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The Trail Runner's Companion


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About the Author

Sarah Lavender Smith is a seasoned competitive trail runner, coach, and contributor to Trail Runner magazine. She also co-hosts and blogs on A mother of two teens, Sarah has finished more than 70 marathons and ultramarathons.


"The Trail Runner's Companion is a must for runners looking to hit the trails! With humor and insight, Sarah provides practical and time-tested tools for success with trail running. Whether you are brand new to trails, or preparing to tackle an ultramarathon, Sarah's book will be a tremendous resource." -- Cory Reese, author of Nowhere Near First and columnist for UltraRunning Magazine
"Sarah Lavender Smith has long been one of trail running's finest and most insightful writers, and her first book, The Trail Runner's Companion, ties everything together for all trail runners, from newbies to veterans and all abilities in between. She expertly and empathetically describes how one should train, eat, drink, and think while becoming a trail runner. But perhaps most importantly of all, she tells us what it means to be a trail runner-why this journey, in her words, 'all the way up to the summit and back down,' is worth the effort. If you already are a trail runner, The Trail Runner's Companion will make you want to become a better trail runner. If you aren't yet a trail runner, The Trail Runner's Companion will make you want to become one." -- John Trent, longtime ultrarunner, race director, Western States Endurance Run board member, and award-winning sportswriter
"Sarah Lavender Smith is a prolific runner, writer, and adventurer, and her new book is the definitive work on all things related to running on that majority of Earth's surface unpaved by the hands of man. Whether you're an elite athlete looking to tackle a multi-day race through the wilderness, or a first-timer seeking to venture onto less tamed pathways, The Trail Runner's Companion is an indispensable resource for all your needs and something that belongs on every runner's bookshelf." -- Dean Karnazes, ultrarunner and New York Times bestselling author
"Sarah Lavender Smith's book, The Trail Runner's Companion, will guide a newbie trail runner to success while being comprehensive enough that a veteran trail runner can glean many useful tips. Sarah blends her own trail running savvy with knowledge from well-known experts. Beyond being chock-full of practical advice, the book nicely captures the ethos of trail running and the mindset of the trail running community. Sarah peppers the advice with personal anecdotes, which keeps the book relatable and entertaining to read." -- Pam Smith, M.D., 100K national champion, Angeles Crest 100-mile course record holder, and 2013 Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run champion
"The Trail Runner's Companion is a must-have for all trail runners, both new and experienced. It brings a wealth of knowledge and entertaining stories to keep you engaged in the valuable content of the book. If only I had The Trail Runner's Companion to read before my first trail race, I could have avoided so many mistakes! I highly recommend it." -- Kaci Lickteig, 2016 UltraRunning Magazine UltraRunner of the Year and Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run champion
"The Trail Runner's Companion is an excellent resource for those just entering the wacky world of ultras, as well as for those looking to sharpen their skills, improve times, and reduce injury. Through Sarah's anecdotes that precede each chapter, we're able to immediately put into perspective and vision the lesson we'll be learning and how it relates to real life. Her tips for success-honed after over two decades of running and racing-are excellent reminders of what we need to do to be more successful when the gun fires. Great resource." -- Eric Schranz, host and writer at
"With The Trail Runner's Companion, veteran ultramarathoner Sarah Lavender Smith presents a thoroughly researched compendium full of useful tips. Sarah is an engaging storyteller, and this fun-to-read book is chock full of great recollections and advice from savvy mid-pack runners and elite competitors. The Trail Runner's Companion is an essential resource for beginners and experienced runners alike." -- John Medinger, veteran ultrarunner, race director, and Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run president
"Sarah has really nailed it. From gear to nutrition to lingo, it's everything a budding trail runner needs to get going and thrive on trails." -- Magdalena Boulet, 2015 Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run Champion and 2008 U.S. Olympian

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