XTERRA Trail Mix Newsletter


While there is no shortage of amazing XTERRA couples out there, Jefferson and Kristen Nicholas – the race directors for the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series - have clearly been standing out in front of the crowd recently.

The XTERRA CoupleIt all started last May when Jefferson got on one knee in front of a starting line filled with runners and popped the big question.  The ceremony happened just last month, and as you might expect – it was a full-blown running-themed event.

To make things even sweeter, Competitor Magazine just named their XTERRA Seneca Creek 5k/10k Trail Races in Maryland (April 12) one of the “21 Must-Do Mid-Atlantic Races.”  The magazine noted the race was home to the “Blair Witch Project” horror film “so leave the scaredy-cats at home and bring your camera for any potential witchy spottings,” said the article.

Stanley Lee caught up with Jefferson and Kristen to bring us their story.

It was only fitting for two runners who are adventure seekers to have a race-themed wedding.

For Jefferson and Kristen Nicholson, co-race directors of the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series, their wedding last month spoke of their affinity for running. A printed race results sheet showed guests their table assignments, race bib numbers were at tables, and the table runners had a subtle bicycle spoke design. The two are also co-owners of Adventure Geek Productions, a South Carolina-based race management company that puts on eight races including the Atlantic Series. Their race trailer had a chalkboard for guests to write wishes on with permanent markers. The trailer can be seen at their races where runners use chalk to write messages on.

“We tried to incorporate it (running) without it being tacky,” Jefferson said of their Jan. 11 wedding.

The two founded Adventure Geek in 2009 while they were members of Clemson University’s triathlon club. They put on one race then for the club’s fundraiser. The race director bug bit Jefferson and in 2010, they put on three races. They have eight races now with Jefferson at the frontline and Kristen, the “logistics magician,” working behind the scenes.

“We compliment each other,” Jefferson said. “She’s the quiet brain, behind the scenes, making sure everything is accomplished, making the list, checking it twice. I’m on the forefront, rallying the troops, recruiting and marketing. On race day, I’m the one giving instructions, managing the race. She does the check in, is the head timer, does timing and scoring for the race.”



In December we brought you the story about XTERRA runner Susie Stephen’s quest to run across the length of England and thru to Rapa Nui to retrace an English Expedition of 100 years ago.

Susie StephenToday, that journey began.  Starting in her hometown of Darlington, England, Stephen ran the first 26 miles of a more than 300 mile cross country adventure that will get her to a dock where she’ll take a boat to Easter Island.

“Day 1 of this month's fundraising #runpedition from Darlington to Southampton,” wrote Stephen on her daily mile tracker (she is documenting the trip on her blog.)  “Set out a perfect pace from Hummersknott Academy and then was joined by members of Darlington Harriers & AC along the way. Only for the last 4 miles were we really hit by bad weather - rain, which turned into hail!! Back on the road tomorrow.”

Her expedition is full of fun facts and great causes, one of which is to raise funds to purchase a BioMax digester unit for the island of Rapa Nui to help provide fresh water for island residents.

Read more and follow along at longrunergy.com.


Justin VaicaroSomewhere in between work, academics, and being a father, Justin Vaicaro has time to train.

The XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Ambassador works full-time as a network security architect/engineer and is taking online classes to finish his degree in business administration and computer information systems from Florida Institute of Technology. A former Marine with a combat tour in Iraq, Vaicaro has a 4-year-old daughter and his family is expecting a second child later this year — around the same time he starts graduate school.

“I honestly fit my training in whenever I can: early morning, lunch break at work, or after work (if I can leave a little early),” Vaicaro said. “I get all of my long rides and trail runs in on the weekends. I try and schedule my homework and training around my family time. I don't always get it perfect, but it really comes down to just communication with my wife. I give her a layout of my daily and weekly training and she really goes out of her way to allow me to train.”

While it may appear chaotic — Vaicaro said people think he’s nuts — this has been his routine for years. He’s worked and taken classes for the last five years, so homework is on auto pilot. He studies during any pocket of free time — early in the morning, late at night, breaks at work. Racing has also become family outings. With his daughter showing interest in sports, they bring her along to show what trail and triathlon races are like.



The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship has been recognized by a pair of the leading magazines in the running industry recently.

Competitor MagIn the February Issue of Competitor Magazine – the 2014 Running and Racing Guide – editors named the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship one of the nation’s 12 “premier trail races.”

“Even though trails are open only on race day, don’t be surprised if the lush setting looks familiar – Kualoa Ranch has appeared in many movies, including “Jurassic Park”, “Battleship” and “Pearl Harbor,” as well as many scenes from the TV show “Lost.” - wrote Allison Pattillo.

You can read the online edition of the magazine here.  Of note, Pattillo also just authored an insightful article titled “Taking Your Goal-Setting Off-Road.”

Then, in the March 2014 issue of Trail Runner Magazine, Yitka Winn wrote a beautiful eight-page feature story on Worlds. 

Trail Runner MagWinn was in Hawaii last November to take part in the event, and caught up with a handful of the sports’ biggest stars while she was in town, including women's champion Polina Babkina, XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series Ambassador Nozomi Wade, Lucy Smith, the 2012 World Champ, Patrick Smyth, this year’s men’s champ, and XTERRA’s own “world citizen” Roberto Mandje.

“Competitors run the gamut from former Olympians to trail newbies to pros like four-time XTERRA World Champion Max King, from 10-year-olds to 75-year-olds, from Croatian expats to New Zealand up-and-comers to Native Hawaiians. And, come race day, just about anyone from this motley crew might find themselves atop the podium, sporting one of the race’s champion orchid leis and flashing smiles for the cameras,” Winn wrote in her lead.

Find a copy of Trail Runner Magazine on newsstands now, or take advantage of their special XTERRA rate on subscriptions here.

Of note, today is the last day to get early bird pricing for the 2014 XTERRA Trail Running World Championship scheduled for December 7 at Kualoa Ranch. It’s just $50 for the main event, $35 for the 10K and $25 for the 5K.  Sign-up now.


Sign-up now and save! Early-bird end tomorrow, Feb. 15th.

Follow the registration links below for more information:

April 12 - XTERRA Lake Las Vegas 5/10/21km Trail Runs - Lake Las Vegas, NV
May 18 - XTERRA Oak Mountain 5/10/21km Trail Runs - Pelham, AL
June 14 - XTERRA Richmond 10/21km Trail Runs - Richmond, VA
July 20 - XTERRA Beaver Creek 5/10km Trail Runs - Beaver Creek, CO
Sep 21 - XTERRA Trail Run National Championship & 5/10km Trail Runs- Ogden, UT
Oct 25 - XTERRA Kapalua 5/10km Trail Runs - Kapalua, Maui, HI
Dec 07 - XTERRA Trail Run World Championship & 5/10km Trail Runs- Oahu, HI


It’s happened to almost all of us. You tripped over a root, stepped on a rock, or stumbled on an uneven trail, and wound up with an ankle sprain. It’s the most common sports injury, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

XTERRA Training TipNATA said ankle sprains “result from damage to the lateral ligament structures after a stress on an inverted and plantar-flexed (supinated) foot.” For runners, sitting out a few days and missing out on all that mileage can trigger an anxiety attack. Proper care for that ankle is necessary to not only get back to running pain free, but to reduce the possibility of future sprains.

The RICE method — rest, ice, compress, elevate — should be applied to the injured ankle right away to minimize swelling and reduce pain. It also protects the ankle from further injury, so running through the pain or walking it off is creating further harm. A physician or trainer can then determine the severity of the injury, which ranges from mild (grade I) to severe (grade III). Not all sprains are alike, and they can assess the injured ankle’s range of motion and determine if there’s injury to ligaments, muscles, tendons, and nerves.

NATA, in a position statement released less than a year ago, recommends functional rehabilitation over immobilization in grade I and II sprains. Functional rehabilitation involves ankle stabilization with an elastic bandage, brace, tape, or a combination of them, with exercise. Balance training, in particular, is recommended to strengthen the affected area and prevent reinjury. Athletes who had a sprained ankle are at greater risk of spraining it again.

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