Moss Rock Fest/B’Ham Stage Race/Last Tuesday Evening Run!

birmingham stage race

Out of nowhere it’s finally fall in the south, and we love it! Summer has moved on and the cooler season has moved in. This of course means it’s ideal running weather and this past weekend members of the Alabama Outdoors Trail Team, along with around 40 other souls, did some dirt running at the 3 stages of the inaugural Birmingham Stage Race. Congrats to everyone who showed up, those who finished, and a big thanks to those who put the races together. Big shouts to team members Michael Campbell who rounded out at 7th over all for the 3 stage 50 mile comp, Brett Noerager for grabbing the top spot in the 2 stage 35 mile comp and Ali Edwards for taking the ladies top spot the first 2 stages. At the Saturday Red Mountain Park stage Alison Hulsey grabbed the ladies 2nd place, Kristina Vaughn took 3rd, and John Cobbs took 2nd for the men (Me and Mary Cambell decided only 8+miles was needed for that day!).

This evening out at Red Mountain Park is our last Tuesday Evening Group Trail Run for the season. Red Mountain Park has moved into winter hours and now is closing at 6pm, so we’ll do this last group run at 5pm this evening. We’ll meet at the usual spot at the main entrance and head out for about 4 miles or so. We’ll start back up with the group runs again come spring when the times changes again and the days longer days allow for longer runs. Again, 5pm this evening for the group run. As we announced last week, we’ll be hosting some Alabama Outdoors Trail Days with the Trail Team! The first of which is this Saturday Nov 3rd at the Moss Rock Festival! Alabama Outdoors will be at the festival (Festival Booth 360 in the Orange Row) and we’ll be hosting 2 guided easy 3 mile trail runs at 10:30am and 1pm. Salomon will be on hand with free shoe demos and free swag. Look for our tents, join us for a run, stop by and say hello, and enjoy the great fall weather here in Alabama at this great festival.

Good luck to all those who are running the Pinhoti 100 this weekend! The race is now sold out!!! Alabama Outdoors will be on hand at the pre-run Pasta Dinner so stop on by and say hello. Good luck to everyone out there this weekend! We’re looking forward to our next Dirty Spokes Alabama Xterra Trail Run out at Oak Mountain Stage Park on November 11th. We’re really looking forward to this run as it features 3 distances (3miles, 6 miles, and a half marathon at 13 miles). The Alabama Outdoors Trail Team will be out in full for this race! Check out all 5 stages of the Trail Run Series on the Dirty Spokes Web Site where you can register for any of the races and see results for past ones.

Come by any of our 8 Alabama Outdoors locations for all your trail running needs, outdoor gear, and new fall clothing styles!

We Run, We Climb, We Hike, We Get Outside. We are Alabama Outdoors.

Experience Matters.

Moss Rock Festival! Xterra Race Recap! Tuesday Eve Trail Runs!

trail run events
The Alabama Outdoors Trail Team had a great time with the nearly 200 folks out at Red Mountain Park this past weekend at the Dirty Spokes Xterra Alabama Trail Run. The weather was perfect, the trails were challenging and fast, and judging by the amount of smiles at the finish line, everyone seemed to have a great time! Congrats go out to the ladies of the A/O Team; Natalie Ferguson took home 2nd place, and Jillian Klassen took the top honors in the speedy 5 mile trail course, while Ali Edwards and Kristina Vaughn dominated the 10 mile course for 1st and 2nd place. The old dudes each won their age groups with Philip Croley, Brett Noerager, and Michael Campbell taking 10th, 11th, and 12th respectively (a cry for more miles was heard among us men!). Thanks to Red Mountain Park, all the volunteers, Dirty Spokes Productions, everyone who attended, and of course mother nature for the amazing weather.

A big shout out to A/O Team members John Cobbs who competed in the Palo Duro Trail 50 miler this past weekend getting himself qualified for the Western States 100, as well, team member Lisa Booher (Yo Momma Runs) won her age group in the Go Commando Half Marathon in TN!

Group Trail Run News! Due to the time change coming up, The Tuesday Evening Trail Runs will be coming to a close for the winter season this next Tuesday Oct 30th (not that winter keeps us from running on the trails! We’ll start the regular group runs back up come spring). We will meet at the regular time of 5:45pm at RMP leaving at 6pm sharp both this evening and next Tuesday. The days are getting shorter and shorter and you might want to bring a headlamp for the last half of the run (FYI). Through the winter we plan on hosting some Alabama Outdoors Trail Days with the A/O Team at different parks around the area where we can all run together at different paces and even participate in some trail building to help maintain our beloved parks. The first of these trails days will be coming up Saturday November 3rd at this year’s Moss Rock Festival here in Birmingham. Members of the A/O Trail Team will be leading a beginner 3 mile and 6 mile trail run at 10:30am and 1pm (Saturday Only). Salomon will be on hand with free demo shoes and free swag for all. Come out to this great festival, try out some new Salomon shoes, and take a short run around the beautiful preserve with us.

We’re looking forward to this weekend’s Birmingham Stage Race, The Pinhoti 100, and the next Xterra Alabama Trail Run at Oak Mountain State Park here in Birmingham on November 11th! PLUS get ready Huntsville as the Dirty Spokes Xterra Trail Run Series will be coming up to Monte Santo Park on January 12th! (really looking forward to that run!).

Stop by any of our 8 Alabama Outdoors locations for expert advice, professional shoe fit, the latest fall outdoor fashions, and the best selection of gear to enhance your outdoor experience!

We Hike, We Backpack, We Run, We Climb, We get Outside.

We are Alabama Outdoors.

Experience Matters.



AO Trail Team and Xterra Run This Weekend!

trail run events
We are pleased to announce the 2012/13 Alabama Outdoors Trail Running Team!

John Cobbs, Ali Edwards, Michael Campbell, Mary Campbell, Natalie Ferguson, Brett Noerager, Alison Hulsey, Jillian Klassen, Kristina Vaughn, Lisa Booher, Philip Croley

These fine folks will represent Alabama Outdoors as ambassadors on the trails, in the races, and outdoors all over Alabama and beyond! We’re a growing family of trail runners and I’m sure more people will be coming on board to the team soon enough. We’ll be posting race reports, pictures, and run invites for everyone to get out on the trails with us. We’ve already had some great race finishes lately with John Cobbs, Ali Edwards, and myself (Philip Croley) all coming in under 5 hours and taking the top spots at this year’s Autumn Equinox 50k! I also ran what felt like a comfortable 5:18 at the Stumpjump 50k up in Chattanooga weekend before last, and Ali Edwards took the top female spot at the Ruffner Crusher Ridge Half! We send some good luck to the ever smiling John Cobbs who’s heading to the Texas Pan Handle for the Palo Duro 50miler trail race so he can qualify for Western States! and I think Lisa Booher is in Chicago possibly running something but I’m not sure what…We’ll have to watch her blog to see what’s up with this awesome running mom!

This weekend a whole bunch of the team hope to have a strong showing at the Dirty Spokes Xterra Alabama Trail Runs at Red Mountain Park in Birmingham, Al! We’ll be running both in the 5mile and 10 mile distances. This will be a great time for both the runners (great course!) and fans as the course is extremely viewer friendly. Come out Saturday morning to support the runners, run yourself (!), and to get outside and enjoy this great weather in a beautiful Birmingham park. Merrell and The North Face will be on hand with give aways and shoe demos, plus we’ll be raffling off prizes all morning to random winners, plus we’ve got some great race prizes for the top spots. Registration is still open at the Dirty Spokes website and walk up registration will be available starting at 7am Saturday morning. We’re looking forward to the rest of the Xterra Dirty Spokes Alabama Trail Run series, as well as those of us running the Pinhoti 100, Lookout Mnt 50miler, Upchuck 50k, Cheaha 50k, Birmingham Stage Race, Lake Lurleen 50k, Lake Martin 50 miler, and a whole host of other races you’ll see our team members out at (grab one and say howdy!

Come by any of our 8 Alabama Outdoors locations for all your trail running needs, outdoor gear, and new fall clothing styles!

We Run, We Climb, We Hike, We Get Outdoors. Experience Matters.

G3 Ultra Mountain Bike Race at Lake Lurleen State Park – November 3rd

gears,guts, and glory mountain bike race

The First Ever Mountain Bike Only Race at Lurleen State Park!


November 3, 2012 – 7:30am

Register Online Here

Ultra Mountain Bike Race
24 mile – 1 lap – Individual
47 mile – 2 laps – Individual and Teams
70 mile – 3 laps – Individual and Teams

Racers will need to pay a $3 parking fee at the gate

The Details:

  • Packet pick up starts at 6:00am at the pavilion to the left of the gate.
  • -Race Start: 7:30am
  • -Packet Pickup: 6:00am
  • -Mileages:
    • -24mile lap- Male/Female Individual (1 lap)
    • -48mile (2 laps)- Male/Female Individual (2 laps)
      • Male/Female/Coed 2 person team relay (2 laps – 1 per teammate)
    • -70mile (3 laps)- Male/Female Individual (3 laps)
      • Male/Female/Coed team relay 2 (3 laps – 1 person does 2 laps and the other does 1 lap)
      • Male/Female/Coed team relay 3 (3 laps – each person does 1 lap)
    • -70 mile race will be 3 laps. Racers will be removed from the course if they cannot finish the last lap before 6:00pm per park rules.


-We will have food available for lunch (burgers and hotdogs)

-We will also have a some fueling tables with water, gatorade, bananas, cookies, and cliff bars.

-This is an ultra mountain bike race, bring hydration.


Lake Lurleen State Park

Lake Lurleen State Park is located 9 miles Northwest of the cities of Tuscaloosa and Northport, Alabama and is 14 miles from the campus of the University of Alabama, home of the “Crimson Tide.”

The 1,625-acre park is a scenic lakeside retreat set on the banks of a 250-acre lake. Facilities include a modern campground, banquet room, picnic area, play area, pavilions, beach with bathhouse, fishing piers, boat rentals and boat-launch areas.

Shoe Spotlight: Saucony! and Xterra Red Mountain Park!


Our Shoe spotlight this week: Saucony! The name is legendary in the running business. Saucony has been in the shoe game since 1898 and today they are releasing some of the best shoes on the market for runners worldwide. Since we here at Alabama Outdoors are trail junkies we’re going to focus on the shoes we’ve hand picked for our 8 stores.

The Peregrine 2. One of our go-to must-have trail shoes on our walls. This is one of our best selling performance shoes for both men and woman simply because it works so well in almost every condition we’ve thrown at it. This light weight (9oz) neutral cushioned runner has just a slight amount of stability in the mid sole, a low profile yet very stable upper (4mm heel to tow offset), paired with incredible underfoot traction keeping you upright and moving forward no matter what the trail throws at you. Ideal for everyday off road training, racing, trail hiking, and fast packing. One shoe to rule them all. Plus the mens and woman’s colors look killer. Get cha some.

Kinvara TR. Saucony’s true trail racer. I ran in this shoe this past weekend at the Stumpjump 50k up in Chattanooga (hence the dirty kicks in the picture) after having only worn them 2 times before! I was blown away. These light weight (7+oz) low profile (4mm heel to toe offset) kicks kept me stable and incredibly comfortable, thanks to the perfect amount of cushioning where it’s needed and a great amount of ground feel. The rubber underfoot was incredible, the outsole blew me away! The morning was rainy, the trail was rocky, and I flew over it all with ease. The sticky gripping rubber traction had me upright on the technical, braking with ease on the downhills, and charging up the hills. These shoes are fast. They will help make you faster. And they look fresh.

Xodus 3.0. The Armadillo on our wall. Saucony’s stability cushioned trail runner weighing in at only 11oz! Like the above stated trail critter (numerous at Red Mountain Park BTW), these shoes are incredibly light (11oz) for the amount of motion control and comfort they bring, fast and stable thanks to a low profile (4mm heel to toe) foot bed, and tough as all get out thanks to the Vibram under sole traction that will keep tearing up the trail no matter how much you beat it down (Mud? no problem, Obstacles? what ever, Roots? Rocks? Bring it). If this shoe could bench press it’d out lift you, then beat you to the finish line (and you’d cry, just like your fellow racers will when you crush them). Fast and Furious indeed (pardon the pun).

We love Saucony obviously, but we picked these 3 shoes for a reason, because they perform when you need it. And they keep performing. There’s no hype better then honest hype. Come by any one of our 8 locations for an expert shoe fit today and you’ll see the Saucony difference and why we stand behind this brand. Heck, my Saucony’s and me will be running this weekend out at the Ruffner Crusher Ridge Marathon and Half! So looking forward to this race as we’re big ole fans of Ruffner Mountain and fine folks out there (Thanks to Vanessa Stroud for putting this race together!). Hopefully I’m somewhat recovered from Stumpjump! Me and one other Alabama Outdoors Trail Team member Ali Edwards will be out there going up and down the hills loving every second of it (What? you didn’t know about our AO Trail Team! (Look for a really fun announcement about that next week!).

We’re stocked, excited, and really really really looking forward to the inaugural Dirty Spokes Xterra Alabama Trail Run October 20th at Red Mountain Park!!!! We’re helping make this an amazing experience for all the runners with some awesome over all prizes in both distances, masters prizes, and tons of swag give aways for all runners and all spectators!!! Speaking of spectators, this course is extremely fan friendly as both the 5milers and 10milers will do the same loop around the park on the very runnable BMRR double track trail/road (easy walking access for any one looking to cheer on a loved one), with the 10milers continuing on back to the Redding Shaft Mine where they will then turn onto the challenging Ike Maston single track (get you a good spot to along this trail as it’ll be worth it to watch the runners fight up and down these short steep hills!!). Those looking to register can do so at the Dirty Spokes Web Site or the morning of out at Red Mountain Park. Both Merrell and The North Face will be at the race with shoe demos and free give aways for all! Come enjoy a fun day out at Birmingham’s newest city park (heck, jump on the Zip Line Tour if you get a chance!).

Come check out any of our 8 Alabama Outdoors locations for expert advice and shoe fit!

We Run, We Climb, We Paddle, We Backpack, We Get Outdoors in Alabama.

Join us for the Grand Opening of Alabama Outdoors Inverness!

alabama outdoors inverness

You’re invited!

Join Alabama Outdoors on Saturday, October 6th for the Grand Opening of our new Inverness location, at the corner of 280 and Valleydale Road! We’re happy to be a part of the Inverness community and we are excited about serving our loyal customers and meeting new ones at our great new store!

Join 94.5 WJOX live on location from 10:00 a.m. until noon, and Full Moon Barbeque will be on hand from noon until 2:00 p.m. with special treats for our first 100 customers!

Alabama Outdoors Inverness is located in the former Blockbuster Video location at 108 Inverness Plaza, Birmingham, AL 35242. Store hours are 10:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12:00 p.m. through 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. You can reach the store at (205) 980-3303 or find more information here.

We hope to see you there!

It’s Dark Outside: Trail Running Safety in the Dark

running in the dark

As days shorten for winter, many runners are without choice: either give up daily runs, or run in the dark. Here are some tips to safe and enjoyable running when the sun isn’t out.

  1. See what is in your path with a headlamp. With recent advances in LED technology, headlamps are brighter, lighter, and less expensive than they were just a few years ago. Many, like the waterproof Storm from Black Diamond also offer dimming beams and safety modes that can strobe in an emergency. You’ll want a headlamp that is bright enough to blaze the trail ahead, while also illuminating obstacles like rocks, stumps, or uneven terrain.
  2. Let others know that you are in their path with proper attire. Look for clothing and accessories with reflective elements (known as “hits”) built into the design. These can be a small as a reflective logo on a shirt or reflective piping on shoes and are illuminated by automotive headlights or other runners’ headlamps. If you frequently run in fog or near roadways, consider a flashing beacon to increase visibility to automotive traffic.
  3. Treat your body right, in heat OR cold. Cooler weather demands a longer stretching time to ensure muscles are warmed up correctly. Don’t forget your cool down period and remember to stay hydrated! Your body loses fluids as you exercise even in cool temperatures. Consider a Camelbak or Osprey hydration pouch; they’ll allow you to store gloves and headbands when not needed, and many feature reflective elements for safety as well. (Camelbak Octane XCT)
  4. There is safety in nighttime numbers. Consider running with a group when the sun isn’t out. Not only will this provide peace of mind from strangers on the trail, but you’ll gain the benefit of others’ lights and eyes watching for hidden obstacles and tripping hazards. Groups also make more noise than solo runners, making wildlife aware of your presence and less likely to be startled into an altercation. (See our weekly trail run below)
  5. Enjoy the outdoors in the best light. Running during a magnificent sunrise or sunset will enhance any environment and make your run that much more enjoyable. Grab a quick photo with your cell phone and share with your friends on Facebook!