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The Unspoken Rules of Being a Badass: A Runner's Guide

Mountain Lions, Creeps, and Bears…Oh My!

I have access to “civilized” trails close to where I live. There are probably 20 miles of single track & fire road in a park that’s bordered by 2 freeways, a local airport, and the town I grew up in. They are used by hikers, horseback riders, mountain bikers, and runners. There are even water fountains and bathrooms just yards off the trail. The only critters you’re likely to see in there are coyotoes, squirrels, rabbits, skunks, ducks, and birds – nothing scary. They are practically perfect in every way…except elevation. It’s all hills but there are no long, extended mountains to climb. For that, I would need to hit the trails that go up into the San Gabriel Mountains. Which I happen to live in the foothills of! Lucky Me!

Or it would be lucky me if I wasn’t so nervous about running them alone. I could get lost! I could run into a mountain lion or a bear! Or a rattlesnake! Wait, that already happened. Still it has to be safer than running on the street, right? At least there wouldn’t be cars.

Anyway, I was curious to see what other thought was safer (running trails vs running streets) so I tweeted a poll on Twitter yesterday. “Which do you think is safer, trails or streets? Why?”. I only asked women at first until I was scolded for discriminating against the guys. Sorry about that! All in all, 22 people responded and these are the results:

 Streets: 15

Trails: 7

I can’t say I’m surprised that more people picked streets. Are you?

Most of the reasons people chose streets was because of visibility, light, more people (“witnesses” – scary thought!), and surer footing. One person said “I sometimes worry that if I collapsed in a trail nobody would find me” and another said “trails is where the witches, zombies and werewolf’s live”. Although I would think you’d have to watch out for zombies more on the streets than the trails. ;)

The biggest reason that people chose trails over the street was because there are no cars but also because there are fewer people and it’s “too early for creeps”. And the consensus was that you would meet more like-minded adventure people on the trail than some random joe/jane.

How would I vote? I would vote for My Trails over the streets but I’d vote for streets over the mountain trails. I’ll work up the courage to hit them though. I swear. :)

Which side of the fence do you fall on? Would you rather run on the trails or the street? Do you run trails at night? Have you run into any wildlife? Any advice for newbies hitting the trails for the first time?

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This post was written by:

- who has written 717 posts on Run It Fast®.

Lisa (RIF Club Member #5) has completed 27 half marathons, 13 marathons, 5 50Ks, 2 12 Hour races, and 1 100K. Her favorite races to date are the Disneyland Half Marathon, the Leading Ladies Marathon, the Bataan Memorial Death March, and the Jackson Jackass 50K. You can follow her on Twitter @runlikeacoyote

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