By Dana Demer
I didn’t realize on my first WOOT run how much “W” there was in WOOT. I was flamboozled into a run by my wife, Sweet Caroline, but didn’t make the connection until I realized I was only one of three guys on the run. Although my first name is uni-sex (I am a male “Dana”) I was welcomed with open-arms into my first WOOT run (aka a “FOOT” run which stands for Family or Friends Out On Trails). The first thing that was apparent was the positive energy that surrounds the group and all that partake in its activities. It is contagious and leaves you mentally refreshed. I enjoyed the run, finished in the top three for males, and had a great time at the after party.
WOOT is short for “Women who love to seek out and develop close friendships while doing what we most love doing – running!” Or actually “Women Out On Trails”. They have a desire to share their love of running with as many women as possible, and hope to provide useful training tips and inspirational stories to help both new and advanced runners stay motivated with their running goals.
The beauty of WOOT is there such a wide spectrum of women in the running group that range from competitive and serious runners to women who simply want a day out on the trails with other women. Some run, some walk, and some trot, but all are celebrated equally as they finish. Discussions on the trail range from running gear to recipes and travel tips, and everything in between, but never negative. These are women who enjoy being around other positive ladies on beautiful trails, and together they exude massive amounts of positive mojo.
The WOOT location in Okinawa exposes runners to some of the more beautiful, yet obscure locations on the island. Many trails summit with breathtaking views (sometimes breathtaking from the views themselves, and sometimes breathtaking in the trail to get to these views!) I have not encountered any trail that is overwhelming, but some of these WOOTer’s put me to shame. Runs are mostly on weekends, but some of the women meet up on or off base during lunchtime to get a quick run in. Times vary mainly to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Anna, Jessey and the multitude of other Trail Leaders who volunteer their time take great care in pre-run preparations for each and every run. They are usually pretty muddy and sweaty by the time the rest of the WOOT group show up.
I’m not invited on every run, some runs are exclusively “W”, and I’m ok with that. My wife always comes back tired, yet rejuvenated and looking forward to the next run. Completion of certain runs are tracked by silver charms for certain trails, a spider for the Spider trail just east of Maeda point, a snake for the Habu trail on Futenma, and most recently a princess crown for a relay trail race at Mt. Ishikawa. These become a source of pride among the ladies.
For further information, please check out their website, http://www.womenoutontrails.com or their growing locations on Facebook that are listed below. The goal of WOOT was not only to help inspire and support other women but to have locations around the world so wherever you may PCS there will be a supportive, encouraging group to show you the trails there. Who knows, you may already know a familiar face or two when you get there.
The FB page has plenty of wonderful information from questions and answers on gear, to recipes, to great trails waiting to be explored. Better yet, grab your trail shoes, something to drink and eat, a towel for your car seat, and come join a wonderful group of women, and sometimes the people that love them.
Women Out On Trails-Find them on FB below
WOOT-San Diego (San Diego has 2 locations- SD proper and one at Camp Pendleton)
WOOT- 29 Palms/Joshua Tree is coming soon!