The inaugural Brooks Trail Summit was held Saturday, August 13, 2022, at the Summit West Ski area on Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountains 50 miles southeast of Seattle, WA. The event was an opportunity for runners and non-runners alike of all ages to learn and celebrate trail running through activities including classes featuring industry experts, group runs led by Brooks Running athletes and influencers, local eats, music, recovery time (yoga and massage) and much more. The event was free to all 200-plus participants and there was a complimentary bus ride to and from the event departing from the Brooks Running headquarters in downtown Seattle.
The Brooks Trail Summit included a full day of activities starting at 9AM and running through 9PM. Participants had the option to register for activities in the weeks leading up to the event and customize their experience. Opening activities included group runs of varying distances – between two and fourteen miles – led by Brooks Running athletes and influencers including Boston Marathon Champion Des Linden, Cocodona 250 Champion Joe McConaugy, founder of Harlem Run and black rights activist Alison Mariella Desir, and producer, TV personality and adventurer Ariel Tweto. Catered meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner were provided by American Trail Running Association member Brooks Running and offered both meat and vegetarian options. Brooks Running also supplied wear-testing opportunities showcasing their latest editions of their most popular trail running shoes including the Catamount and Cascadia.
Other activities throughout the day included classes and presentations such as “How to Crew and Pace” led by American Trail Running Association (ATRA) President Adam Chase and the author of this article, ATRA writer Tayte Pollmann, Mikah Meyers National Parks Service Sites Journey and Outdoor Safe Space presentation, a vegan “Eat and Run”-inspired cooking session with Scott and Jenny Jurek, “mocktail” hour with Rowdy Mermaid kombucha, group yoga and slacklining sessions, “Vert Challenge” fun run to the top of the Summit West ski lift, among many other activities.
Evening activities included “Happy Hour” sponsored by Sierra Nevada Brewing and Fit Vine Wines, music by Portland, Oregon-based band Left On Tenth, and a “Twilight Run” led by Ultraspire using their running waist-lights. Following the event, participants were bussed back to Brooks Running headquarters.
Tayte Pollmann’s Top 3 Takeaways from the “How To Pace and Crew” discussion:
- Know Your Runner. Learn their tendencies and know when it’s appropriate to push and when to hold them back.
- Happy Crew, Happy Runner. If you’re a runner putting together a crew, make sure you take time to ensure your crew is well taken care of. Provide them with snacks, drinks and ways to pass the time while they are supporting and waiting for you at aid stations.
- Study the Route. In addition to the runner knowing the race course, it is equally as important that the crew and pacers know the route as well. Crew should also be well-versed in how to navigate from aid station to aid station, which can often require hours of driving on twisty dirt roads or other logistical challenges in areas without cell service. Make sure you study up beforehand so you don’t get lost and miss your runner at a checkpoint!
PRO TIP: Are you interested in learning more about crewing? Read my article on crewing and pacing tips.
Quotes from summit attendees:
“Trail Running brings people together. The Brooks Trail Summit this past weekend was a perfect example of that. It was such a special event and I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.” –Jared Bassett
“Spending time with my fellow Run Happy Advocates and all the amazing people who showed up at the Brooks Trail Summit proves to me that we can in fact reimagine running and create a space where everyone is truly welcomed. Where everyone can run.” –Alison Mariella Desir
“I almost forgot how enthusiastic, supportive, encouraging and inspiring it is to be in the running community. There were so many high fives, “whoops,” and first pumps given this weekend at the Brooks Trail Summit. I love the Brooks Running Team and I can’t wait until their next event.” –Ariel Tweto
Event sponsors and partners included Des X Two, Ultraspire, Rowdy Mermaid, Outdoorsy Vans, Nuun Hydration, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Camp Chef, Fit Vine Wines, Mountain House, MPOWERD, HEST, Eagles Nest Outfitters and the American Trail Running Association.