MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Summer is the season of the runner. You see them on the street, on a path and around a lake. There are a select few, however, who follow a completely different route.

Amanda Klanderman wanted a new challenge, so she began “trail racing” a year and a half ago.

“I wanted to avoid traffic so I went out to the country and now I feel like a kid again,” said trail racer, Amanda Klanderman.

A lot has changed since then.

“The first trail race, only had a handful of people. Now, these races have hundreds of people,” said Klanderman.

It’s the challenges that attract people. There are plenty of hills, and rocks and roots have to be avoided. And a lot of times runners have to run through water.

The sport has taken off in Minnesota over the past 5 years.

“You are working your glutes and other muscles in a different way,” said Becky Brudwick.

Brudwick has been a trail racer for 5 years and just completed a 50-mile trail race. But most trail races are only a few miles long, as a way to encourage anyone to try it.

“It’s really invigorating and kind of peaceful to get out and run the trails. It’s much better than seeing concrete block after block,” said Brudwick.

The shoes, the running form and maybe even the thrill are different.

“Running the trails, you just let loose. You just run,” said Klanderman.

A typical trail race is 5 to 8 miles.

Mankato is holding its first trail race series ever this summer.

There will be 4 races through different parks. They have been known to drink beer after their races.

For more information, check out the Greater Mankato Multisport Club.


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