Recently I've been doing a lot more trail running while I train for my first ultras this Spring. But I have several questions about trail running that I would love some help on. So please feel free to share a quick comment with any advice or experiences. Don't feel like you have to answer them all, but I really value all your thoughts. Thanks!
1) Should I carry something to defend myself from animals, like pepper spray or a knife? A knife seems dangerous and I really don't want to fall on it.
2) If I do carry some defense mechanism, don't I really have to "carry it" in my hand? An animal's not going to wait for me to get it out of a backpack.
3) Snakes scare me the most - is that a major concern for trail runners?
4) Is there certain clothing I should wear to protect me from thorny branches that cover a trail? The thorns snag my clothes or bloody my legs, which ever it encounters first.
5) Do people wear their YakTrax snow shoes on really muddy trails? Seems like it might work.
6) Do most trail runners wear hydration packs or belts?
7) Do trail shoes really matter that much? I seem to do okay in my regular running shoes if the trail's not too rocky.
8) In a trail race, is it okay to go around someone on a single pass section, or is that rude? I mean it is a race, but sometimes it seems like you get stuck behind people on narrow trails.
9) What happens if I run into a leprechaun? Do I get any wishes? Do they bite?
10) To those who've ran ultras - what do you eat and how often during an ultra race?
Thank you for your help everyone. I've enjoyed my brief time as a "trail runner" so far. Your words of wisdom will be valued!
... be great today!