LEGACKI AND GOODWIN WIN THRILL IN THE HILLS
During the XTERRA Texas season, runners will experience beautiful trails, scenic views, and weather that will test your race preparation.
The seven-race season starts March 9 with the XTERRA Eco Lonestar in Cedar Hill and continues two weeks later with the XTERRA Camp Eagle in Rocksprings. The Texas Series crosses various parts of Texas, well within driving distance of nearby states.
“I like Camp Eagle a lot, it’s a really cool environment,” said XTERRA Texas Ambassador Keegan Dove. “I remember running there and they have some really nice views. The race has really shady parts for long periods of time.”
Runners will experience seasonal and sometimes crazy weather in the four-month long series. Claudia Spooner (pictured), also a Texas Ambassador, remembers one year where it was really hot, but on race day, the temperature had dropped into the 40s.
“This year it’s been extremely cold, more than it ever has,” Spooner said. “I think it has impacted a lot of training. This last weekend, it was 85 degrees and today it’s 40.”
Preparation can prepare runners for the weather. Spooner said it’s important to have the right gear and attire based on the weather, as well as nutrition planning. Keeping a pair of arm warmers or compression sleeves on hand will help if the weather changes suddenly.
“I think people adjust pretty well because we come right out of winter into racing season,” she said.
At the Eco Lonestar, runners will run through the Sam Houston National Forest, which will have many twists, turns, climbs, and even sand. For runners who really enjoy the outdoors, they can stay at several nearby campsites in the area.
Looking to run without your cold weather gear on? Or perhaps feel the sun’s rays and warm weather as you run across trails?
The XTERRA Lake Las Vegas on April 12 will welcome you into the spring season with desert trails, epic views, and challenging terrain that’s only a 30-minute drive from the sparkly Las Vegas Strip. With 5, 10, and 21K courses, the race provides fun options for the entire family and runners of all levels.
“I love the Lake Las Vegas course because it gives the illusion of running on Mars,” said Rachel Cieslewicz, who has won the race twice and placed second last year. “The terrain is desert red and appears to be quite desolate. Yet, if you take a moment to look around, you find that in fact, it is alive and flourishing with interesting lizards, water hoarding plant life, and peaks of Lake Las Vegas as you fly along this lightly to non-technical roller coaster terrain.”
All age-group winners for the 21K earn free entry to the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Hawaii in December.
The race has drawn runners not only from Nevada but neighboring states. Cieslewicz has commuted from her home in Utah to race in Las Vegas. Last year’s race attracted runners from nearby states like California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado, and as far away as South Dakota, Canada, and Australia. The Aston MonteLago Village Resort at Lake Las Vegas is the official host condominium resort and offers discounted XTERRA room rates.
Temperatures range from the 70s to 80s in April, so runners won’t be blasted by scorching desert heat. For those training in winter conditions, this will be a great race to jump into the spring season.
“It is the perfect early season race,” Cieslewicz said. “There is only one super tough climb to about two miles from the finish for which to reserve a bit of energy. Other than that the course is a great one to break out the race legs with its mellow technical perspective. It is typically warm, yet not too hot for those exiting out of very long cold winters without the risk of heat stroke. The location is also is easy to get to despite feeling a million miles away from nowhere.”
Post-race, Las Vegas offers a bit of everything for the entire family, from shows to shopping to casinos. For runners, it has a plethora of dining options, especially to carbo load for the big race.
Looking to shed some pounds, Keegan Dove and his mother, Jacqueline, took up a 5K running program. They completed the program and in the process developed a love for running that has led to XTERRA trail running and marathons.
“I was 12 and we did Couch-to-5K,” said Dove, 16, who is now one of the XTERRA Texas Ambassadors. “We ran around the park, just trying to get up to doing 5K. I started looking at different local 5K races to do. I did the XTERRA 5K and thought it was a blast.”
Dove, of Waco, Texas, kept running and gradually increased his distances at XTERRA events. He won his age group at the 2011 XTERRA National Championships.
“Nationals was the craziest thing ever,” Dove said. “When I realized it, it was a pretty big accomplishment.”
Jacqueline, an exercise physiologist, said running was never on her radar. Her love for running developed as well, and the two have since ran marathons together. They use those hours as a time to connect. There’s an annual Mother’s Day race where two have made it a tradition to run together.
“He's allowed to control the conversation,” Jacqueline said. “I can’t interrupt him. It’s my time to give him attention.”
Dove is also a Boy Scout, and he’s learned about the importance of hydration from being outdoors for both the Boys Scouts and running. He’s canoed for 80 miles in Manitoba over a two-week period, and last summer, he hiked 80 miles in Philmont, New Mexico.
“The reason why I get out on the trails is I want to have fun,” he said. “Getting there, jumping over roots and stuff, that’s the fun part about it.”
The Internet has a wealth of information, and anyone looking for running information can easily find workouts and tips in a few clicks. But what the Internet doesn’t provide is feedback from a human voice.
Coaches provide expertise, guidance, and feedback, and there are many out there for runners to choose from. They can help runners create training plans, devise workouts, and work together to reach goals. A coach can help develop an athlete’s confidence and that drive and fire to compete.
If you’re unsure of how you’ll finish a marathon, cut your running time, or even where to start, hiring a coach may provide the answers you’re looking for.
“There’s so much on Internet you can find,” said Claudia Spooner, a coach and XTERRA Texas Ambassador. “Those training programs dilute the necessity of a coach. There’s only so far you can get with that feedback. Feedback is so important. A coach, if they’re smart and well rounded, (coach) can get into an athlete’s psyche that you can’t get from the Internet.”
Spooner, who is also a triathlete, started coaching professionally seven years ago. It started with people asking her for training tips and assistance. She started working with those athletes and her demand grew as they found success.
“I love seeing the success of athletes,” Spooner said. “When they’re with you for a long time, you see their life changes. You know their strengths and weaknesses. It’s amazing to see their success because you feel you had small part of that. You gave them a map and they followed it and success came through.”
When searching for a coach, Spooner said communication is the most important quality to look for. The lines of communication must be open for both parties to work together.
“If they’re a good coach and there is feedback and there are open lines of communication, success will be there,” Spooner said.
For Spooner, she helps athletes develop plans to reach their goals. She explained that it’s not about creating a one-hit wonder, but making lifestyle changes that will pay dividends over time.
“I’m not a magician, but I’ll do everything in my power to help them reach that goal — reasonable goals,” Spooner said.
Congratulations to last month's 3-Night Stay in Hawaii winner Eric E. from Abingdon, VA
Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has once again brought back one of our best promo offers for the XTERRA Tribe with their 3-Night Stay in Hawaii Sweepstakes running each month now until December.
Enter now for a chance at a free stay at the Outrigger Regency on Beachwalk on the island of Oahu.
Entries must be received by February 28, 2014and certificate is good for stays through Februar 28, 2014.
If you are unable to view this email. It is available online at http://www.xterraplanet.com/trailmix/index.html.