On the Run
Enjoying the Mountains by Foot
Photography: Dev Khalsa
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A ski coach once told me I needed to work hard to play hard. That was the summer I started running. Any runner will tell you, it’s an addictive sport. Running is even more appealing given the incredible access to trails throughout the Wood River Valley. Extensive paved pathways and single track dirt trails offer an opportunity to explore our mountain community. Running is a great way to stay active, engage with community, and achieve athletic goals. There’s an energizing sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction that comes from a good run. And, it’s one of the best ways to stay in shape for skiing.
The well-developed trail system throughout the Wood River Valley offers extensive single track trail and paved path running. Miles of opportunity enliven the running season.
“The number one thing I love about running is running on the trails,” says Ryan Still, a Ketchum-based distance runner. “When I’m out there, I forget I’m even running because it’s so beautiful.”
With incredible mountain views, stretches of alpine wildflowers, and the occasional wildlife spotting, trail runs are less about the clock and more about getting outside. Favorite trails for runners include the Adams Gulch and Fox Creek area trails north of Ketchum, and Trail Creek trails near Sun Valley.
Whether you are just trying to get into shape or seriously training, trail running offers a good workout.
“The best thing people can do (to train for races) is run on the trails,” says Bob Rosso, owner of The Elephant’s Perch store in Ketchum. “The trails do the work for you. It’s a varied workout.”
Running on the soft dirt surface puts less impact on the body. Hills build leg muscle strength, and natural obstacles, like rocks and roots, require that you pick up your feet and have good balance.