Snow What?

“If nobody ever said anything unless he knew what he was talking about, a ghastly hush would descend upon the earth.” – A. P. HerbertSnow Trail

My love of running in the snow increased with age, probably for the same reason I took up trail running–it’s easy on the knees. When I began trail running more than ten years ago, I noticed that the soft surfaces didn’t beat my knees up as much as running asphalt and other hard surfaces. I became an advocate of soft surface running, even wrote several articles promoting trail running.

Of course there is a caveat that goes along with running in the snow. The caveat is related to the sensibility quotient I mentioned in my last post, and admit is one of my weak spots. It should go without saying that running in the snow requires care with your footing. Sensible?Snow Trail

Snow Up aMany years ago I was running in the snow (actually a sheet of ice covered with snow) in Pennypack Park in northeast Philly and slipped, fell on my back, and slid about twenty feet before I veered off the trail and down a hill. Had I not grabbed a tree trunk, I would have slid out onto the creek. Four years ago I took a long run in the snow while I was rehabbing from knee surgery. My foot slipped and twisted in the uneven snow and ripped my newly trimmed meniscus. I had a second surgery later the same year.

The lesson from my silly disregard for my own safety is to watch your footing when running in the snow, and if you do you will be rewarded. First of all, snow is soft, and therefore easy on your knees. Second, the snow is bright, uplifting and refreshing. Finally, there is nothing more beautiful and peaceful than running a trail during, or right after a snowfall. If you are lucky enough to be the first on the trail, then in a sense you are running on virgin ground. What could be better?

There were many more humans on the trial today, a balmy thirty degrees, compared to the single digits of Thursday when I ran alone with hundreds of geese barking at me.

BuzzardsOn the way from the park I bumped into a couple of buzzards.

As a side note, the photos and video were shot with my iPhone. Tonight I read a post by a fellow-blogger and professional photographer, Rick Braveheart, about a device called the Olloclip that increases lens capabilities of the iPhone to shoot close-up and wide-angle shots. See The Great American Landscape for more information.


About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
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4 Responses to Snow What?

  1. These iPhone photos are great Jim, and that video of the geese was frosting on the cake. I felt like I was right there with you not only seeing but hearing the experience. It’s a great way to bring folks along to share in an experience and this was great fun. Thanks.


  2. Kyle Kuns says:

    A trail runner I met in Angeles Forest (who runs 100 mile Ultra Marathons) uses Kahtoola Microspikes to deal with the icy/slippery aspects of running in snow. I now use them on hikes where the snow isn’t deep enough to warrant snowshoes. Check them out, they are amazing.


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