Max King imparts his trail running wisdom

Written on May 23rd, 2018 by , Category Blogs, Features, Trail Running

Max King, foreground in hat and blue shirt, leads a trail running clinic on May 9 at Dry Gulch in Wenatchee.


By Kyle Almekinder

WENATCHEE — Max King is becoming somewhat of a regular in Wenatchee.

The world renowned Bend, Ore., ultra runner made his second trip to the Apple Capital in as many years in mid-May, this time for a trail running clinic in Dry Gulch one night and a talk and Salomon shoe demo at Pybus Market the next night. Both events were hosted by RunWenatchee.

“We’ve done 75 workshops in the last year,” King said. “It has been such a huge success at getting people out on the trails. Wenatchee is a prime town for this kind of clinic. You have a large base of people that run but may not think about using the trails west of town for their exercise and escape. The trails lend themselves well to helping people get out into nature and off the city streets.”

RunWenatchee utilized the new Saddle Rock Trailhead to stage the trail running clinic.

The ”How to Trail Run” clinic in Dry Gulch. Salomon began these sessions in 2017 as a way to encourage people to explore trails and trail running. Dry Gulch was selected for the clinic for its technical, rocky terrain with steep grades that offer textbook locations for both teaching and practice.

The one hour event explored ways to be more efficient when dealing with variable terrain and topography, opportunities often not found with typical road running. King demonstrated a number of ways to effectively power hike uphill and tricks to safely run downhill. The evening concluded with King and a few others running down a very steep, scree laden slope as fast as possible. King, in no surprise, and awe from the onlookers below, was the quickest to descend. All three were able to safely get down the hill.

In conjunction with the workshop, Salomon had trail running shoes on hand for runners to try on. There was only one issue.

“The Salomon shoes are fabulous but make sure to tuck in the lace or else,” said avid runner Anna Jurken.

Jurken tried out a pair of Salomon Sense Ride shoes, tripped, and spent the rest of the clinic with a bloody knee. She was still in high spirits after the event and what King had to offer.

Training on a steep slope in Dry Gulch.

“It’s always great to run on the trails but it’s even better when you get the opportunity to learn from a pro! Max is a great teacher and a great guy,” she said.

While over the course of his three-day, two-night stay, King spent time exploring some of the other trails in the Wenatchee Valley, including Saddle Rock in Wenatchee, Devils Gulch south of Cashmere, and Twin Peaks west of Wenatchee.

”I got to run some pretty amazing trails in the three days in Wenatchee,” King said. “There is a huge variety of trails and something for everyone from beginners to advanced trail runners. And being able to run right from town along the foothills of Wenatchee is amazing. It creates such an accessible trail environment that not many cities have. It’s nice to have the variety of trails and that is something that really helps people get better at trail running. As you become more comfortable you can continually challenge yourself without having to really get too far out of your comfort zone.”

The following day, King copied last year’s visit to RunWenatchee’s Run Club by chatting with those in attendance. He was joined by Salomon again, allowing runners this time to test their new road running-specific shoes. Runners also had the opportunity to try Nathan Hydration gear and Portland, Ore., based Trail Butter performance fuel. The last event of the trip was a film and question-and-answer session. King showed a recent video, detailing his journey to Colorado where he and Ryan Sandes, the reigning Western States 100 winner, participated in the World Championship of Burro Racing. Runners were expected to

Max King speaks during his presentation following RunWenatchee’s weekly Run Club at Pybus Public Market.

run, but not allowed to ride, the 50-kilometer distance with a burro by their side. Elevation, weather, and the unpredictability from burros made it a challenging and humorous race.

What’s next for Max King? Here is his upcoming 2018 race schedule:

  • May 27 – Zegama-Aizkorri Marathon in Spain, famous for muddy terrain
  • June 15-17 – Broken Arrow 26k and Vertical Kilometer in Squaw Valley, Calif.
  • July 4 – Mount Marathon in Seward, Alaska, known best for nearly 3000 feet of vertical gain in a 5k race with many runners bleeding and covered in mud as they finish
  • August 12 – Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland
  • Sept. 14 – Ring of Steall in Scotland
  • Oct. 19 – Otter Trail in South Africa
  • Nov. 17 – The North Face 50 Mile in San Francisco


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