TIPS FOR THE TRAIL - OAK MOUNTAIN CHOOSING YOUR RACE DISTANCE
By Rachel Cieslewicz
Oak Mountain State Park, May 18-19, is incredibly important if you are an XTERRA athlete! The beautiful 50,000-acre park in Pelham, Alabama, plays host for the Southeast Championship triathlon race on May 18, followed by the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Runs on May 19. This event truly offers something for everyone, with a variety of distances to choose from. There are four different run distance options to be exact - 42K, 20K, 10K or 5K. With so many choices for running, how do you choose? This all depends on your current training and goals. Read on for my tips to select your ideal distance!
The 42K distance is long. It is also known as a marathon in the roadie world! The off-road version of course being all the more fun as you run with nature's nuances filled with trees, hills, rocks, and muddy possibilities. If you are a seasoned trail runner and know you can run strong for at least two-thirds of the distance feeling good and happy, the long course will make for a fantastic day on the trails.
The 20K is perfect for transitioning from longer road events. It is also a fabulous distance if you are ready for more when the 10K is no longer enough. I love this distance. I can push hard and find out what I am made of. The bonus is recovery comes much faster so I can be out racing in full force again soon! The 20K race is also the classic distance for the XTERRA National and World Championships.
Racing the 42K or 20K will definitely earn you a swim in the lake post race. On top of that, a win in your age group in either the 20K or 42K events, will earn your free entry into the not-to-be-missed, XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii!
Win in Colorado, followed by win at Lake Las Vegas
It was quite a back-to-back weekend of wins for Roberto Mandje. The 31-year-old Olympian won the 21-kilometer XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run on Sunday, April 14, just eight days after winning the 12K division of the XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain Trail Run in Colorado.
"I decided to put these two (as well as a few other XTERRA events) in my schedule around February," Mandje explained. "I was in the middle of the winter lull, and looking to find some races that would both excite me and help get me out the door."
He not only got out the door, he blew it down with convincing victories in both races. He won the 12K race in Colorado by nearly four minutes, then won the 21K race in Las Vegas by nearly six minutes while setting a new course record.
Making it more impressive was the change in scenery between the two venues, not to mention the 12-plus hour drive from Boulder, Colorado, to Las Vegas.
"The conditions were quite different," Mandje said. "XTERRA Cheyenne was at a much higher elevation (6-7,000 feet) with much cooler conditions. I've always been a pretty good warm weather runner, so I wasn't particularly concerned with going from winter racing in Colorado to the desert heat of Las Vegas the following week. I came away from Cheyenne Mountain a bit sore, and mainly focused on recovery in between the two races with easy running and some hard strides."
Mandje represented Equatorial Guinea in the 1,500-meter race at the 2004 Olympics , and he is training in Colorado to qualify for the 2016 Games, possibly in the marathon event.
MUSCLE MILK: GIVE ME STRENGTH
MANDJE, PATERSON WIN XTERRA LAKE LAS VEGAS HALF-MARATHON
Robert Mandje and Lesley Paterson won the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas half-marathon trail run on a beautiful morning at the Aston Montelago in Henderson today.
Mandje, 31, led from start to finish and blazed through the 13 miles of undulating desert terrain in 1:24:17 (6:26 pace), nearly six full minutes ahead of Peter Banks from Las Vegas, NV.
“It was a great course. I really liked how on some sections you could get in stride and just go. Some of the XTERRA courses are so twisty that you can’t really get into a rhythm like that,” said Mandje, a PowerBar team elite athlete from Equatorial Guinea who is training for the 2016 Olympic Games in Boulder, Colorado.
In the women’s race it was all Lesley Paterson. A day after winning the XTERRA West Championship, Paterson powered through the half-marathon course in 1:36:54, more than three minutes faster than runner-up Rachel Cieslewicz from St. George, Utah.
“A little tired,” said Paterson, who tackled 40 miles of desert in the last two days.
Several hundred runners took part in today’s trail races, which also included 10K and 5K options. Colin Corrigan and Marina Reynolds won the 10K while William Elmore and Amber Throop captured the 5K titles.
Complete Results / Images
COLORADO SERIES GETS BACK TO ACTION AFTER WINTER BREAK
After a six-month break, the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series returned in style this month. Nearly 300 runners were treated to cool conditions and challenging trails in the XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain Trail Run, which was completed on April 6 at Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Brad Seng and Shelley Nelson took top honors as the top male and female, respectively, for the 24-kilometer long course. There was also a 12K course and a 5K course.
Seng, who is 43 and resides in Boulder, Colorado, completed the 24K course in 1 hour, 34 minutes, 13 seconds. He said he took the lead midway through the course, then held off the other contenders down the stretch.
"Within the first 3K or so of the second loop, we started to hit some gradual climbing and technical terrain, and that's where I decided to see if I could get my turnover going a little bit and close the gaps, and I did," Seng said.
Seng is a professional road triathlete who recently started entering trail races. "I'm fairly new to trail running, so I'm trying to learn some of the skills," he said. "It's a very different technique from being on the roads. I'm just getting into trail running and having a blast with it."
The top four runners finished within 42 seconds of each other. Lars Kjerengtroen was second in 1:34:18 (five second behind Seng), followed by Dan Vega in 1:34:36, and Leo Castillo in 1:34:54.
Nelson placed 18th overall and finished with a time of 1:57:28. She finished nearly five minutes ahead of the other top females.
BALDWIN, SHEARER SCORE FAST WINS AT BLACK MOUNTAIN
The XTERRA Black Mountain Trail Run is all about speed, and Patrick Baldwin and Maggie Shearer were the speediest.
Baldwin was the overall winner, and set a course record by finishing the 16-kilometer course in 1 hour, 1 minute, 34 seconds. Shearer was the top female with a time of 1:09:15, which was more than four minutes faster than the other top females.
More than 430 runners participated in the event, which was completed on April 14 at Black Mountain Regional Park in northern San Diego.
"The course is a fast one, a downhill start for nearly three miles before you start heading back up over the next six miles," said Baldwin, a landscape architect from Encinitas, Calif. "It doesn't have the long climbs as some of the others, but it doesn't make it any easier. The long downhill takes a lot out of your legs!"
Baldwin took the lead after the first mile and never relented. His finishing time beat the previous course record by more than one minute. It was quite an improvement from last year, when Baldwin placed 10th overall on this same course.
(Patrick Baldwin pictured, courtesywww.SuperSportsphoto.com)
"Yeah, I had a tough day last year," Baldwin said. "I think it really was just motivation to run better this year, and hitting few more intervals at the track since it is a course you need to have speed on."
It was Baldwin's third overall victory in the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series for the 2012-13 season. "We're very lucky to have such great races through some of the most beautiful parts of Southern California," he said. "Also thank you to all of the volunteers who make me smile and give great motivation during the runs - we couldn't do it without them."
WASHINGTON SERIES RETURNS TO ACTION ON APRIL 27
The XTERRA Washington Trail Run Series will return to action later this month after taking a winter break.
The XTERRA Soaring Eagle Trail Run is set for April 27 at Soaring Eagle Regional Park in Sammamish, Washington, on April 27, and it is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. Two course options will be available – a 21-kilometer half-marathon course, and a 5-mile course.
It will be the second of three races in the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA Washington Trail Run Series. The opening race in the series was held back in October, and then the series took some time off to avoid the cold weather during the winter.
According to the race officials, the course at Soaring Eagle is “a twisty course that will keep those looking for a more technical course on their toes, and offers a nice introduction to the world of bumps and roots to new trail runners. The course, which is mostly single track, but also a small section of wide trail, brings runners through a mature forest and sanctuary wetlands.”
To register for the race or learn more about the series, please visit www.nwtrailruns.com.
FLORIDA FINALE SET FOR APRIL 28
The XTERRA Florida Trail Run Series will conclude its 2012-13 season on April 28 with the XTERRA Claw Trail Run at Alafia River State Park in Alafia, Florida.
More than 400 runners of various ages and skill levels are expected to participate in the event, which will feature two courses – a 10-mile long course and a 5-mile short course. Online registration is still open to all runners at www.clawrun.com.
The Claw Trail Run is regarded as the most challenging event in the Florida Series, as it includes several steep hill climbs and waist-deep stream crossings.
The age-group champions for the Florida Series will be determined after this race. Every age-group champion for the series will receive a free entry to represent Florida at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Utah in September.
To learn more about the Florida Series, please visit www.tamparaces.com.
FREE 3-NIGHT STAY IN HAWAII
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