Dig Deep at the XTERRA Deep South Trail Run

By DJ Quinn

On May 30th another installment of the phenomenon gripping the Southeast arrives: the XTERRA Deep South Trail Run! For the past ten years, race director Tim Schroer and family have been putting on Dirty Spokes races across the Southeast, with races in Alabama, North Carolina, and the lion’s share in Georgia. With about thirty trail and mountain bike races to run this year, you might think Tim and Co. would be overworked and stressed. On the contrary, when asked to describe his race series, and in particular the popular (and series finale) XTERRA Deep South race Tim says, “Overall the series is a blast! We go to some of the best and most scenic venues in the state of Georgia! Each race and venue (trail system) has something unique to offer. The XTERRA Deep South 15K/5K is at Dauset Trails (about 35-40 minutes south of Atlanta). It is a mixture of single track, double track, hills, technical sections (roots and rocks) and overall, sweet Georgia Dirt!”

As mentioned above, the XTERRA Deep South race (and all the Georgia races) are incredibly popular, and are only gaining in popularity. In fact, they are often sold out. When asked why the XTERRA Deep South race is so popular Tim says, “We have a great group of people that attend our events. The runners make these races what they are; they create a fun, family type atmosphere for our events! Whether it’s front, middle, or back of the pack it always seems like everyone is out there cheering, rooting and supporting each other.”

The supportive and friendly atmosphere certainly explains the popularity of the XTERRA Deep South run, and Dirty Spokes races in general. But exactly how did all this start? According to Tim, “Dirty Spokes was established in 2005 by my wife and me. We have 4 daughters, so it’s really a family business. Our family is a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts! My father is the former men’s tennis coach at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (he helps at the races also). Growing up I always worked in his tennis camps. I teach and coach at Mill Creek High School (my full time day job). Learning organizational skills from my father growing up (working for him at his camps), as well as teaching school, the race directing and organizing just fall into place.”

When I asked Tim what he thought about the XTERRA Deep South race compared to the other Dirty Spokes races, Tim said, “It really kicks off summer time! I think the name Deep South is appropriate because it’s hot and humid each year out in the open field but cools just a touch when you hit the woods! The most important factor of course are the participants: they are the same as our other races-good people!”

With so many popular and well-loved races, Dirty Spokes can truly be said to put on some of the best XTERRA races in the country. Just go to the Deep South race and find out for yourself!

Photo Credit: Matt Turner / Defiant Photography


Donovan, Thorpe win Paul Mitchell XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run


JP Donovan from Incline Village, Nevada and Bree Thorpe from Las Vegas, Nevada won the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Lake Las Vegas half-marathon on a beautiful blue sky day in Henderson, Nevada.

Donovan, just a day removed from finishing 11th overall in the pro race at yesterday’s XTERRA West Championship triathlon, crushed the field with a winning time of 1:19:32, almost four minutes ahead of runner up Jorge Mejia.

“I was hurting out there, but didn’t want anybody to notice,” said Donovan, who was last year’s overall XTERRA amateur national triathlon champion.

Bree Thorpe

In the women’s race Thorpe took the tape in 1:33:02, almost 10 minutes ahead of previous winner Aimee Balzer.

“I didn’t know how I would feel today because I did a long run yesterday, but my coach is Max King and I figured he knew what he was doing,” said Thorpe.

King, of course, is the “King of XTERRA Trail Running” with four World Titles to his credit.  He’s trying to get Thorpe in a position to chase the Olympic Trials in the marathon distance.

There were also 5K and 10K races today.  James Grovom and Mercy Ray won the 10K while Andrew Dixon and Ashley Millhouse captured the 5K.  More than 400 runners from around the nation took part in today’s run, which is part of the 100-race Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Series.

Every division winner in the 21K race earned a free entry into the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Running World Championship to be held December 6, 2015 at Kualoa Ranch on the island of Oahu.

Learn more at

XTERRA Bluebonnet

XTERRA Bluebonnet This Weekend

This will be a busy weekend for athletes in Burnet, Texas. The fourth race in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series begins this Saturday and this Sunday is XTERRA Bluebonnet Triathlon of the South Central Region.

The Bluebonnet Trail Run will commence at Reveille Peak Ranch for a 5 and 15-kilometer trail run. Runners will take part in a 5 or 15-kilometer single track race that explores the serene views of the Ranch. Runners will experience the granite-carved hills and the fields of bluebonnets while running on the track. The race begins and ends at the lake on the ranch where runners are welcome to cool off after their run.

The Texas series is still highly competitive at the moment and no one person has a significant lead in series points. With five more races in the series we might have to wait until we get some clarity on who will be the favorite to win the series for each division.

Runners in the 15-kilometer race will be eligible to earn points towards the Texas Series. Points will be awarded after each race to the top runners in each respective age group. Standings will be updated throughout the season, and at the conclusion of the series, each age-group winner will receive a free entry to run at the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Ogden, Utah, in September.

XTERRA Bluebonnet will take place on the same ranch as the trail run and will physically test even the most durable athletes. The race begins with an 800 meter two lap swim transitions into a 12.5 mile mountain bike and finishes with a 6-kilometer run.

Points will be rewarded in the triathlon to the top 15 in each age group for each gender division. The top athletes of Southcentral region can qualify for the XTERRA USA Championship at Ogden, Utah, in September.

2015 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series

9/20/14 XTERRA Terra Firm Trail Run

3/21/15 XTERRA Eco Lonestar Trail Run

3/28/15 XTERRA Camp Eagle Trail Run

4/25/15 XTERRA Bluebonnet Trail Run

5/17/15 XTERRA Rock Dallas Trail Run

6/14/15 XTERRA Muleshoe Trail Run

6/21/15 XTERRA Gator Bait Trail Run

7/12/15 XTERRA Magnolia Hill Trail Run

8/16/15 XTERRA Cameron Park Trail Run

For more information visit

View the current Trail Run Texas Point Standings here

Texas Series Trail Runs

2015 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series Preview

By DJ Quinn

The XTERRA Texas series has been garnering a lot of attention recently and for good reason: the courses are among the most beautiful on the XTERRA circuit, and their sense of community helps to attract new runners. As Kathy, the race director of roughly half the Texas series says, “The Texas series stands out because we have so many types of race courses in Texas. No two are really alike. We have everything from sandy, to rooted, to granite rock slap, to technical rolling ups and downs, and each of the races in the series presents those different challenges. Sometimes, one course contains all of those. We really have so many options.” Joel, the other half of the Dynamic Duo down in Texas (Kathy and Joel each have separate trail racing companies and each of them directs about half the XTERRA Texas series) agrees: “Each race in the Texas XTERRA series offers a different type of trails and terrain, from flat and sandy, to big hills with loose rock and ledges. It is a great slice of the  varied types of terrain that Texas has to offer.”

No race, no matter how scenic, would become as popular as the Texas series without having great runners who are also great people, and the Texas series sure attracts a happy crowd. Kathy comments, “The folks that run our races are very laid back. In fact, I often have bike racers attend our event weekend because we put on adventure races on the same weekend (which includes biking), and they always comment about how nice the trail runners are and how much they seem to enjoy life and just being out for the event. They all enjoy nature and being in the elements, and it makes for a fun group of people to spend our weekend with. And a little rain and mud never hurts a trail runner, because there are no bike parts to clean up ~ only shoes and clothes that can be washed.” Joel agrees wholeheartedly saying, “The participants are my favorite part. I see lots of the same people at every race and the sense of community that is created among the racers is great to be a part of.”

Both directors bring plenty of experience on Texas trails to the table. Joel says,“ I have been racing both road and mountain bikes in Texas since 1992. Over the years I would often volunteer to help set up, tear down, or help out during races. A few years ago I started helping out with the Texas XTERRA races. The guys that I was helping out were looking for someone to carry on with their race responsibilities and it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

The growing popularity of the Texas XTERRA series is due in large part to hard work of the race directors and the sense of community they foster. The different and challenging terrain is also a draw. Combine those factors and you have one awesome race series. As Kathy puts it, “My favorite thing about the Texas series is the versatility we have at our various courses. It is never boring for us to mark a course, and I always look forward to seeing the runners faces smiling at the end of their accomplishment.”

If you like scenic and challenging courses, a vibrant running community, and great race directors, join the growing number of people who have discovered the XTERRA Texas series; you definitely won’t be disappointed.

Upcoming 2015 XTERRA Texas Trail Runs

4/25/15 – XTERRA Bluebonnet Trail Run

5/17/15 – XTERRA Rock Dallas Trail Run

6/14/15 – XTERRA Muleshoe Trail Run

6/21/15 – XTERRA Gator Bait Trail Run

7/12/15 – XTERRA Magnolia Trail Run

8/16/15 – XTERRA Cameron Park Trail Run


Get the Paraty Started with This XTERRA Brazil Trail Run

Brazil’s night trail running series for 2015 kicks off this weekend in Paraty. On April, 11th XTERRA Brazil will be having a 7-kilometer and 21 kilometer night trail run.

Runners will illuminate the streets with their donned headlamps while running. The top three runners in the night run for male and female will receive trophies. All those who finish within the time limit will receive a survivor medal.

There will be five opportunities for people to experience night running in Brazil this year.

Night Trail Run Schedule

04/11/2015 XTERRA Paraty Night Trail Run 7/21km

05/09/2015 XTERRA Ilhabela Night Trail Run 7/21km

07/11/2015 XTERRA Cerado Night Trail Run 7/21km

08/08/2015 XTERRA Costa Verde 2 Night Trail Run 7/21km

09/12/2015 XTERRA Rota do Sol Night Trail Run 7km

For more information visit


Brown has Sights Set on Another Record at Black Mountain Trail Run

With the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run series having only two races left, Black Mountain is going to be an exciting race this weekend.

“It’s our most urban XTERRA in the SoCal series with a wide range of terrain, from grassy inclines to cinder trails, and even some creek crossings,” said Black Mountain’s Race Director, Daniel Weissauer. “It looks like it’s going to be good racing weather with a high in the 70’s and partly cloudy.”

Darren Brown has dominated the past three races in the SoCal series and is planning on continuing his reign while in San Diego. According to the Weissauer he’s been destroying course records and said not to be surprised if you see Brown in the front again.

For the females, there are three women battling it out for the age group points for the 35-39 division. Mary Colburn is leading and has won every race she has participated in but only has a slim six point lead over Tina Weissauer. Maggie Shearer from Newbury Park is currently in third and is a strong competitor that still has an opportunity to win the division. We will need to stay tuned through May to determine who becomes a division winner and receives a free invitation to the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Snowbasin, Ogden, Utah, in September.

Series Schedule

09/20/2014 XTERRA Aliso Canyon Trail 8/15km

10/12/2014 XTERRA Point Mugu Trail Run 11/18km

11/27/2014 XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot Trail Run 5/10/15km

02/01/2015 XTERRA Mission Gorge Trail Run 5/15km

02/22/2015 XTERRA Crystal Cove Trail Run 6/15km

03/22/2015 XTERRA Boney Mountain Trail Run 6/21km

04/12/2015 XTERRA Black Mountain Trail Run 6/16km

5/16/2015 XTERRA Malibu Creek Trail Run 6/22km

2015 SoCal Series Standings

Cheyenne Mountain

Colorado Series Returns to Action at Cheyenne Mountain

After a six month wait, XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series has returned with its next race in the series. XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain Trail Run will take place this weekend on April 12, 2015, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain will consist of three different courses. There will be a 24-kilometer race that contestants will be eligible to be rewarded points for the Colorado series, a 12-kilometer race and a 5-kilometer race.

Runners will run in Cheyenne Mountain State Park and experience running at 7,200 feet above sea level. Race Director, Victoria Seahorn said, “The course looks great… the forecast is perfect running weather. With a high of 69 and a low of 39 degrees with clear skies.”

What makes this event even more special is the Colorado Trail Run Series partnering with Colorado Young Leaders. Colorado Young Leaders was founded by Nicole Mahobian, a three-time consecutive winner of XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races Half Marathon. Colorado Young Leaders look for opportunities to provide meaningful service and all of the volunteers at the Colorado Trail Run Series will be teenagers from the organization. You can find more information on the organization at

Series Schedule

10/12/14 XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races 42/21/5km

04/12/15 XTERRA Mountain Trail Run 24/12/5km

06/06/15 XTERRA Turkey Track Trail Run 42/21km

07/19/15 XTERRA Beaver Creek Trail Run 21/10/5km

2015 Colorado Series Points Standings


For Trailheads, by a Trailhead

Lisa Jhung, one of the original racers at the inaugural XTERRA World Championship in Maui back in 1996, turned her passion for multisport into a career as a journalist covering the industry for the last two decades. Last week she set a PR of sorts, publishing her first book about the sport she loves the most – trail running.

Trailhead CoverWe caught up with her to talk about her new book, Trailhead

XTERRA: Congrats Lisa, thousands of articles but first book, right?
Lisa Jhung: Yes! Thousands (maybe hundreds) of articles, but this is my first book.

XT: When did the love for trail start?
LJ: I fell in love with running on the beach and on the bluff trails of Del Mar (San Diego), CA, toward the end of high school, and then all around campus at U.C. Santa Barbara. I was a volleyball team walk-on. I started running on the beach in Del Mar to train for the timed mile we had to do at try outs. When I quit late in my freshman year, I really got into running. After college, I lived in—and ran trails around—San Francisco, Mill Valley, Tahoe, and now Boulder.  I sometimes ran on roads, but have always opted for sand, dirt, grass, snow. I’m an XTERRA gal, after all. :)”

XT: What was your favorite part of writing the book?
LJ: Since the book is illustrated, I loved the creative process of thinking visually and coming up with conceptual/fun ways to get a point across. I’d write, draw, doodle, write…And I’d go on runs to mull over chapters, paragraphs, illustrations or whatever. A few miles on a trail always helps me make decisions and clear my mind.

XT: What was the hardest part of writing the book?
LJ: The hardest part about writing the book is dedicating the time. I wrote it all in about a year, but was freelancing for magazines—juggling shoe reviews, profiles, etc.—with deadlines the whole time. And I have two little boys, so life is busy even when I’m not working on a book!

XT: Tell us again how you got to Maui in ‘96 for the first XTERRA (AquaTerra) and what you remember from that race.
LJ: I saw the Aquaterra advertised in the back of a magazine (Competitor, I think) after a run in Marin one day. I was just out of college, and an Olympic-distance road triathlete at the time. It sounded like a good excuse to go to Hawaii, so I roped in a college roommate and we made the trip together. I bought my first mountain bike shorts when I got to Maui, and raced on a steel frame, no-shock clunker. I ate it pretty hard (still have the scars) on the first descent … twice. I had to ride to get to the next aid station, and then thought, “What else am I going to do today? Might as well make it through this course.” I chucked my bike into the TA and have never been happier to head out of T2 on foot!”

XT: Are you coming back for the 20th edition on November 1?
LJ: I hope to come back for the 20th. My mountain biking hasn’t gotten a whole lot better, but I’d love to return to the XTERRA family and celebrate continuing to love the off-road world.

From the preview…

Trailhead is a witty, fun guide to all things trail running. Veteran trail runner, triathlete, and adventure racer Lisa Jhung offers this illustrated pocket guide to all runners curious about running off road or wanting to run farther into the backcountry. She offers authoritative advice on everything from how to find good trails to run, how to choose the best shoes and clothing, how to carry enough water, and how to stay safe from wildlife and weather.”

Order yours at
Follow Lisa here:


Test of Endurance at Tennessee’s XTERRA Power to the Tower

XTERRA Power to the Tower Trail Run will be the second race of the Tennessee Point Series and will consists of a half marathon and a 50k trail run on April 4th.

The event will take place on the east side of Tennessee in Kingsport’s very own Bays Mountain Park. Athletes will run a single track course that runs through the mountain of the 3,550-acre nature preserve. Participants will experience over 6,000 total feet of elevation changes.

The XTERRA Power to the Tower Trial run is the longest race in the Tennessee Series and will test each athlete’s limits during the 50k trail run.

Power to the Tower is an official XTERRA Trail Run where the top finishers will be rewarded points for the Tennessee series.

After this race, the Tennessee series will be halfway over with only two more races where racers will have an opportunity to gain points to become a series champion and receive a free invitation to the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Snowbasin, Ogden, Utah, in September.

For more information visit

Series Schedule

December 6, 2014 XTERRA Rocky Top Trail Run 10/21km

April 4, 2015 Power to the Tower Trail Run 8/21/50km

June 6, 2015 XTERRA Knoxville Trail Run 4/21km

August 5, 2015 XTERRA Bays Blaze Trail Run 15km

2015 Tennessee Series Standings