When Sam first asked if I would be interested in being a trail running ambassador for Mt. Waddington’s I remember trying to explain to him that this was a bit of a stretch. I certainly wasn’t the fastest trail runner who was winning races on a regular basis and there were certainly trail runners out there that had been doing it a lot longer than I had. He quickly reassured me that being an ambassador at Mt. Waddington’s just meant I would be willing to write a regular blog about the trail running scene in Chilliwack. I’ve always enjoyed writing so I thought that might be kind of cool. Even though I got teased by a few of my trail running friends about my “ambassador” title, I was determined to do a good job at writing about the sport that I love.
It wasn’t until I started running trail clinics for Mt.Waddington’s Outdoors in January of this year that I fully understood what being a trail running ambassador really meant. When I looked up the dictionary definition of ambassador, I found daunting descriptors like: a : an authorized representative or messenger b : an official representative….
I suppose those descriptors fit to some extent as I was “representing” the sport to people who may not know what it is all about, but the word, “messenger” is the one that I really embraced when I had the opportunity to run trail clinics this spring. I realized it was my job to be a messenger to people who might be interested but not know how to get into the sport. Running trail clinics was the perfect opportunity for this as I realized that there were a lot of people who signed up who just wanted to learn where to run trails in Chilliwack. There were others who had done a fair amount of road running already who just wanted some tips on technical training on the trails. Still others just wanted to connect with others so they would have someone to get out on the trails with. I figured sharing those “messages” would be easy.
When I really think about it, each and every one of us out on the trails already is a “trail running ambassador”. Maybe it is our job to share a MESSAGE to anyone who wants to listen: “Trail running is an amazing, fun, happening sport that anyone can do regardless of fitness level, reason or intent. We live in a place surrounded by an amazing trail network through unbelievable beauty. Time to embrace being an “ambassador” for whatever sport you represent in this amazing place we live in called Chilliwack.
-Proudly, ONE ambassador of trail running: Louanne Macdonald