Are you a MUT runner? Are you not sure? Do you want to be?
Well, what exactly is a MUT runner, you may ask. MUT stands for mountain/ultramarathon/trail. This covers a wide range of running, but it brings together a very unique group of runners. The MUT running community is like no other. You will see people of all different socioeconomic backgrounds at these events. What we all share is a love for running trails, cheering each other on and enjoying each other's company.
This year I had the pleasure to introduce some friends and fellow runners to trail and mountain running. We ran the 1791 Trail Run at Berwick Academy, the Exeter Day 5K Trail Run, Mount Washington Road Race, the Loon Mountain Race, the Cranmore Hill Climb (which also served as the USATF Mountain Running Championship race this year), the Exeter Trail Race and the Kingman Farm Trail Race. Before the year's over, we'll run some more too. As you can see from the races listed, the variation is pretty significant from the Exeter Day 5K Trail Run which was run on double track, non-technical trails to the Exeter Trail Race which was run on single track and technical trails to a race up the auto road (paved and dirt) to the highest peak in the Northeast.
The overwhelming response has been along the lines of "That was great, I can't wait to run more trail (or mountain) races!" When asked about their impressions, they all said that it is so much different than road racing. You might think, of course it is! However, it's not just the difference of running on trails, dodging roots and rocks and being out in nature. It also has quite a bit to do with the atmosphere and our fellow runners.
The MUT running community is very supportive of each other. Yes, people still compete, but just as quickly someone will stop to help you or talk you through a difficult part of the race if you're struggling. We gather around the finish line waiting for the final runners and cheer for them as they cross the line. Typically, it doesn't end there. These races are usually followed by hanging out and talking with fellow runners. As with many races, you start to recognize more and more people, but you also become more and more a part of the community.
Next year I'm hoping to introduce some of these runners (and some new ones) to 'U' of MUT running. There are some great local ultramarathons, and I know that they (and you) would have a blast running them! And maybe we'll become "mountain goats" along the way (check out the USATF-New England MUT mountain series).
If you've thought about MUT running or this sounds interesting to you, let us know. Zosha Training can introduce you to the trails and an entirely new experience. Get in touch with us now to talk about how to get started.
We look forward to hearing from you ... happy trails!