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10 things I hate about trail running

10 things I hate about trail running
Trail running Sterkhorn Drakensberg

Via Instagram @romangal30

*A satirical ode to my one obsession in life.

Trail Running, what a boring, non-addictive sport, which I have hated doing for the last three or so years. Countless runners always ask themselves within the first couple kilometers why they do the sport… only to do it all over again the following day! This damn sport and I are involved in a bittersweet relationship which has me completely and utterly in its firm grasp.

It is in this addicted state that I list the top 10 things I ‘hate’ about trail running:

10. The Silence

The peacefulness and utter sound of… nothing. Nothing but nature and the wilderness that surrounds me. No cars, no street lights… I really and truly miss those exhaust fumes!

9. The Simplicity of Running

You need nothing else but a pair of shoes… that’s it. What a minimalistic sport… How I LONG to spend all those hundreds and thousands on bikes and equipment and gear and services etc. etc.!

Trail running Giba Gorge Durban

Via Instagram @romangal30

8. The Friendly Runners

Seriously?! I just don’t understand why a complete stranger would want to help me whilst we are all in ‘running mode’ and I just so happen to trip and fall over – and then it gets worse! We actually start becoming friends! Such an unfriendly bunch of people who I hate going on adventures with and talking to about nothing but running – BORING!

Trail running durban

Via Instagram @romangal30

7. Me-time

I hate the time that I get to spend with myself. How I am able to be one with myself and my thoughts, allowing me to de-stress and forget all my problems – even if it is just for an hour. Calming me after a hectic day and allowing me to be content with myself again… how dare this running phenomenon mess with my emotions like that.

6. Setting me Right for the Day

The early morning runs, the sleeping suburbs, the sunrises. Why oh why must you make me feel energised and ready for the day?? Feeling like I’m ready to conquer the world and all its troubles is NOT how I want to start the day.

5. The Journeys

The new places, the travels, the weekends away in the berg, the ADVENTURES that I would have never seen if it weren’t for the races that I’ve entered!!! Who even likes to explore and see new things anyway?

4. Healthier, Wealthier and Wiser

The ease of managing my weight, making me want to actually BE healthier – mentally and physically – because what you put in is what you get out. And let’s not forget that endorphin high… after every damn run…

3. The Sleep!

Trail running challenge

Via Instagram @romangal30

The amount of people I know who suffer from insomnia is frightening – and I don’t suffer from it at all. In fact, I know very few runners who actually do. I can only speak for myself here, but I blame my early morning running routine. All that energy expenditure just sets me up for a very peaceful night’s sleep… oh, how I hate the sleep.

2. The Challenge

Being able to set goals and push myself and my limits so that I can try to reach those retched goals. Why oh why did I have to be born such a competitive individual?!? Testing my will power, my mind power, my determination. I hate every moment spent testing my ability and amazing myself of what I am capable of.

1. The Unpredictability

Whizzing down hills, scrambling up mountains, dodging low branches, jumping over rocks, boulder-hopping, pushing and running so fast your lungs burn, running so hard your legs turn to jelly… what a bore. Everyone loves routine anyway, right?

No matter how many times the cons seem to outweigh the pros; no matter how many trail running ‘tattoos’ we earn while face-planting on route, no matter how many times we’ve had to outrun an encroaching storm or an escaped neighbourhood dog, we will ALWAYS lace up and head out that door.


Because we are trail runners. And we really do love to hate it.

trail running monks cowl

Via Instagram @romangal30

Natasha Papini

Blogger at UltraRunner ZA
Trail running junkie, workaholic, health nut - in that order!

To call me an "outdoorsy-person" is an understatement! I run to maintain sanity and see places normal folk wouldn't normally get to experience

Latest posts by Natasha Papini (see all)

About The Author

Trail running junkie, workaholic, health nut - in that order! To call me an "outdoorsy-person" is an understatement! I run to maintain sanity and see places normal folk wouldn't normally get to experience


  1. Like, like, like. When i am out on the trails on a weekend morning would not swap it for a late morning in a comfy bed or in fact pretty much anything else. If i am not running i am blogging about running.

    • Thank you for the feedback Claire and I am SO glad that you enjoyed the article!
      I totally agree with your comment – trail running is completely addictive like that… 😉

  2. Tash
    What can we say ……….. we’re all simply Trailies , it’s in our blood !!!
    We’re a strange happy bunch of people pushing the limits, in wide open spaces.
    Thanks for a great article .

    • Lol… couldn’t agree more Alastair! :) Thanks so much and glad you enjoyed it! See you on the trails…

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