Trail Running Bend and Central Oregon with Lucas Alberg

Trail Running Bend and Central Oregon with Lucas Alberg

So you like lacing into a pair of trail running shoes, strapping on a hydration vest, driving to a trailhead, and getting after it. Trail Running Bend and Central Oregon (Wilderness Press, 2016), the new trail running guidebook by Lucas Alberg, is probably something you’ll want to have stuffed in your center console or glove compartment at all times. Why? Because it’s the first of its kind, meaning there are no other comprehensive guides to trail running in Bend and Central Oregon, it’s organized by season as opposed to geography, and it makes exploring trails even more fun than it already is. Also, Lucas is awesome and his gem of a Bend Oregon trail running guide is something you won’t want be without the next time you’re wondering which Bend trails to hit and how.   

bend and central oregon trail running
Bend And Central Oregon Trail Running, from Wilderness Press.

Last spring, Irene and I had the pleasure of sitting down with Lucas. I’ve known him for a handful of years, attended his beautiful Orcas Island wedding, and have heard him belt it out as the frontman for The Beautiful Train Wrecks a number of times (Lucas has many talents, most of which take you by surprise and then quickly win you over). After a solid Q&A, Lucas sped off to Portland and we were left parsing everything he’d left behind in the form of our chicken scratch notes, our notions, and our sentiments. From impetus to completion and beyond, here’s what we learned about Trail Running Bend and Central Oregon and the man behind its making. 

Trail Running Bend Oregon: The Impetus

Trail Running Bend and Central Oregon was a passion project for Lucas. The running, the writing, the editing, it was all a labor of love. And the purpose? The purpose of creating this Central Oregon running guide was and is manifold. Lucas wanted to fill a void in the Bend trail running community. As it stands, Bend has a strong running contingent, a force to be reckoned with even, full of professional runners and weekday trotters alike, and so creating a killer guidebook that covered running trails in and near Bend was something Lucas felt almost compelled to do.  He also wanted to make people feel safe and comfortable on the trails by offering them turn-by-turn directions, which in turn would (hopefully) encourage trail runners and hikers to explore beyond their go-to Bend trails, the ones they frequent out of familiarity and ease.

Bend Oregon Running Trails, By Season

As mentioned earlier, Lucas chose to organize his bend trail running guide by way of season, instead of geography. Which is kind of like getting even more insider information than you bargained for, in that not only does the book give you detailed information about Bend and Central Oregon trail running, it also tells you what time of year you want to be running which trails. Brilliant. Maybe you’re moving to Bend, or just visiting, or you’re lucky enough to live here. Either way, having a seasonal guidepost to trail running is essential. Post-holing in early May can be fun and all, but not if you’re amped to pound tread on some Central Oregon dirt, or to see wildflowers peak in the Badlands while whizzing by. Maybe other trail running guidebooks are organized by season, I don’t know, but I bet not all of them are and so: bravo, Lucas, for delivering not only an informative trail running guide, but also an insightful and extremely useful one.

Wilderness Press And The Path To Publishing

Lucas is a self-professed map geek. He also loves exploratory running missions that take him deep into the mountains. The combination of the two was a sweet spot for planting the seed that later became his Bend trail running baby (he also has two real-life kids and a sweetie named Rae). Having never published before, Lucas first sent a 30-page proposal and three sample chapters to Wilderness Press. Not surprisingly, they were into it and Lucas was on his guidebook-writing way. The endeavor, of course, involved a lot of work and elbow grease. It was also ideal. With an “end goal” of publication, Lucas got to continue doing what he had already been doing and loving: pouring over maps at the kitchen table on a Saturday morning, running beautiful Bend Oregon trails, and building towards his very own Bend trail running guide. Sounds alright to us.

Lucas Alberg bend trail running
Wonder duo, Irene and Lucas, during our rendezvous last spring.
Where To Find This Rad Little Bend Trail Running Guide

The people want to know! And we’re here to tell you, Lucas’s Trail Running Bend and Central Oregon (Did we mention it includes a foreword written by Max King? Yeah, that Max King.) can be found in several places, online and in person. You can buy it directly through Wilderness Press, here. Or pick it up from:

Right now it’s spring in Central Oregon, which means the weather is either snowing or raining or sporting warmer temps. Springtime here is a mixed bag and it’s beautiful and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Just throw on your favorite trail runners, pack a trail snack, and use your new copy of Trail Running Bend and Central Oregon as the crystal ball that helps you determine which Bend running trails  you want to be exploring this fickle time of year.

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