Just like hiking footwear, finding the right trail running shoes is so important. You are on your feet for hours on end, they are top-loaded with every ounce of weight from your body and gear, and they work the hardest to stabilize you over every root and rock you encounter along the trail. Thankfully my journey to find ones that work for me was short as I fell in love with my On Running Cloudventure Peak trail running and racing shoes just a few months after I started running.
In summer of 2018 I decided I wanted to be a trail runner after meeting some people who were tackling two huge trails in a just a few hours that would have taken me two, if not three days to complete hiking (you can listen to my whole story in an episode of the Trail Running Women podcast by Hilary Spires). I’ve never been a runner but I was so inspired and set on doing it so in January of 2019 I started running. I started on the road, running 10 and 1s for just a few kms at 7+ mins/km, and gradually built up my distance and pace over a couple months until I felt comfortable enough to try tackling a flat trail. I found some amazing runner friends in the Ladies of the Trails Facebook group, and was immediately hooked.
The love and interest grew quickly and the next thing I knew, I was training for my very first trail run: the Coast Mountain Trail Series Cap Crusher. Put on the famous Gary Robbins, I decided to start small with the 12km. It was at this point I knew I needed to get serious about this new hobby, learn about how it all works and what I needed.
The shoes I was wearing were super uncomfortable on any terrain that wasn’t soft, so I wanted a more adaptable shoe that could handle the varied terrain we have here in the PNW. I tried on numerous different brands and styles and fell in love with the On Cloudventure Peaks. They were super lightweight (only 210 grams), yet were super cushy and had the technical grip I needed to stay secure. Like their saying, I really felt like I was running on clouds in them. After just a couple short months trail running, I was suddenly able to run 5 minute kilometres flat, and tackle more and more distance with ease.
Training through the winter meant lots of rain and snow and ice. While these shoes aren’t waterproof, I learned I loved that feature because the water seeps out instead of pooling in the shoe. With the thin material of the shoe, they don’t get heavy when wet, and dry out super quickly.
Since my first trail race in March, I went all-in and registered for a super ambitious race in the fall, another CMTS race called WAM (Whistler Alpine Meadows) and my very first ultra marathon. 55 km and 2800 metres elevation gain, it was WAAAAAAYYYYY more than I’d ever done running or even hiking so it felt so out of my league but I figured, what the heck, YOLO!
Training then got serious and my shoes got me through it all. From gentle rolling hills like Three Brothers in Manning Park, to more technical and distance runs like 42km to Mamquam Lake and back, they handled everything I threw at them like a champ.
Learn more at on-running.com
Learn more at on-running.com