This summer Jans decided to try something a little different. We created Wednesday Night Trail Runs as a way to bring the Park City running community together. A natural extension of the Jans Tuesday and Thursday Night Group Mountain Bike Rides, the weekly trail runs serve as a central meeting point for a running community that is sometimes overlooked with Park City’s focus on biking and skiing. So we wanted to show the trail runners a little love in the hope that Jans could be a place that they could go to meet like-minded runners and have more fun.
Who Leads the Trail Runs?
In order to make the Wednesday Night Trail Runs happen, Jans turned to team member, Patrick Coffey who “likes to geek out” on trail running. Recently named the White Pine Nordic Director, Patrick’s first love is cross country skiing, as evidenced by the fact that he used to coach the U.S. Biathlon Team in Lake Placid, New York.
While there, Patrick took up trail running in the Adirondacks, the largest state park in the country. With no shortage of trails, Patrick discovered that, “running gave me the brain space to process coaching because of the solitary nature of it. Trail running is simplified,” he says. “You just need shoes and some time.”
And even though Patrick himself is a self-professed trail running junkie, it’s not just about the running. “I strongly encourage people to come in and ask about nutrition. For example, “not cramping up during races is the difference between a great day and a long day,” cautions Patrick.
Do I Have To Be a Racer?
Since moving to Park City a year ago, Patrick has participated in some of the most notorious local trail races, including the Jupiter Steeplechase and the Park City Marathon. But that doesn’t mean folks taking part in the Jans trail runs need to have the same aspirations. “I don’t train and I don’t use the “T” word,” smiles Patrick. “While I specialize in long distance trail running, racing isn’t a focus. It’s just a good motivator for me.”
As a result, he designs the weekly trail runs to appeal to runners of all levels, especially those intimidated by the sport. “The point is not to go fast, but to clear your head, be out in the woods and go home with a smile on your face,” says Patrick.
How Do I Join In the Trail Runs?
Since all of the Wednesday Night Trail Runs are free, they require nothing more than to meet at the Jans store on Park Avenue at 6pm ready for a 4-6 mile run. Patrick’s favorite loop has been taking Jenni’s Trail up, running across Crescent Mine Grade, down Eagle to Spiro and back to Jans, but trail selections vary weekly.
The remaining runs for the season are scheduled for September 25th, October 2nd, 9th and 16th (weather permitting.) Participants should wear wicking layers that are comfortable and temperature appropriate. Trail running shoes are preferred over traditional running shoes since, “you’ll have a much more pleasant experience with trail specific shoes,” says Patrick.
And don’t forget to bring along water. A traditional hydration pack is always great, but if you’d like something lighter, hand water bottle carriers like the CamelBak Quick Grip are a nice alternative. This carrier includes a 21 oz. Podium Chill Bottle that keeps your water nice and cool throughout the run. For a hands-free, lightweight option consider the CamelBak Arc 2 Belt which holds two 10 oz. bottles around your waist.
So take advantage of the cool fall temperatures and join us on one of Jans weekly trail runs. You’ll get a good workout, meet some new people and maybe discover a favorite new running route.
Liz Yokubison, Senior Editor