By Devin P. Quinn
XTERRA Trail Running Intern
There’s no question about it—this year’s Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Running National Championship promise to be the most exciting yet. On September 20th, amateurs and casual runners will have the unique opportunity to match steps with the nation’s elite as the course winds its way through the breathtaking mountain trails of the Snowbasin ski resort in Ogden, Utah. It all comes together this fall—a nationwide ensemble, an incredibly scenic course, and, of course, the inimitable atmosphere of an XTERRA racing event, all promising to make this race one of the most anticipated XTERRA events of the year.
I could feel the thrill of “Nationals” from the moment that I arrived at Snowbasin Resort for last year’s championships. The magnetic attraction and appeal of the event was easily evident in the presence of runners from every part of the country—virtually every state was represented. Regional champions had their hard-earned titles emblazoned on their race bibs, providing fodder for conversation as well as evidence of a free invitation thanks to XTERRA’s unique “Win Your Series and Race For Free” program. Having volunteered at many XTERRA races across the nation, I recognized many familiar faces—veteran racers and trail-running luminaries from every corner of America, gathered in this one place for a single epic event alongside ordinary running enthusiasts—mere mortals like you and me. It’s an irresistible formula that has drawn runners to Ogden for six straight years—and year seven promises to be more fun than ever.
Another key ingredient of the race’s undeniable allure is the backdrop—the superlative scenery of the Wasatch mountains. All three race courses—5K, 10K, and half-marathon—depart from the Snowbasin village at the foot of the mountainous terrain and wind their way upward for a challenging but hugely rewarding climb before descending back to the resort. A fantastic course awaits runners, with well-maintained trails, glorious panoramic vistas, and plenty of crisp, fresh mountain air. I speak from experience when I say that the Nationals course is easily one of the most beautiful routes that a runner could have the privilege of experiencing—if you love trail running, you won’t want to miss this course.
In fact, make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the wonderful opportunities offered at the 2015 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Running National Championship! Offering amateurs the unparalleled opportunity to run the same race as today’s trail running greats, and set on a world-class course of superb trails and stunning panoramas, the race is certain to draw attendees and participants from every corner of the country to Ogden this September for a truly spectacular racing event.