Spring is a glorious season for endurance runners. We’ve survived winter and can look forward to summer weather, long days and lots of time on the trails.
Finally, we can pack away the headlamps and the fleece tops; the base layer and the tights. Rather than running with our heads down against the sleet and snow, we are beginning to look up and notice the flowers, the mud, and – could it be – the sun.
Last weekend, we talked to several athletes from South Carolina to Texas who tore it up on XTERRA Trail Runs.
At the XTERRA Victoria Bryant Trail Run in Royston, Georgia, it was unanimously agreed that the park is a different animal in the spring, when the leaves are off the trail.
Jacqueline Donaldson won the 6.2K race in 55:56, and Cynthia Altman, who was the runner up in 57:59 said, “Although I am more of a road runner, I love trail running and now want to do more of it. Those hills were no joke, but I thoroughly enjoyed racing with everyone this weekend.”
John Simmons had the best time of the day and won in 46:07. He was followed by David Jiminez, who crossed the line in 47:41.
XTERRA Myrtle Beach offered 5K, 10K, 20K and 50K Trail Run options at Horry County Bike & Run Park, nicknamed “The Hulk,” because its trails are similar to The Incredible Hulk rollercoaster at Universal Studios.
The overall 20K champ was Justine Whipple, a former US Naval Academy track star who still holds the school record in the indoor 5K.
David Knight was the runner up and men’s champ in 1:42:28.
Alexandra Gass was the women’s 10K champ in 48:22 (and beat all but one of the men). Kara Slick was second in 1:01:38 and then went on to place 16th in the women’s division of the XTERRA Myrtle Beach Triathlon the next day.
When asked how long she had been running on the trails, Kara responded, “I’ve never done one until today.”
Scott Recupero won the men’s 10K in 47:25 and Adam Riedel was the runner up in 55:26.
At the XTERRA ATX in Austin, Texas, new XTERRA Ambassador Steven Stoot was first in a time of 1:28:12. Emma Kosciak was the women’s champ with a time of 2:00:10.