I was still rehabbing an injury and had just finished my personal worst 50K. Humbled by the mountains outside of Malibu and still nursing an injured hip, I was sharing beers with friends of a friend when a tanned, blonde Californian said this to me. It was one of the most offensive things anyone has ever said to me after a race:
“So this was your first trail race.”
“No,” I responded, “I’ve done a bunch, including two 100s.”
“Yeah, but you don’t have, like, real trails out East.”
Real trails? Really? I have about 125 miles of very real trails to run in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP), just a short drive from my front door. Cleveland also boasts an extensive MetroParks system consisting of more than 23,000 acres of parks and hundreds of running as well as newly added mountain bike trails.
As we’ve said before, Cleveland is a tough city with tough runners. We have a strong elite development group and hundreds of local races, amazing local running stores and a running group for every runner to find a home.
And the trail community surrounding Cleveland is no different.