Road runners show up in snazzy matching outfits and Nike track suits. Trail runners have been mistaken for homeless people.
Road runners try to step around the puddles on the street; trail runners are warned not to rock hop when going through rivers and streams so they don’t break an ankle.
Road races have aid stations every two miles where the volunteers throw Gatorade into your mouth as you run by. Trail runners have a delectable feast at their aid stations with cookies, chips, trail mix and gummy bears.
Road runners are constantly checking their watches for split times; trail runners check where the sun is in the sky, to see if they need to take out their headlamps.
Road runners have pretty white tennis; trail runners have so much dirt and mud all over their shoes, you can’t tell what color they are.
Serious road runners don’t carry water. Trail runners have backpacks with water bladders, rain jackets, and blister care, food and electrolyte tablets.
If you go down in a road race, the road runners will jump over you and let volunteers know at the next aid station; trail runners will stop, pull out their meds, first aid-kit, and emergency beacon, give you CPR and carry you to the next aid station.
Road runners hope they are not overtaken by faster runners; trail runners watch out for mountain lions, rattle snakes, bears or other creatures.
Road runners check for flat fast courses; trail runners look at elevation charts and the scenery.
Road runners are lean and skinny; trail runners can crush a road runner with their calves and power up mountains with their glutens.
Road marathons might have up to 40,000 runners, start with fireworks and end with bands and balloons; trail races start with, “Ready, Set . . . GO!”
Road races are meticulously measured and certified; trail runs might be a few miles long, give or take a mile or two.
Road runners count miles and study average pace; trail runners train by time.
Both road and trail runners are healthier than the average American couch potato, and enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow runners.
And finally, both trail runners and road runners like wearing their race T-shirts and gaining bragging rights.