What is the Spartan Trail? They are off-road races, no obstacles, with lengths of 10, 21 and 50 kilometers. If you complete all three races in one year, you complete a special trailfecta.
Okay, let's look at this a little more. Personally, I very much welcomed the arrival of this discipline, because as a long-time participant of Spartan Races, I very fondly remember the longer running passages that are an integral part of the Beast tracks. I considered that to be my “rest” time, both physically and mentally. When one sees road ahead, with no obstacles, hears no ominous sounds of pulleys, etc., it is often the best thing that can come at the time. Shut down and enjoy the run. This isn’t anything groundbreaking that you didn't already know from training. But here it has something extra. First of all, the atmosphere, that one can only find at a Spartan event, whether it is Trail, Sprint, Ultra, or even a Hurricane Heat. Another reason is the venue, or the opportunity to run in interesting places that you normally wouldn’t.
Last but not least, it’s also about meeting people. If you've been in this sport for a while, I’m sure you’ve made friends from your time at the races, and you're sure to see some of them on the Trail.
So that's a general list of why, at least I think, it makes sense to do the Trail occasionally along with your regular OCR. And it should also be noted that it is a very interesting experience to come there, complete everything, as in classic races and then start with the feeling that you will not encounter a single obstacle until the finish line and you will not have to do a single Burpee. Everyone I have had the honor of talking to on this topic agreed that the feeling is very strange. This is not meant in any negative way at all and it is well worth the experience. Not to mention that the mood on the track is noticeably lighter. Finally, Trail has the motto "just you and nature". And I think it's very apt in the context of other actions from the Spartan offerings.
Looking at this year's calendar, I would like to highlight 2 particular races. The first one is upcoming soon in Děčín. Anyone who was in Tanvald last year will definitely confirm that the winter Trail there had a magical atmosphere. I'm curious how it will look like in Děčín, I’m expecting something similar. Compared to Tanvald, it is also possible to choose a half-marathon distance, which is great news. All the more so because this discipline does not appear very often in the calendar, so if anyone is thinking about completing their Trailfecta, they should definitely not miss the 21K in Děčín. This is your one shot to run this on the territory of the Czech Republic.
The second race, or the race weekend is in mid-July in Slovakia. At the moment I have my sights set on a 50 km race which I think is a great warm up for the Ultra which is a month and a half from this weekend. That's plenty of time to fine-tune the details before the toughest race of the season. The long track, racing setup and summer conditions will be a great test.
There are of course more Trail races on the calendar, most of which are 10 kilometers long. Each of them can then be a great gateway for newcomers who would like to taste the atmosphere, would like to become active participants and would like to snag their first Trail medal. In that case, I highly recommend signing up.
Thinking back to the times when I picked up a few injuries from racing that kept me from racing for a while. At that time, there was a great desire to compete, but with the state of health, it was not an option. What I would have given at that time to have the opportunity to have "at least" the Trail.
So those are my few reasons why this discipline is beautiful and interesting. What is your experience?
See you on the TRAIL! AROO!