My first Trail Run … ever!

By travelleranto on 2013.09.02 In general update trailrunning veluwe

Did you ever hear of trail running before? Well, I didn’t, at least not until a couple of months ago. Sure, I had heard about people running the Kepler Track in New Zealand in 5 hours (instead of the 3 days we took haha) and witnessed people running up the Ben Nevis instead of hiking up, but I never thought of it as something that would become popular rapidly in The Netherlands…foto (2)

In addition to the 3-4 weekly classes I attend at the gym I attempt to run. Somehow, running and I have never been great pals. I find it extremely boring and have a hard time motivating myself to go. But as it’s easy to do and helps getting in better shape, I’ve been trying. Just before going to the USA last June I injured my ankle and didn’t run for almost 3 months. Last Friday I tried again for the first time since May and once again I was so bored. The lap I do is pretty nice, along the Rhine and between the cows but just making the same movement on and on for 30 minutes is just not my thing and I am always so glad it’s over.

So while enjoying a glass of good wine with a friend last Saturday night and talking about running (she is extremely motivated) I decided to spice up my running routine and head out to the woods instead. It’s just a 15 minute drive and named one of the biggest “wilderness” areas in The Netherlands. foto (4)It’s called the Veluwe and has quite some elevation change, for Dutch standards, as well as plenty of trails that would be suitable for running. The Veluwe exists of 2 national parks, Veluwezoom and Hoge Veluwe. For the first one, where I went to, you don’t have to pay an entrance fee so it’s perfect for outdoor activities. OK, it’s nothing compared to the rest of the world but still, it’s better than living in the Dutch polders where there’s no hills or woods at all, just grassy lands and cows… like many other places in our country.

So on Sunday morning I got up early and while I got dressed in my running gear I couldn’t help but think “what the hell am I gonna do”… I picked a trail, decided it shouldn’t be too long because of the ankle and just went for it. And guess what … I loved it! While breathing in fresh air, hearing birds whistle their tunes and greeting foto (5)other early birds like they were my best friends, I enjoyed myself so much. Sure, it was exhausting (just a little) and it was way different with focussing and movements and I was out of breath within 5 minutes, but man, I felt soooo good afterwards. No more boring asphalt tracks and dragging myself out of the house, running at the Veluwe it is from now on! Shame it’s a 15 minute drive and I don’t have a car at my doorstep all the time, but maybe one day, when I feel up to it, I’ll cycle to the woods, run my track and cycle back.

Some might call it running in the woods. I prefer to call it trail running. It makes it sound more outdoor-ish … and if I am right, it will be the next big thing in The Netherlands and I can say I did it way before the trails get really crowded and trail running suddenly is THE thing to do (the Dutch are very sensitive for hypes, it seems like).

Next up … the Airborne Walk this weekend in Oosterbeek, the world’s biggest 1 day walking event. Not sure if I’ll do 25 or 40 km … will keep you posted!

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nice to meet you

My name is Antonette (Anto) and I’m a 30-something outdoor fan living in The Netherlands. Traveling is my passion (hence the username travelleranto) and I like to spend my journeys the active way, mostly by hiking and camping.

If I’m not on the way, I work as a product manager for a Dutch tour operator specialized in natural destinations, such as Alaska, Argentina and Iceland. When not in the outdoors or behind an office desk, I enjoy writing (for my own site but also some Dutch websites), photography and reading.

twitter: travelleranto