Freetrail Pro offers a private community for members where we can share our trail adventures and races, ask complex questions, learn something new, work through challenges, and share inspirational ideas. In our unbiased opinion, it’s the best online community for committed and passionate trail runners. We’re a diverse and inclusive community of runners hailing from everywhere from France to Mexico to Australia to the US and beyond.
While we started out as a small Freetrail family, we’ve happily seen the community grow. While this growth is welcome, we want to ensure the close-knit and supportive community always remains our hallmark. The following guidelines are intended to make the community easier to navigate and more enjoyable to use.
By joining Freetrail Pro, you agree that you have read and will follow the #FreetrailFam Guidelines for use in Slack, during Office Hours, and beyond.
Freetrail Code of Conduct
Our overarching mission as a business is to spread Trail Culture, and in doing so, we believe that trail running can and will save the world. We frame our Code of Conduct by first sharing our definition of Trail Culture:
Trail Culture represents the spirit of the global trail running community. We define it using these four principles:
Inclusivity – Trail Culture is welcoming to all people regardless of background, identity, experience, or skill level. Trail Culture respects that individuals have different life experiences that shape who they are and how they approach the world. The trail running community should aspire to make all people feel welcomed, celebrated, and loved. Trail Culture reserves judgment and seeks to find common ground.
Community – Trail Culture is building enduring, healthy relationships. It is giving back through volunteering, crewing, trail work, or simply encouraging a friend through a tough moment. Trail Culture is positive-sum.
Effort – Trail Culture is an acknowledgement of the value inherent in trying hard at anything. Trail running teaches us to effort with grace and to persevere through challenging times. Trail Culture celebrates hard work and commitment in all its forms.
Stewardship – Trails have been part of human civilization for thousands of years. They provide a link between people and places, and provide a sanctuary to challenge, refine, and improve ourselves – a sacred human process! It is therefore the responsibility of trail runners to protect and preserve these natural spaces and help ensure access to the trails so everyone can enjoy them.
Our community is sacred, and we all have a responsibility to hold ourselves accountable. We have extraordinarily high standards. Sometimes, we fall short and make mistakes. But if an individual’s actions or words repeatedly or egregiously threaten the safety of this community, we’ll have to take appropriate action and you may be removed.
We value respectful behavior above individual opinions. The safety of our community is of the utmost importance. Respectful behavior includes:
- Be considerate, kind, constructive, and helpful.
- Avoid demeaning, discriminatory, harassing, hateful, or physically threatening behavior, speech, and imagery.
- While feedback can be helpful, please avoid unsolicited feedback and comments. Before chiming in, ask yourself: Has this person asked for support? What are my intentions? Even if my intentions are good, how might my comment be received by this person? Is it actually helpful?
- Don’t be a bystander. Role model respectful behavior, but also help to address disrespect when you see it.
- Trust Intent, Name Impact. Assume your fellow community members mean well, but let them know if they’ve hurt your feelings or crossed a boundary. If someone tells you you’ve hurt their feelings, be quick to apologize. We are all always learning so engaging with care, love and respect is paramount.
Freetrail Sanctioned Community
The purpose of a community is to bring together people with the similar interest and love for trail running. With this in mind, we hope there is no limit to the positive benefit Freetrail can add to your life. Our goal is to bring as many trail runners from across the globe together in one place. We hope that you become friends, and even family, with each other.
That said, we need to delineate boundaries between what’s inside and outside Freetrail control, and how to approach these different scenarios accordingly.
Please do not leverage the Freetrail Pro community to recruit members for another group or purpose and/or use the Freetrail brand without Freetrail’s direct permission.
This includes, but is not limited to asking people to follow or join a group on any of the following platforms, whether existing or new:
- Facebook Group
- Zoom meeting
- Email chain
- In-person meet-ups, retreats, or events
Not sure? Please just ask us!
We welcome and desire diversity in all forms. Part of what makes our sport special is that we are all unique and different, and come together with one shared interest for trail running. This allows us to connect and make lifelong friendships with people all over the world. But it’s important we do our part to ensure the sport opens its arms to diverse communities both digitally and IRL.
Please know that at Freetrail:
- We do not tolerate discrimination within our community. We do not condone verbal, physical, or emotional abuse, sexual harassment, or discrimination against any person for any reason. We expect everyone to treat each other with respect. Be considerate, kind, constructive, and helpful.
- We affirm transgender women as women and transgender men as men. We will not tolerate discrimination of Trans athletes in our community or at our events. You can check out Transathlete.com for lots of good information.
- Financial assistance for those who need it. From day one, Freetrail has said that we don’t want anyone to be turned away due to a lack of funds. If you cannot afford membership, and would like to be part of Freetrail Pro, please email email@example.com. If you’d like to contribute to our financial assistance program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for ways to gift or donate a membership.
- We continue to learn and grow from important organizations. We seek to dispel the notion that trail running only requires a pair of shoes. We acknowledge and respect that there are huge issues in our sport that can’t be tackled or addressed overnight. We look towards organizations like Black Girls Run, Black Men Run, Footprints, Girls on the Run, and Running Industry Diversity Coalition to continually learn how we can help make our sport more inclusive.
In recent years, we’ve seen a major shift with brands looking to increase representation and equity efforts. Some have done a great job and others have fallen short. While there is no overnight solution to our sport’s diversity issue nor how Freetrail operates, there are few steps we’re currently taking to make sure we do a better job to support the change we desire within our sport.
- Increasing representation in Freetrail across our platforms including podcast, video and written content.
- Speaking up on hard issues within our sport, and being willing to learn, grow and educate ourselves.
- Continually evolving these Community Guidelines to ensure they capture our desire for inclusivity.
- Learning and engaging with existing organizations that are tackling issues that reach far beyond trail running like environmental justice and expanding access to the outdoors.
- Diligently ensuring our community feels safe, inclusive and welcoming to everyone.
- Being open to hearing from our community on ways in which we can be increasingly inclusive and welcoming. Have an idea? Please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Apologize for mistakes
Should you catch yourself behaving disrespectfully, or be confronted as such, listen intently, own up to your words and actions, and apologize accordingly.
No one is perfect, and even well-intentioned people make mistakes. What matters is how you handle them and that you avoid repeating them in the future.
Two resources on apologies are here and here.
If the administrators determine that someone is behaving disrespectfully, the administrators may take any action they deem appropriate within this Slack community up to and including removal from the Slack workspace or Freetrail Pro.
As administrators, we will seek to resolve conflicts peacefully and in a manner that is positive for the community.
We can’t foresee every situation, and thus it is in the administrator’s judgment whether the best thing to do is to ask a disrespectful individual to leave.
Freetrail Slack Guidelines
After you sign in you’ll be added to the #introduce-yourself channel and a few others. You can also get an up-to-date listing of all available channels and join those that fit with your realm(s) of expertise and/or interest — simply click on Channels in the left-hand sidebar, scroll through the list, and join whichever interest you.
We’d hugely appreciate your taking a minute to flesh out your profile straight away, in particular uploading a photo of yourself — we like #FreetrailFam to be a highly approachable community filled with friendly faces. Much better than the default swatch of Slack plaid!
Then jump right in — let us know who you are, where you are in your trail running journey, and what you might be looking to get out of the Freetrail Slack community.
You can also dig into Slack Preferences (from the #FreetrailFam drop-down menu in the upper left-hand corner) in order to customize notifications, messages, media, and so on.
A Quick Guide To The Basics
- Set up your profile. Upload a photo and create a short bio. Include your first and last name in your profile so we know you’re a real person.
- Head to the #introduce-yourself channel and say hello! We’d love to get to know you and this is the best place to start.
- This is a multi-channel Slack. Please use the correct channel for the topic you’re posting. If you’re unsure which one to use, feel free to ask. We’ve limited the #general channel so only admins can post as it’s meant for bigger Freetrail news or updates that affect the entire community.
- We make heavy use of threads to keep conversations organized. While it’s not always possible to remember this, please do your best to reply in a thread instead of in a separate comment.
- If your favorite topic isn’t being discussed, bring it up!
- All are welcome to contribute regardless of whether they consider themselves an OG Pyllars member, a newbie, a fanatic, an experienced trail runner, or someone who is brand new to the sport. All are welcome and encouraged to participate! If you want to hang back and observe, that’s cool, too.
- We expect that you’ll treat others with respect. We encourage conversation and remind you that you’re here to learn, which means being open to a diverse set of ideas, but please always lead with respect. See our Code of Conduct if you’re not sure what’s allowed.
Some Important Details
Effective May 2023, we have a few additions to our Slack Guidelines. We continue to welcome diverse thoughts and ideas and do not want a community platform where everyone agrees all the time. However, as a company and community, we strongly stand against any form of hate, racism, or prejudice, regardless of intent. This doesn’t always look overtly like racism or hateful commentary, and is often more subtle.
- A reminder to please always think before you post. There are extremely heated topics that affect many of our community members and that we care deeply about. Before you engage, is your post encouraging a supportive and inclusive space? Is it leading to constructive conversation or is it inflaming emotions around provocative topics?
- Be willing to apologize and learn. Educate yourself on important topics and don’t expect the community to answer, explain or teach you in Slack.
- Effective immediately, we are also instituting a new rule. We strongly believe in free speech, and simultaneously believe that constructive dialogue does not happen in short form text exchange. Twitter has become an angry, dismissive echo-chamber. We refuse to let our community become something similar. We believe that hard conversations are best had person to person. With that said:
- If there is an especially animated disagreement unfolding in a Slack thread, we reserve the right to shut it down.
- If a conversation ever makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, please reach out to us immediately. You do not need to engage or respond. This community is sacred and our job is to prioritize safety.
- If desired, we will help to meditate a person to person dialogue in a format that has a real chance of leading to a peaceful resolution, like Zoom or a phone call.
Interest Groups Channel
The #interest-groups channel was born from a desire to help our community share and learn about particular topics and connect with like-minded Freetrailers. We are proud to offer a wide range of these smaller interest group channels. These range from LGBTQ+ to Sober to Mindset groups.
We want to keep our channels tight to inspire rich conversation in the existing channels. We encourage you to find a home for your ideas and comments in our current channels, but if there is something you truly believe we need, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the desired channel name, idea and your pitch for why we need it.
Any group that is created and sits vacant or with limited engagement for an extended time will likely be archived or deleted. We reserve the right to remove a channel for any reason at any time. Please ask to create and engage in channels wisely.
The original Office Hours are at 11:30am PT every Wednesday. Details are in your Freetrail Pro account on Freetrail.com.
As an extension of this weekly meeting, the idea for Office Hours for some of our interest groups arose. There are now Office Hours for Freetrail Femmes, Mental Health, Sober Runners and more. These are an amazing resource that the community has loved.
Current Office Hours timing here. It is also be available on your Freetrail Pro account page:
- OG (‘Original’) Office Hours: Every Wednesday at 11:30am PT
- Freetrail Femmes Office Hours: 1st & 3rd Friday of the month at 11:00am PT
- Mental Health Office Hours: Every Tuesday at 2pm PT
- Sober Office Hours: 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month at 5:00pm PT
- LGBTQ+ Office Hours: 1st Sunday of the month at 12:00pm PT
Timing may change at any time. If you are interested in starting, leading, or being part of an Office Hours ‘sub-group’, but don’t know where to begin, please email email@example.com or DM one of our administrators.
Content Ideas Channel
The #content-ideas channel is meant as a place to share fun, cool content ideas you have for Freetrail.
That said, if you have an idea you want to ensure we consider, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Slack is a fun place to engage, but in order for us to track and save ideas, we need them through email. Your ideas inspire us and we love to hear from you. While we can’t act on every idea you share, we read every single one and do our best to always reply.
A reminder that this channel is not a place for feedback. If you have feedback on existing content or any other Freetrail work, please email us at email@example.com and we can address there.
Discount Channel: Personal Promotions, Discount Codes and More
Our #discount channel is meant to hold two purposes:
- Share any relevant Freetrail promotional codes for our sponsors / partners. These codes also all live on a gated page on the Freetrail website that only Freetrail Pro members can access.
- Be the channel where members can share and request any particular codes they may be looking for or have access to.
Please note: we have a few guidelines around discounts in general to ensure this channel doesn’t become overly spammy, salesy or self-promoting. Please ensure you’re adhering to these guidelines before posting:
- Please do not use any Freetrail platforms to promote or sell your personal products or services without Freetrail’s permission.
- We want Freetrailers to get good deals on great products. If you share an affiliate link, or any link where you gain a commission, disclosure is warranted, both legally, and in transparency to the community.
- It’s best practice to not share your affiliate link or code for a specific brand unless you see someone requesting it. I.e. if someone posts, ‘Does anyone have a discount for Nike?’ it’s a good opportunity to share your code or affiliate link to Nike. However, it’s better not to just offer up your code without being asked.
- Remember, this is a community of friends. If you have a code or offer you’d like to share with friends and family – great! But if you’re solely sharing for your personal or financial gain, please do not. Before sharing a code, ask yourself: Am I sharing this code because I genuinely think the community is looking for this discount? Or am I sharing this code for potential personal gain?
- Please do not connect an outside workspace. If you have a question about this, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
- Selling or giving away trail-related gear? Head to the #classified channel and post there.
Please do not ask training, racing or other personal questions directly in messages. With a growing community, we cannot guarantee we’ll be able to see or respond to these messages. Please post your training questions in the #training channel, for example. This is better for everyone, because other members can offer advice, input, and also see answers that might benefit them.
Please limit your DMs to things where you need to connect directly with another member (with their approval) or need help for whatever reason from an administrator. This includes, but is not limited to, needing help navigating Freetrail Pro or concerns about certain behavior in Slack.
This is a private community platform that is available to paying Freetrail Pro members only. Please do not share the invite link or any material from within #FreetrailFam with anyone else.
That said, no one has signed an NDA to participate in our Slack community, and you should not presume anything you say here will remain private.
Want to post a fun screenshot from Slack on IG to share a funny anecdote or let everyone else know how cool the Freetrail Slack is? That’s a great exception to the rule. Please just make sure you have approval from anyone involved before posting anything publicly.
Membership in this Slack Team is a privilege, not a right, and we reserve the right to remove you at any time.
If you fail to pay your Membership dues or cancel your membership, you will lose access to the Slack community. If you renew your membership, or decide to pay, you can rejoin at any time by sending us an email at email@example.com.
The administrator(s) of the Freetrail Slack Community as of February 2023:
- Harmony Bowman – firstname.lastname@example.org or DM on Slack.
Please note: When reaching out, please understand replies may not be immediate. We’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as possible!
We reserve the right to change or update these Guidelines at any time. If you are a member of Freetrail, use any of our services, or otherwise engage with Freetrail, please ensure you read and adhere to these Guidelines fully.