Trail Running in Kodiak

Former US Marine runs with a camera

I served in the Marines for 11 years until February 2016. It was tough for me to transition to civilian life, but I found a way to adjust and find my old self. I’ve embraced trail running since moving back to my hometown of Kodiak, Alaska.

The decision to pick up running is usually motivated by a desire to get out of the house, lose weight, or stay fit. So when running we tend to speed along trails, chasing goals—like a certain mileage to reach or pace to maintain. Sometimes we blindly overlook the magnificent world created for us.

trail running in kodiak

It does not have to be that way.

Just lifting your chin up a bit and turning your head slightly to the left or right from time to time can reveal great rewards. Slowing down or stopping will not hurt you in any way. Just think of it as a short breather that allows your eyes and mind to bask in the amazing scenery.

I am not a professional who can maintain a fast pace and I have no desire to become a great runner. I just love running. Whenever I am out on a trail, my head is on a swivel and my eyes are constantly moving, searching for hazards or dangers that may be lurking behind distant trees and bushes. At the same time my mind is looking for great photo opportunities.

trail running in kodiak

Become a creative runner by allowing nature to soak into your soul: the snapping of branches that you step on, the swaying trees blowing in the wind, birds chirping off in the distance, even the squirrel that suddenly scurries away, scaring the crap out of you. Cherish these moments for the rest of your life.

trail running in kodiak

Most runners carry their cell phones, which these days are all equipped with a decent camera. There is nothing wrong with pausing to take photos while you run, or even with making others jealous enough to go out and one-up you. It’s a friendly challenge, because at the end of the day you each got out of the house, ran, and shared your community’s beauty. You might even regain yourself—like I did. So go ahead. Stop, click, capture and run on!

by Pancho Valladolid



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