Five (dubious) reasons why running in a storm is awesome

Bad running weather? Depends on how you look at it. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

Bad running weather? Depends on how you look at it. (Wikipedia Commons photo)

The other day, I’d planned a trail run and took a look up at the TV in my gym to see what the weather was doing. I knew there was a chance of storms, and sure enough, there was that green, yellow and red arc forming to the northwest that signified a line of storms headed my way.

They looked to be about 50 miles away, so I figured I had time.

I was wrong. Really wrong. About two miles in, I was far away from finishing when storms just unloaded on me.

There are a lot of negatives to being caught in a storm. Hail, for one. And tornadoes. Fortunately, none of those were present. But there was plenty of lightning, and that’s not so great.

But there are some pretty awesome things about doing a trail run in the middle of a storm. So here’s my Top 5 reasons why running in a storm is awesome…

1. The temperature change. After pounding out a few miles in hot, sticky conditions, that quick temperature change feels sweet. Couple that with the wind, and it’s a refreshing experience. Never mind that it might be a portent of doom. Just enjoy the moment.

2. No sunburn! One great thing about a cumulonimbus cloud formation is it does a pretty great job of blocking the sun. It might drop hail on you, or gale force winds, but it lovingly spares you the dangers of ultraviolet rays. I think.

3. You get a cool, refreshing shower. This is actually pretty awesome. Summer running can feel downright gross. But that pesky downpour will wash all that slimy sweat away, and as a bonus, it will cool you off. And a cooler runner is a faster runner.

4. You get a built-in excuse to play in the mud and jump in puddles. However long you’re out there, you get to revert to when you were 8 years old and play in the rain without having to feel weird about it. Splash away!

5. Solitude. No one else is dumb enough to be out on the trails in the middle of a thunderstorm, so you get to be away from people for as long as you like. No one yukking it up while you try to absorb the powerful atmospherics of rolling thunder, blowing winds and driving rain. This is actually a really cool experience, if you’re one of those “embrace the elements” type of people, which I am.

The bonus for me was rolling up on some friends at the trailhead who were chillin’ under a pavilion and knocking back some suds. Being the good people that they are, they shared, and it turned out to be a pretty awesome time.

Do you like running in bad weather? Not likely, but if you do, share some of your favorite bad weather trail run moments in the comments.

Bob Doucette


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