Five years ago, Alex Roberts was running in Valley Forge National Park and noticed another runner’s t-shirt showing that the runner had completed a 100-mile trail race. Alex wanted to try something new, so he investigated trail racing. One race built on the next, and soon Alex worked his way up from a 25K race to a 50K race.
Alex continued to train and in October 2019 he completed a 50-mile (!) trail race at the George Washington National Forest in Howthorpe, Virginia. This race is on a trail course and climbs 9,000 feet before descending to the starting elevation. Of the 180 competitors, Alex was one of 100 finishers within the 12-hour time limit and was awarded the official t-shirt.
Next up in 2020 is the Pennsylvania Triple Crown of trail racing: the Hyner 50K, the World’s End 100K, and the Eastern States 100. (That’s 100 miles!!)
If you’re interested in this kind of racing, Alex says the best way to get started is to run the Hyner Challenge — a 25K trail run on a course filled with vistas, stream crossings, and single-track paths.
Look for Alex training (a lot) at Valley Forge National Park.
A 12-year member of our team, Alex is an ISA Certified Arborist and a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional, and lectures at Morris Arboretum. Alex lives in Valley Forge with his wife, Jeanette, and son Bo.