XTERRA Trail Mix Newsletter


Ryan MiddletonThe XTERRA Richmond Trail Run has long been considered one of the most popular races on the entire XTERRA Trail Run circuit, and with good reason.

A fun and challenging course, a festive summer crowd, and the city of Richmond itself all add up to make for a unique experience for all runners in the event.

This year’s XTERRA Richmond Trail Run is scheduled for June 8, and as always, it is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from all states. The event will feature two courses – a 21-kilometer long course and a 10K course. Both courses start at Brown’s Island and weave through various landmarks, both man-made and natural, in and around the historic city of Richmond, Virginia.


“XTERRA is a great brand, and Richmond is fortunate to host such an event,” said Ryan Middleton, who won last year’s 21-kilometer long course. “Brown’s Island and Belle Isle are definitely popular places to be in Richmond during the summer. The location and timing of the event are perfect.”

Middleton said the 21K course is unique because it starts out on paved road, and then takes runners on a non-stop adventure that includes river crossings, boulder climbing, bridge crossings, and forest trails.

“The most memorable part of the course for me are the ‘Mayan Ruins’ stairway,” he said. “This is a brutal climb that is so steep that you are almost crawling to the top. The heart rate shoots through the roof at this point. It is definitely tough to recover from this portion.”



Pocono Series RunnerEvery runner who registers for the XTERRA Richmond Trail Run will be entered into a random drawing for a prize related to the XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series.

The prize package includes two free entries to the XTERRA Earth Conservancy Trail Run 21K race on June 15 at Mocanaqua, Pennsylvania, as well as an overnight stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Wilkes Barre for the night of June 14.

The Earth Conservancy Trail Run is the highlight event of the 2013 XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series, and it takes place at the picturesque Mocanaqua Loop Trail System.

The XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series is scheduled to start its 2013 season this weekend with the XTERRA Big Pocono Trail Run at Tannersville, Pennsylvania. Four other races will follow during the summer months, including the Earth Conservancy 21K race.

Every race in the Pocono Series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from all states. To register for a race in the series or to learn more about it, please visit www.wilkesbarreracing.com.

Photo courtesy www.wilkesbarreracing.com


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There are two weeks remaining to register for the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Runs at the nationally-recognized Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama.

Bama Mud RunThis year’s event is scheduled for May 19, and online registration is available by CLICKING HERE.

The event is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, and there are four courses available to choose from: a 43-kilometer full-marathon, a 20-kilometer half-marathon, and 10K and 5K “mud runs.”

Most XTERRA Trail Run events feature a 21K trail as the long course, but the expansive and picturesque Oak Mountain State Park is one of the few venues in America that can accommodate a full-marathon trail race.

The 20K half-marathon course will offer plenty of its own challenges, as well as a large field of runners. The 20K is the most popular choice for runners among the four course options.

The 10K and 5K “mud runs” are called such because they feature a fun section through a large mud pit.

The trails at Oak Mountain State Park were ranked by Trail Runner magazine as one of the top 25 “Crown Jewels” of running trails across America in 2011.

All age-group winners from the 43K and 20K courses will receive a free entry to the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii, in November.

CLICK HERE to register online and learn more about the event.


It was all about firsts at the inaugural XTERRA Fairy Stone Trail Run last weekend.

Bryn Beck and Jessica Kersey earned their first career victories at the event, which was completed on April 27 at Stuart, Virginia.

Beck, 34, completed the 8-mile course in 56 minutes, 39 seconds, to run away with the overall victory. Kersey, 20, finished in 1:07:55 to take top honors in the women's division.

"This was my first overall win - such a great feeling!" Beck said.

Beck took the lead midway through the course, and stayed in front the rest of the way. "I was afraid that I had gone out too fast and that someone was closing the distance, but that fueled me to really push hard."

Jessica KerseyBeck, who works at an outdoor gear and clothing company in Virginia, described the conditions as "a beautiful morning to be running in the forest."

Clark Jackson, 56, placed second with a time of 1:00:16. He kept pace with Beck for the first half of the race, but lost ground after he struggled with one of the stream crossings. "One of my learning moments was to just run in the creek rather than try to avoid the water and falling," Jackson said.

Kersey (pictured) placed fifth overall, and surprised herself by finishing first among the females. It was not only her first overall victory, but her first time entering a trail run.

"I finished second overall in a 10K last month, but this is the first trail run I have ever run," she said. "I enjoyed it more than the road races."

Kersey is a student at Virginia Tech, and she ran the entire course alongside her boyfriend, Brad Atkins. She was credited with finishing one second ahead of Atkins.


Photo courtesy www.goruntrails.com


It’s already been quite a year for Kristen Thomas. She is the director of the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series, which made its debut in March and has been greeted with rave reviews since.

Kristen ThomasHer life got even more interesting last weekend, when her boyfriend, Jefferson Nicholson, dropped to one knee and proposed to her right before the start of another race – in front of the entire pack of runners.

Nicholson is the owner of Adventure Geek Productions, which produces the XTERRA Atlantic Series races, as well as other events in the area. He and Thomas have been working together – and dating – for Adventure Geek Productions since 2009.

“Popping the question at the starting line in front of family and hundreds of runners was really the ONLY option,” Nicholson explained. “At the beginning of our races I usually introduce myself and the race staff. I usually tell everyone that I am the ‘voice’ of the Adventure Geeks and Kristen is the ‘logistics magician’ that grounds our high-flying ideas to actions and plans that make everything run smoother which couldn't be more true for our races and in our lives.”

The proposal was a complete surprise to Thomas. “I'm still surprised!” she said. “I usually try to stay out of the spotlight on race morning, preferring to work behind the scenes to make sure everything is working and running smoothly. Jefferson usually tries to point out my contributions at the start of the race, even though I'm not a big fan of all the attention. I thought that was what he was doing Saturday morning and I was reluctant to walk out and join him on the start line, but I'm glad I did!”

They won’t have much time to celebrate, as they have two more races coming up in the XTERRA Atlantic Series: the XTERRA Lums Pond Trail Run on May 25, and the XTERRA Big Elk Trail Run on June 22. For more information on these races, please visit www.adventuregeekproductions.com.

Photo courtesy www.adventuregeekproductions.com


Lake Las Vegas 10k StartAn item in the April 19 edition of the XTERRA Trail Mix listed incorrect winners from the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run.

The 10K winners were Denny Silva and Lara Ray; the 5K winners were William Elmore and Amber Throop. CLICK HERE TO SEE COMPLETE RESULTS

It was a particularly gratifying victory in the 10K for Ray. She was an avid trail runner six to seven years ago, but underwent knee surgery in 2008 and was told by doctors to give up competitive running. Undeterred, she started racing in sprint triathlons and shorter-distance running events a year later.

Ray works as a California Highway Patrol Officer in Moorpark, California, and happened to be in Las Vegas last week to participate in the Challenge Cup Relay race with the California Highway Patrol Women’s Team. When she heard about the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run, she decided to extend her stay and run in that event as well.

“I'm not one to back down from a challenge,” she said.

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