Well, I didn’t run with skis on, that’d be ridiculous. But I did try running while pulling the kids behind me in our Chariot with the ski attachment. I’ve been trying to think of ways that I still be able to work out this winter some outside with the kids. So I thought, why not try pulling the Chariot Ski while running trails. Iposted awhile back in the TC Trail Runners Group on Facebook (the group isn’t super active, but has provided some feedback about other things) and didn’t get a response.
This weekend it was going to be warm enough for me to feel comfortable running with the kids and there was still some snow on the ground even though it was starting to get slushy. The challenge is finding a place to run that has a short loop (in case it was a disaster), had a place for the kids to play after (trying not to be selfish), and most importantly a place that would be fine to run on (not destroying cross-country ski trails; though the weather did that for us).
I decided to run from the Richardson Nature Center at Hyland Park. They have a few winter hiking trails from the center that make a few nice loops. They also have some ski trails that start at the center. The Nature Center is a great building with restrooms and super small concession stand, you can also rent snowshoes for $5. But most importantly they have a nice indoor play area for the kids and a really cool outdoor exploration area!
But back to the running. I forgot how hilly it was. Oops, try pulling almost 100 pounds of weight behind you up a hill. My heart rate had to be maxed out for most of the run. Going downhill wasn’t much better as you are trying to slow down 100 pounds behind you and not get run over or fall and spill the trailer! But the flats didn’t feel to bad. Once you got moving it actually seemed to go just fine, maybe even better than actually pushing the stroller. It would be interesting to know which would be easier overall. Pulling the skis I was able to maintain full arm motion and just had the belt pulling on my midsection. You do have to be careful as you turn – its similar to pulling a trailer with your truck, you need a little bit more room. Actually turning with the skis on snow was easier than with the tires on pavement. I wore Yak-Trax to help with extra traction, but I think it was too slushy to make much impact.
A couple of key things, the trailer is attached by firm poles to a belt around your waist. The trailer can’t actually run you over, but slipping and falling could potentially really hurt, both for the runner and the kiddos! Our Chariot has a zipper rain fly which is a little bit nicer fit, though the flap keeps slipping off the rail allowing cold air or rain/snow to get into the compartment. You obviously can’t use the skis without snow so I had to use the wheels to get to the snow and then switch them out. This wasn’t too problematic as I did it with the kids inside still. But you then have to carry the tires with you too. They fit easily into the rear storage bag, but took up most of the room.
Final verdict, I’d do it again! I would maybe try to pick a place that is flatter! Do you have any recommendations of places to try?
Here are the stats from Strava: