Saturday, November 27, 2010

Trail Running Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Having trouble finding the perfect gift for a trail running friend? Here are a few of my favorites that can help get you started - if you know of others, be sure to add them in the comments!

2011 Tribute to the Trails Running Calendar ($23)

Uber-photographer and trail runner Glenn Tachiyama has once again assembled a gorgeous calendar of great photos to raise money for the Washington Trails Association. The beautiful full-page shots (check them all out here) compliment a complete calendar of ultrarunning events. Few things can spice up the drab cubicle life like a constant reminder of epic trail runs hanging on the wall. You can pick one up at ZombieRunner, Rogue Valley Runners, or other stores for $23.

Cryosauna ($85,000)

For the runner who has everything, the Cryosauna is the latest must-have gadget. Jump in and hit the start button, and your entire body is surrounded by air frozen to -120 degrees C for 2-3 minutes for an instant ice bath. Get it in black to match your Alter-G Anti-Gravity Treadmill! Available at...well, if you can afford it, you probably know.

Race Gift Certificate ($25-55)
I don't know about you, but few things get me as excited to hit the trails like a race scheduled in the near future. Get a friend a gift certificate to a race organizer like Pacific Coast Trail Runs, and you are giving the gift of adventure! If your friend is always super busy, couple the gift certificate with an offer to crew/watch the kids/have a celebratory picnic, and it's like giving a box of sunshine. Added benefit - you can buy and send via e-mail in minutes!

Trail Running Coffee Table Book ($15)

If your trail runner is going to open a gift in front of a big group of people, a nice coffee table book is something that can be passed around to get a lot of gasps and admiration. I'm a big fan of Extreme Running by Kym McConnell and Dave Horsely, available at ZombieRunner for $15.

Custom Trail Running Shirt/Tie/Mug/Whatever ($10-40) is a custom-making miracle site that can put just about any picture or phrase on a shirt, mug, hat, tie, etc., and ship it to you in days. Create a one-of-a-kind gift for your trail runner! You could also go for a license plate frame.

Framed Photo ($15-50)

Did your trail runner have an epic race experience? Go find the photo service that was at the race, and get them a nice framed photo. I know we all rarely buy these things for ourselves, but honestly, how many good photos of yourself running do you have? Unless you are married to a photographer like me, it's hard to get a good shot that can be blown up into a decent photo. Time to splurge!

ZombieRunner Gift Certificate ($10-100)

I can ALWAYS find something I didn't know I needed until I saw it at ZombieRunner. Definitely will prompt a smile. Also an easy gift to buy and send instantly.

Jackhawk 9000 Knife ($100)

What better gift to give a loved one than the Jackhawk 9000? Available at Wal-mart. (Thank you, Ricky Bobby!)

Fire on the Track DVD ($15)

This is the best Steve Prefontaine documentary out there, with plenty of interviews with those who were there. For those looking at hours of indoor training through the winter, Pre can help keep them company. Available at

Personal Running Tour (Free!)

My pal Gary Gellins recently took me on a long run tour of the Foothills Park in Palo Alto, CA, a place I had barely set foot in. It was such a treat to have a guided tour! Set the date, make a plan, bring some snacks, create a hand-written card that sums it all up...voila, an instant free gift.


  1. Scott,

    Hate to burst the bubble but putting the Cryosauna ($85,000) on your wish list is a bit nuts. Has this thing even been FDA approved in the US? If you know anything about human biology you would have known that cooling tissue and nerves to "minutes in a chamber chilled to minus 120-140 degrees C" is down right dangerous. Most MD's and trainers will not recommend this, just another gimmick to take your $85k.

  2. Oh, man! And i just put down a deposit! Jk..

    I've read some articles about Team Oregon using cryosaunas...I will dig them up and post. I may have the stats wrong.

  3. Hey Scott,
    Love your Blog buddy, im new to trail running and i was wondering if you had any tips or advice for me. I love it but i wanna make sure i stick with it, whats the best way to make that happen.
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama

  4. Hey, that's great! Welcome to the trail running clan.

    So what was it that attracted you to trail running in the first place? Adventure? Change of pace? The outdoors? Friends? I think it's best to first find out what the primary motivation is and make sure you are feeding it. If it's friends, schedule a weekly group run. If it's adventure, find every trail in your area and start knocking them down one by one!

    My primary motivation is the solace of the outdoors. I feel great after a morning trail run. But I do sometimes find it hard to get motivated in the morning, so I do the following:

    1) I sign up for a "stretch your goals" race every couple of months. Something big enough for you that you know you have to train in order to get through it with a smile. It might be a hilly 10k, or your first trail run, or your first race on a technical trail (and it all ends up with the 100-miler, natch). But if I know a race is out there, it's easier for me to get out of bed.

    2) With the race on the schedule, assemble a rough training plan. This helps me get into a rhythm of 1 day easy, 1 day challenging, and to make sure I don't go out too hard in the first week and risk an injury. The training plan helps you build up gradually.

    3) Find some more experienced trail runners in your area and join them for a run! All of my best tips were learned from others. The die-hards love to talk about trail running adventures all day long.

    4) Don't forget to have fun! Try not to make it too much work. Stop for the views. Bring a camera. Don't let the rain hold you back. Celebrate each run with some good food (beer is nice too).

    Hope that helps!


  5. scott:
    GREAT post!! I LOVED The RIcky Bobby Commercials:o) hilarious! You really do a wonderful job with your blog. I have followed it for the past year or so:o) fav post being the xterra half marathon in bend that showcased my buddy: sean dunlap from boone, nc! ( I live across the mtn from him in bristol. ( yes, home of the world's fastest half mile: bristol motor speedway)2. being burning river RR:o) Congrats to you for having such a great year!!



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