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Topeka Trailrunning
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Trail Nerd and other Trail Running Activity
in the Topeka, KS Area 

Topekans: Darin Schneidewind, David Wakefield, and John Knowles

Topeka has a thriving trailrunning scene.  It also has some excellent trails (within the city limits) to run on.  It's also just a short drive to get to some other excellent trails in Lawrence or at Perry Lake.  So, check-out the information below, and meet some of the folks in the local trailrunning scene:

Jess Wakefield, Volunteer Extraordinaire

Trails to Run On
MacLennan Park Trails
AKA "the Governor's Mansion Trails"
By far, the most popular place to run off-road in Topeka is on the MacLennan Park Trails, AKA "the Governor's Mansion Trails."  The park has two types of trails - a wide limestone loop and a series of dirt singletrack hiking and MTB trails.
No Worries (about leaving your car parked at the trailhead): Security is tight, being within sight of the Governor's Mansion.
Dornwood Park Trails
The seven mile Dornwood Park Trail is located in southeast Topeka and is accessable from a trailhead on SE 25th Street, east of California Avenue.  These trails currently need a little work and are slightly overgrown.  The Fall & Winter months are a better choice, to run on these trails.

Map of All of Topeka's Trails (unpaved & paved)

Trail Gators Club
Hunter Munns started a trailrunning club about a couple of years ago.  They have regular group runs, many of which are on the Governor's Manision trails, during the week.
For more up to date Topeka Trailrunning information, contact Hunter Munns, or go to the website he moderates.

Topeka Trail Gators Trailrunning Club:


Topeka Area Roadrunning Club:



Topekans on Endurance Planet Dot Com
In August 2010, Kevin Patrick talks to an ultra runner who "lit a fire" under himself and used the motivation to win The Psycho Psummer 50k. He's the Trail Nerd of the Month, David Wakefield. Podcast
July 2010: Three champions in one hour. Darin Schneidewind, who won the Kettle Moraine 100-mile race is Trail Nerd of the Month!  We’re also joined by the men’s and women’s champion from The Western States 100 Endurance Run, Geoff Roes and Tracy Garneau. Podcast

Trailrunning Shoes in Topeka
Brown's Shoe Fit Co
1920 Southwest Wanamaker Rd
Topeka, KS (785) 271-6961
Store Hours:
Monday thru Friday 9am - 7pm
Saturday  9am - 6pm
Sunday 11am - 5pm

After Your Run:
For a "deluscious" breakfast, try Sophia's and my favorite little-gem-of-a-breakfast-joint, Bradley's Cafe, in north Topeka.  Bradley's is the home of wonderfully fluffy French-style omlettes (with all of the sides) for a great $8.95 price. They make great pies (and all of their own breads), too.  From downtown Topeka, go north on Kansas Ave (over the Kaw River) and take your first left after the bridge.  Look for it in the old-Main-Street-looking area. 
Or, go to the Hanover Pancake House in downtown Topeka.  Decent service, okay food, and right-sized portions, all wrapped in a retro-architectural package.  It is very popular, so you may have to wait for a table, though.  It's located downtown on Kansas at about 10th, just north of the McD's.
For a very-healthy alternative, go see Joe and his staff at the Juice Stop, on the SW corner of 21st & Fairlawn.  Bad Ben's personal favorite veggie smoothie: The Perfect Ten.

A Few Local Trail Runners

David Wakefield
"Ground Control to Major Dave"

David Wakefield has been one of Topeka's fastest trailrunners and ultrarunners for quite some time, and has garnered course records on a few trail race courses.  Recently, he won the Psycho Psummer 50K, the  Free State 40-Mile (two years in a row), and has won the 3-day stage race at Syllamo, too.  David's Blog
Darin Schneidewind

Another speedy Topekan, Darin Schneidewind was recently featured in an Endurance Planet podcast, as Trail Nerd of the Month.  Since 2008, Darin has been a frontrunner in many trail and ultra races.  His favorite race distance seems to be 100-mile events, and in June 2010 he won the Kettle Moraine 100-Mile endurance run!  Darin's Blog

Sophia Wharton (with dog, Puccini)
Topekan Sophia Wharton, has been a trailrunner since December 2007.  She Co-Race Directs up to 17 local races per year, including three very popular ultras.  In Fall of 2008, she won 5 trail races in a row, including two 50K's.  Her 50K P.R. is 5:43:00 at the Rock Creek 50K, the 2nd-fastest female record time at that race (with Deanna Stoppler's 2007 finish, being the record).  Sophia is also the MizunoUSA Running Rep, for a 4-state area.  Sophia's Blog
Rebecca Collins
Becky Collins has been a steady trailrunner, for the past two years.  She's consistently at the front of the pack, in most local trail races.

John Knowles, Mayetta, KS

John has become quite the speedster, and can be seen at the front of every race he enters.  If you can keep up with him long enough to view his backside, good luck - pretty soon he will be a diminishing dot in the distance.

Kim Deckert

Kim has been either a winner or a contender in many local trail races.  She tends to attack a course with a certain ferocity.  Kim won the female 2009 Rock Creek Trail Series trophy.
Hunter Munns
Hunter started the Topeka trailrunning club, the Trail Gators.  He can be found at a variety of local trailrunning events.  He is quick to smile, even during the toughest of races.

Tim Collins

Washburn Lady Blues head soccer coach Tim Collins, has found a fun hobby: running on the trails with like-minded friends.  He's raced every distance up to 40 miles.

Kyle Seevers finishes his first marathon!

Kyle is healing-up, so that he can get back his Trail Mojo.  He has a penchant for breaking spider webs and hoisting pints of IPA.

Julie Funk

You can tell that Julie loves running, and especially trailrunning...she's enthusiastic about it.

Willie Lambert

Willie Lambert is a veteran of many trail runs, ultras, and 100-milers.  He hosted the great Rock Creek Trail Series at Perry Lake for the past 4 years, and was owner of Great Plains Running Company.  He is leaving us for greener pastures (and real skiing), and moving to SLC, Utah.

Lee Crane

Lee is a kind soul who is always quick to volunteer or help a fellow runner.

MK Thompson

MK is a very energetic soul, and if not running in an event, will gladly volunteer to do an army's worth of work for the same event.

Bad Ben's Trail Running Site