You and a whole lot of Mother Nature

There’s this woman that blows my mind! She’s beautiful, majestic, kind, sometimes not so kind - but still beautiful through her anger... when I need some TLC she’s there providing only the best; I love her, Mother Nature!

Trail Running has been around for years, however not recognised as a top sport until recent times. There have been many great names in the trail game that 90% of trail runners don’t even know of – Pablo Vigil. Before our fancy shoes he was around running in bowling shoes or shoes he got in the Junk Mail for 50 cents, winning the Serrie-Zinal from 1979 to 1982 – the only man to do this still to date! The Serrie-Zinal is a 31km, 1600m accent from the get go, from there it’s a fast paced decent with technical trail in one of Mother Nature’s best... The Swiss Alps. My coach talks about him all the time, I often think “shit if I hear that name again...” however after reading up about the man (not by choice, by my coach looking over my shoulder making sure I read every word out loud), I’ve come to realise how it was his love and passion for trail running that got him that amazing record. No training plan’s, no coach, no fancy shoes – just him wanting to run in Mother Nature’s beauty! That’s what my coach was trying to get through to me (his English isn’t too great either), that I must love every run because it’s a gift.

So is this why the average times of the modern era are slightly slower than that of the older era? Yes sure times are faster by your top 3, but not by much... what if we gave Pablo a great nutritional plan and some fancy shoes – on top of that love he has for Mother Nature? We have forgotten Mother Nature and made Trail Running just another run, instead of enjoying her beauty! Killian Jornet is now our new Pablo – there’s something that separates him from the rest of his field... ah... it’s the pure love of Mother Nature, his enjoyment to be out there and nowhere else. You see it in his Instagram pictures and his constant posts about the different trails and adventures he finds himself on. For our local boys I see it in Ryan Sandes – the only athlete in the world to win all four desert trails, that’s quite an achievement and love for Mother Nature.

I love Trail Running, I’ve had some truly awesome runs and adventures – from a nonchalant sign saying “Just be aware of the Rhinos” then the Rhino mock charging me (I’ve never run so hard for a tree in my life), to getting hopelessly lost and finding some beautiful new trail in the process. If you looking for an escape from the hustle of city life; we are abundantly blessed in South Africa, where a 15min drive gets you to run on some of the most stunning trails in the world – away from the city life! Just make sure to take those nonchalant signs seriously...

Mother Nature can be unkind sometimes, raining hard and making life difficult, I ran a race in Yellow Sands which is in the Eastern Cape – I finished the race looking like I had just done an Obstacle Course Race. I took two falls... one trying out some gymnastics and almost sticking a backflip for a 9/10 on humour, but 1/10 for grace; the other I slid on my stomach for about 5m before a tree thought it would help out and stop me. I was pretty battered and bruised with a giant smile on my face! I loved every second of it! So don’t let the weather deter you from going on that trail run, however be safe and take it a few notches slower, just increase the distance and enjoy the beauty all around you.

Now remember when you wake up feeling tired and plan on sleeping in – Mother Nature is waiting, so don’t let her down, go out and enjoy what Mother Nature is giving you – she is one beautiful woman, with a lot to offer if you willing to go find it!

My name, Jason, my surname, Friedman... I love running trail with my mistress – Mother Nature...

Author: Ninja Pigeon A.K.A Beast Boy... or just Jason Friedman