Looking to up your trail running game this year and gain some bragging rights? Set yourself a personal challenge with the GRIT (Go Run Idaho Trails) Trail Series, which was first completed in 2021. The GRIT series, put on by Priest Lake Multisports, has three levels: the Short-Cut, the Long-Cut, and the Grand-Cut. You decide the distance and then register for individual races within that distance.
The collection of North Idaho trail and off-road races include Race the Wolf (June 25-26), Dig Your Grave Trail Marathon (July 30), The Smokechaser 30k (Sept. 10), and the Priest Lake 50k, Priest Lake Marathon, or Priest Lake Half-Marathon (all happening Oct. 1). There’s no additional fee for running in the series, and points are assigned for completion, not your time.
“Our passion for trail running comes from a lifetime of running road races, triathlons, and other endurance events,” says race director Ken Eldore. “Participating in a trail race or off-pavement course means trading the traffic and crowds for fresh mountain air, scenic views, and seeing some occasional wildlife. It’s an enriching experience for those who like to challenge themselves outdoors.”
New to a trail race series? Eldore recommends taking a slower approach to training, incorporating interval training, and building in longer runs. This can help you focus on strength and will minimize the risk of injury.
And don’t train or race in road running shoes. Finally, just focus on the finish, not the clock.
North Idaho Trail Running: Along Priest Lake (left), Photo: Fiona Hicks. // Race the Wolf trail race on Schweitzer Mountain (right), Photo courtesy Schweitzer.