Introducing Trails To A Newcomer
By Alexis Mercer
I recently have had the pleasure of getting to know Maddie Roman, the youngest staff member at Newaygo High School. She is a recent graduate of Michigan State University and filling the two year role of College Adviser for our students. She happens to be a runner, so she has been assisting with my cross country team.
Maddie is originally from the East side of the state, Metro Detroit area. Her parents still live there and she will go home occasionally on weekends to log miles with her dad, who is a die hard runner as well. She used to run on campus at MSU, often getting up early on Saturday mornings to seek the peace of the streets before the hustle and bustle began.
I grew up in an area much like Newaygo, so it was a comfortable transition for me when I moved here, but she is completely unfamiliar with all Newaygo County has to offer. So I’ve been introducing Maddie to trails in our area to log her miles while she lives in Newaygo County.
We run trails in White Cloud, Newaygo, and Fremont. I’ve introduced her to the North Country Trail and other less traveled paths.
“It’s so quiet here,” she said.
“I know. Isn’t it amazing?” I reply.
She loves everything about the trails, the serenity they offer, and the lack of pounding on the pavement that can be abrasive to a runner’s legs.
Getting to introduce Maddie to the trails in Newaygo County has only rekindled my love for this area. While many parts of the country have wooded areas, not all those parts have actual groomed trails to enjoy.
This time of year, in particular, is my favorite for trail running. Milder temperatures, leaves starting to turn vibrant colors, the occasional rainstorm to cool me off, and deer bounding in front of me as I come across them in the woods.
I wish I could explain the feeling of running on the trails to those who aren’t runners. But I find that in order to really understand the peace, you have to experience it first hand.
If you’re in the county the last weekend of September, you can enjoy the trails in a family (and dog) friendly race or walk. The Independent Bank Blue Blaze Trail Run will include a 10 miler, 10k, 5k or 1 Mile family/dog walk on the North Country Trail. Details can be found on the River Country Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page.
And if you pass Maddie or me on the trails this fall or winter, you’ll know because we will be the runners wearing Newaygo Cross Country gear and peaceful smiles on our faces.
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