Trail running

Oleta River State Park is known for its challenging course. (Bob Feinberg/Courtesy / July 26, 2013)

If you enjoy running, fresh air and being outdoors — and aren't a slave to crossing a finish line at a specified time — then trail running may be for you.

The Down2Earth Trail Run series will continue at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Amelia Earhart Park and Sunday at Oleta River State Park, with 5K and 10K runs. Races will also take place Aug. 3 at Amelia Earhart, along with a half-marathon.

Race director Marlon Jael says the series provides a different vibe than the usual 5K held on pavement. But your time is going to be slower.

"If you're training for the Olympics, you're in the wrong event," Jael says. "Running the trail, you see the wilderness, raccoons, fox, snakes, the woods. I consider it very therapeutic for runners."


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Of the two courses, Oleta is more challenging, he says.

"You have to pay attention to where you're going. You can't be a Speedy Gonzalez," Jael warns. "At Amelia, you can take your niece or nephew or spouse."

Race-day registration is $35 for the 5K and $40 for the $10K. Racers can save money on future events by registering early at WorkSmartPlayHarder.com. Jael conducts 58 events a year, including boot camps, off-road triathlons and mountain-bike races.

Amelia Earhart Park is at 401 E. 65th St., in Hialeah. Oleta River State Park is at 3400 NE 163rd St., in North Miami Beach.

NSortal@SouthFlorida.com.