Rowlett Trail Run: Charming the Snakes Away and Eating Dirt

This past Sunday our small group of trail runners headed out for our third trail run, this time at the Rowlett Creek Preserve in Garland, TX. It was hot and humid at the start, with not the slightest breeze, but the trees kept us shaded for most of the run. This was vital since we were running 14 miles–our longest run so far on the training plan.

It was the best trail run yet, despite the fact that four people fell (and I fell twice). The trail itself was mostly flat, with less roots and rocks than either of the other two trails we’ve tried. There were, however, a lot of small stumps, and that’s what took me down the first time. I try to stay attentive when I run on the trail, and make a huge effort to pick up my feet, but I still don’t have the hang of it. The injuries were minor, mostly road rash, but it’s still no fun to suddenly find yourself headed face down for the dirt.

I was very nervous about running 14 miles on the trail, especially since our longest trail run up to that point had only been 7 miles (and felt like 20). Heather was on vacation the previous week and we rearranged the training plan so she wouldn’t have to miss out on the 14 miler. It was very clear to see on her face just how tough a hot, sweaty trail run can be after a week on the beach in Mexico. She did great, though, despite her own fall at the very end of her run.

All week the topic of our conversations was SNAKES. Rumor had it that the preserve had been overrun with copperheads this summer. Thank goodness we took Hari with us. Watch the video to see his solution to the problem.

Green snake

Similar to the only snake we saw on the trail


Back home after the run, I felt similar to the way I felt after my first half marathon. It was that much of an accomplishment for me, and I felt great. Trail running is certainly challenging, and it felt incredibly satisfying to make it through the run and still feel so good afterwards.


  1. Mark Olateju

    Y’all make trail running look like so much fun! I can’t wait to see the video of the Palo Duro 50k…or is it 50 miler? 🙂

  2. A Wanderer

    The best defense when you see a snake is run! Since you are already running, best to just keep running. I was running in the Boise foothills a couple of weeks ago with a friend that said she’d never seen a rattler up there (although they are definitely up there) and lo and behold, I nearly stepped on one but instinct took over and I screamed, jumped away and then ran the opposite way.

    Good job on the trail runs. Those can be brutal… and painful when you I faceplant. Owww.

    • Mind Margins/Run Nature

      I think instinct would kick in if I saw a snake. I’ve camped and hiked all my life, and have seen very few snakes. I know they’re there, but they generally don’t go out of their way to bother people.
      Good reflexes with the rattler! Yikes!

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