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15 ways to know you’re a trail runner

The signs are unmistakable

So you’ve just bought your trail shoes and taken them on a test run in the forest. But how do you know if you are a real trail runner? Here are 15 common quirks of the trail running community.

1. You have more trucker hats than clean socks


2. You are tanned… until your post run shower.

Photo: Hollie Holden

3. You purchase food based on caloric density and/or cost per calorie

4. You consider power hiking and running the same sport. You won all the course records on Strava the other day. And it was a 12 min mile.

Knee Knacker trail run course profile

5. You don’t do this to look good. (Except for your beard, which is really good).


6. Instead of a medal collection, you have acquired an assortment of handmade crafts for race prizes.

Handmade artwork by Alexis Theroux as prizes for the Finlayson Arm 2018 trail race.

7. Getting dirty with your friends is an essential part of your training plan.

Photo: Hollie Holden

8. Your Subaru doubles as a shoe closet and a bedroom.

9. You plan your vacation time based on your race schedule and ‘runcations.’ Persuading the family to travel to Europe next summer is code for “I just registered for UTMB.”


10. A trailhead with an outhouse is your idea of luxury.

11. You can get lost driving in your hometown, yet meticulously navigate new trails in a blizzard. When you do get lost in the trails on a run, you question life’s existence.

12. You can talk about the consistencies of dirt and mud for hours. Dirt jargon is your love language.

13. Despite your excellent reflexes and ability to move on technical terrain, you still bail. 

14. FKT, AS, DNF, DNS trigger a range of emotions. 

15. Your craft beer intake is proportional to time spent on trails.

If 5 or more of the above points applies to you, then you may be a true trail runner.

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