
Ultra marathon runner Matt Williamson shares in Endurance: Ultra Marathon,what the human body is capable of regardless of age and from the personal stories last night, it was apparent (as cliché as it probably sounds), you can do whatever you want as long as you set your mind to it. Regardless of distance and elevation, trail running builds endurance because of its unpredictability - its hard to predict how we'll feel at different legs of a race and definitely harder to predict the effect of weather conditions on the terrain. Interestingly, this unpredictability is a lot like life and trail running cultivates a sense of resilience and a motivation to push one's boundaries regardless of what is ahead of them.
There's so much beauty all around us
The night brought us all over the world - through the Patagonian mountains to the San Juan's of Colorado, along the rugged mountains of Spain and France, to the varied terrain found in Iceland while all the while bringing it back to own backyard, the gorgeous trails found in British Columbia. It was a visually breathtaking night and would be an understatement if I said it did not make me want to get out there and explore nature's most prized wonders. Most importantly, it made me think about how trail running can bring us closer to nature and ourselves as we continue to explore.
My biggest takeaway from last night would probably be the question, "When was the last time I tried something new". When was the last time I tried something new? Allison Tai, a Vancouver-based Ironman Triathlete had proposed that question at the end of her presentation and I am going to make a mental note to keep it at the back of my mind as I continue to run and explore the trails around the world!