"Fellow Trail Runners,
Is trail running losing its way?
There’s much discourse across the internet about the trail-running ethos becoming corroded.15% annual growth, accelerated by covid-19, we’re outpacing all other running segments. Eager newcomers Google “trail running” (809 billion hits if you were wondering). Are we prepared to teach them the ways of the trails? Will our culture become diluted, diminishing what we love most?
Growth is inevitable. It feels as though we are at a crossroads on how to manage. The values that we covet – that make our community different - are at risk of eroding, as are the trails.
At my local club, Trail Animals Running Club (TARC), a wise veteran of the sport told me, “You’ll join for the racing but stay for the community”. He was so right. Forty years later, I race less and seek ways to pay it forward – and back, especially to the environment. I’m not alone thankfully.
We’re an intuitive bunch and aren’t going to allow anything to fracture our community. Together, we embrace authentic, dispense disingenuous and hold tight to our values. We self-correct as a community, act with our feet and heart.
There’s room for everyone in our quirky and wonderful sport and our ethos isn’t going anywhere thank you very much.
Trail running losing its way?
ITRA is dedicated to welcoming runners from across the world, from the largest continent to the smallest village. We serve every trail runner. And are devoted to safeguarding our community values while growing our sport responsibly. Thank you for the privilege.
Be free. Run trails."
Bob Crowley, President of ITRA