XTERRA Ambassador Jay Lund isn’t the only one looking forward to doing the XTERRA Claw 5 Mile and 10 Mile Trail Run on May 7th. Held in the magnificent Alafia River State Park in Lithia, Florida, “The Claw” is one of the most popular races in the XTERRA Florida Series, even though, race director Jim Hartnett admits, “It’s a tough love kind of race.”
“I will indeed be doing ‘The Claw’,” said Lund. “It is one of the best – if not THE best – trail races in south Florida. Alafia River State Park has miles of fantastic trails and the race directors tweak it each year, so we never know what’s coming.”
Hartnett likes to keep the race interesting. “The diversity of the terrain is one of the best parts of the course,” said Hartnett. “One minute you are on top of a large berm with long-range views, then you are running through cogongrass, stands of pines, single track, double track, under the tree canopy and then out in the open.”
“It was absolutely crazy,” said Matt Bertrand, a Florida-based ultra runner, after last year’s race. “There was scrambling. There was a river I had to swim across. There was grass up to my chest. And I’m six foot seven.”
The 10-mile race will take runners into parts of Alafia River State Park normally closed to the public. “And the 10 mile course isn’t a second loop of the 5-mile course,” added Hartnett. “It’s completely different trails.”
Alafia River State Park was “Runner’s World’s” Trail of the Month in 2011 because of its more than 17 miles of well-maintained single track, which received an “EPIC” designation from the International Mountain Biking Association.
In last year’s race, Champ David Ramos won the 10-mile race in 1:25, almost four minutes ahead of runner up Hector Guzman. Ashley Samples won the women’s race in 1:42 and second-place finisher, Colleen McLaughlin, came through in 1:58.
Learn more and register for the XTERRA Claw at www.clawrun.com