How not to train for a long run in the mountains

By Russell Hodgins

  1. Travel to Saskatoon.
  2. Forget to bring your hydration pack.
  3. Also forget to bring a water bottle.
  4. Be short on time and tell yourself you can’t go pick up a bottle of fluid.
  5. Go for a long run on the amazing trails that travel along the riverbank.
  6. Be thankful that it was a cool day and then return extremely dehydrated.
  7. Drink any fluid you can find for the next 24 hours.

The run started on the paved trails at the University of Saskatchewan and very quickly, there’s an option to get off road. What followed was a series of well packed dirt trails in a rollercoaster of ups and downs. There were multiple trails so at times, I climbed up to enjoy the views and then dropped down to the river flats where I was running in the sand. The turnaround point was at the Peggy McKercher Conservation Area and just before that, is an excellent mountain bike trail that travels near the top of the river valley before dropping down and looping back closer to the river. Closer to the city, I met several people out walking their dogs along with some very courteous bike riders. Farther out, it was mostly people with backpacks getting ready for summer outings I assumed.

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Just before the Conservation Area, my wanderings had me on deer trails but the better option would have been to stay on the actual trails.

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Never let common sense and good judgement get in the way of a nice run! A huge thank you to the people of Saskatoon who keep these trails in such good shape.

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