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Trail running after 50: the older the better

Trail running made Carol Green of Squamish, BC realize that she just gets better with age

Up until her 60s, Carol Green was not a runner, but a motorcyclist. She and her husband would spend long days in the saddle exploring the world by bike. At 63 years old, Green trained hard and ran her first half-marathon at the 2011 Surrey Marathon. Two years later, she won her age group at the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon. Despite her success on the road, Green soon transitioned to trails, and found her calling. 

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Running in Squamish

Right before her 65th birthday, Green ran her first 10K trail race at Mount Seymour in North Vancouver, BC. She won her age category, and ran toward even bigger challenges. To celebrate her 70th birthday, she ran the Golden Ultra Half Pint three-day stage race in Golden, BC. It was her longest and biggest trail adventure yet, but she can’t wait to go back. “I was surrounded by enthusiastic and encouraging young women the entire time. It was hard, but it was a blast and I am so glad I did it. I would like to take another run at the Golden Ultra Half Pint now that I know what to expect, and I would like to train harder for it. Plus, they’ve changed the course to the other side of the valley, so I want to see the new course!”

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Like any trail runner, Green has experienced setbacks. Seven kilometres into the 5 Peaks Alice Lake Enduro race, she broke her ankle. She hobbled two kilometres back to the start line, and was in recovery for seven weeks. Still, Green makes time to get outside and into the trails as much as possible. Whether she is running, hiking, or walking the dog on her local trails in Squamish, BC she is passionate about staying active and pursuing challenges. Green’s trail running experience has benefitted other areas of her life, especially motorcycling. Training and racing on the trails have helped her strength, balance, and endurance for those long days on the bike.

With the inspiration and guidance from her daughter Solana Green, she is always keen to explore new and old routes. “Last summer, Solana took me to Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park, which was a bucket list destination for me. After 30K round-trip, my longest trail run to-date, and the most demanding, I was exhausted, but I finished with a giant smile on my face. I’d also like to explore more of the backcountry spots that Solana loves visiting.” 

Running makes the 71-year old feel young and free. Green plans on continuing to seek out new and fun activities and adventures. When people see her high up in the mountains or at trail races, they express how inspired they are. She humbly believes that “life is short, and it’s up to each of us how we best spend it. I sure don’t feel my age or very inspiring.”

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