I admit the reason I ended up at Cat Rock Park, in Weston, Mass., was its proximity—just over 4 miles from my front door. Beyond that convenience, my expectations were low in part because of its other name: 80 Acres. But it turns out that’s just the name of the meadow in the park’s center….

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A recent string of May showers relegated me to the Green Line instead of my usual bike commute—but all wasn’t lost. On one wet morning, as the train neared Chestnut Hill Station in Newton, Mass., I caught a glimpse of something surprising: trails! Lush, winding trails covered in a soft bed of orange needles and…

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Once upon a time, running a trail race was an activity reserved for a small, extreme subset of the distance running community. Off-road running has boomed in the new millennium, however. According to the Outdoor Recreation Association, trail running participation in the U.S. more than doubled between 2007 and 2017, from 657,000 to 1.5 million….

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Car shopping and trail running are two experiences that, for me, exist on opposite ends of the pleasure spectrum. One is rife with anxiety and doubt and is synonymous with suburban commercial development, the other offers an escape from all that. So it was with great surprise that, minutes before pulling into a car dealership…

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In my experience, magical runs take one of two forms. In some, you enter something of a flow state: Everything feels easier and faster than usual; there’s a feeling of invincibility. In others, singular moments anchor a run in your memory. Unfortunately there’s no way to predict when we’ll be graced with either experience. The…

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Hopkinton, Mass., is best known as the site of the Boston Marathon starting line. Every April since 1924, entrants in the world’s oldest annual marathon have gathered on Main Street, prepared for a hilly 26.2 run into downtown Boston. But that’s not all this town has to offer: Just over a mile away, in Hopkinton…

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A few months ago I was scanning a local map and noticed a sliver of green tucked up against Interstate 95, west of Boston. It didn’t seem substantial enough for decent run, though, and it sat in the middle of an area I knew only for its office parks and shopping centers. Then, a couple…

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Nobody is as brutally honest about your fitness as a hill. No loved one, no teammate, no coach can give you the sort of devastating appraisal that even a modest incline provides. So maybe I should’ve reconsidered when I decided that what I needed, after a leisurely run-free two-week vacation, was a trail run at…

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Fat bikes draw attention. Tricked out with bulbous tires measuring 3, 4, even 5 inches wide, they’re more dune buggy than mountain bike. And while those tires allow cyclists to roll over just about any terrain, they also elicit comments from bystanders. Which means I’m more than a little self-conscious as I adjust the seat…

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In part one of my interview with Bryon Powell, the founder of the trail and ultra marathon running website iRunFar.com, we found out why the entrepreneur left a law firm to start a website, whether he sees a difference between “runners” and “trail runners,” and what he carries in his pack. Here in the final half of…

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