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Things trail runners don’t have to deal with

Being a trail runner certainly has its perks

If you’re a trail runner, you might find road running to be very annoying. There are a lot of things that road runners have to worry about, like traffic, fellow pedestrians and much more. There are definitely things that runners need to be ready for on the trails, too, but the road is a very busy place. Here are some of the most annoying things that road runners have to put up with on a regular basis. 


Cars are everywhere. If you’re running on the side of the road, you’re essentially putting your safety in the hands of drivers. You can do everything possible to be safe, but if a driver is texting or distracted, they could give you a scare (or worse). There are also those drivers who hate runners, for some reason. Maybe they had a traumatic experience in gym class many years ago during the beep test or in cross-country, and they vowed to never run again. Whatever the case may be, there are some drivers out there who do, in fact, see runners, but choose not to give them any room on the side of the road. To the drivers out there who do respect runners, you’re good people and we appreciate it. 

RELATED: 12.5 reasons trail running is better than road running


Yes, you may encounter wild dogs on the trails, but they tend to stay away from humans. Domesticated dogs, on the other hand, aren’t afraid of people, and if they see you running by their homes on the road, they might decide to chase after you. If you do happen to come across a domesticated dog on the trails, they’re probably leashed or very well-behaved (otherwise their owner probably wouldn’t have let them run free), so you have nothing to worry about. 

Stop lights 

There’s nothing worse than being in the zone on a run only to be forced out of it when you have to stop at a light. You stop your watch, you stand there awkwardly and by the time you’re allowed to cross the street, you’re out of that groove from before. On the trails, you can stay dialled in for as long as you want, whether that’s 30 minutes or eight hours, and you get to decide when you want to stop. 

RELATED: By the numbers: ITRA’s report on trail running in 2020

Boring routes 

Some road routes can be fun, but a lot are just repetitive, and after a few minutes of running, you can get bored. When you’re running on the trails, you have to be focused, or you could trip and fall. This keeps you engaged and alert throughout your entire run. 

Foot traffic 

Trails have certainly gotten busier during COVID-19, but there can be days when you go for a run and never see another person on the trail. On the roads, especially in cities, you have to dodge walkers and other runners on the sidewalks. This is just tedious, and if it’s super busy, you really won’t get much of a workout. 

RELATED: 6 reasons to become a trail runner

“Run, Forrest, run!” 

Everyone on the trails is there for the same reason as you: they like to hike, run, mountain bike or just be in nature. When you’re on the road, those people from before — the ones who don’t like runners — will decide to shout things like, “Run, Forrest, run!” at you as you pass by, which is, of course, hilarious and so original. You won’t hear anything like that on the trails. Instead, you just get a nice “Hello” from everyone you pass. 

We aren’t saying the trails are better than the road, but there are definitely some perks to running in the woods. 

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