Last week, we spoke with Emma Neigel, a member of Canada’s 2019 NACAC Mountain Running Championships team, to get her best advice for runners who are thinking of venturing out on the trails for the first time this summer. Today we’re back with more tips, this time from her mountain running teammate and Speedgoat Vertical Mile record-holder, Karley Rempel.
Originally from the Niagara region of Ontario, Rempel showed early talent in running. She and her sister began training with the Niagara Olympic Club, and in high school, she competed in the 800, 1500, 3K and cross-country. During that time, she represented Canada at the IAAF junior XC championships in Poland, and after high school she went on to compete in track and cross-country at the University of North Carolina.
Upon graduation, Rempel moved to Boulder, Colo., where her competitive running career had to be put on pause thanks to a string of injuries. That is where she met her future husband, Andy Wacker, who was already an accomplished trail runner. He had competed on several mountain running teams, which brought him to some of the most beautiful running venues in the world.
“I decided that I wasn’t going to just sit around and wait while he raced a marathon through the Alps,” she says. “Besides, I needed to get my long run in. So I signed up for the half-marathon. Then I kept signing up for the shorter trail races wherever his races took him.”
Rempel’s biggest piece of advice for runners who are hitting the trails for the first time is to throw pace out the window. The varying terrain of trails may take you up and down hills, over rocks and through the mud, so you won’t be able to run the same pace that you would on the roads or track. Instead, she suggests ignoring your GPS watch, going by effort and simply allowing yourself to enjoy the scenery around you.