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Trail Running Etiquette

Trail RACING Etiquette

For those looking to compete in a trail race, here are just a few additional tips of trail racing etiquette...


  • Thank the volunteers. This should go without saying. Trail Races DONT happen without volunteers. They get up earlier than you, wait out in the heat or cold, or hike a couple miles to an aid station.
  • Help a fellow racer in need. One of the greatest parts of trail running is how remote it may become, but that can also be a burden if a runner is having trouble. So don't hesitate to put the runner first if they are in need.
  • Support other trail runners. Anyone out on the trails is there to have some fun and experience the outdoors like you. So support them as you pass them, or as they pass you. "ENCOURAGMENT!"

If you are new to trail running or a runner that just wants a trail refresher, we are here to help. Believe it or not, there are not a lot of "written" rules to this sport, and most can be considered  "social", and extend into a number of running circles worldwide. So next time you are headed to the trails, here is a list of things to assist you in your adventure:


  • ​Follow posted trail signs, and do NOT go into areas that are restricted or closed.
  • Stay on the trails. this will help protect all the surrounding habitat
  • ​Yield the "right of way" to slower runners. Step off the trail and allow enough room for others to pass.
  • ​Stay to the Right, and pass on the left.
  • ​Leave no trace. Meaning, "Please don't litter". Ever! It's bad for the environment, takes away from the experience for others, and could be harmful to animals
  • ​Low Volume Music. If you are running on the trails with headphones, keep the volume low enough to be able to hear what is going on around you
  • ​Don't be a Trail hog. If running with a group of runners, don't run with more than 2 abreast.
  • ​Always be aware of your surroundings. Knowing what is going on around you is very important.
  • ​Safety before ego. Meaning don't bite off more than you can chew. Be mindful of the trail terrain, weather conditions, etc..
  • ​Don't approach wildlife. Live and let live. Wildlife doesn't want you to mess with them, and you definitely don't want them to mess with you.
  • ​Be Friendly. One of the biggest draws to trail running is the "community" of outdoor lovers. Continue to build it and welcome others, even if it just a wave or nod.

Just a few items you may experience that are much different than racing on the road:


  • Mud... lots of it!
  • ​Uneven terrain, and lots of rocks
  • ​Plenty of extra miles, or sometimes not enough
    • ​​In trail running you can only go where the trails take you. Sometimes the trails are a little short, and sometimes adding a extra .5 to add in a visible turnaround point or aid station is worth it to the volunteers, runners, and race crew
  • ​Poor or missed course markings. Unfortunately this happens from time to time.
  • ​Congested singletrack

New Trail RACERS, this one's for you...