OAK MOUNTAIN TRAIL RUN IS TWO WEEKS AWAY
There is still two weeks remaining to register for the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Runs at the nationally-recognized Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama.
This year's event is scheduled for May 20, 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 accommodate the various levels of runners: a 42-kilometer full-marathon, a 21-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.
"I would say the course is a very well-rounded course with a little bit of everything," said David Wall, who won last year's full-marathon race at Oak Mountain. "Lots of hills, some flat and fast fire roads, fast single track, lots of turns and rocks. But I would say there is probably only a mile of really technical trail. The rest has great footing."
Wall completed the 42K course last year in 3 hours, 2 minutes, 42 seconds, and finished nearly 10 minutes ahead of the rest of the field. He said the key for runners is to keep in mind that a trail marathon is completely different from a road marathon.
"I believe any marathon runner can do this course," he said. "But they can't expect to set a (personal best time). They are going to have to walk a bit, too, just because it's on a mountain trail and not a flat road. But if they want a scenic run through the woods, then this is a great race."
For those looking for a shorter course, the 21K half-marathon will offer plenty of its own challenges, as well as a large field of runners. The 10K and 5K "mud runs" are called such because they feature a fun section through a large mud pit.
LEVA, BREITENBACH PREVAIL IN TEXAS SERIES RACE
Burnet, TEXAS - Meredith Leva has had previous success in XTERRA Trail Runs in Northern California and Arizona. Now, she's proving her worth in Texas.
Leva was the top female finisher at the inaugural XTERRA Bluebonnet Trail Run on April 21 at Reveile Peak Ranch. The event was the second of five in the 2012 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series.
Leva completed the 10-kilometer course in 1 hour, 8 minutes, 34 seconds.
Lon Breitenbach was the overall winner, completing the course in 1:05:33.
"The day had perfect weather … not too hot or cold, and sunny clear skies," said Leva, 25. "There were some steep climbs and areas where you really had to focus on how you were going to get across without slipping or tripping."
Leva, however, is familiar with XTERRA Trail Runs. Two years ago, she competed in the XTERRA Northern California Series. Last year, she moved to Phoenix for graduate school and competed in the XTERRA Arizona Series. This year, she moved to Austin, Texas, for business reasons.
"They are wonderful because you get to see different and beautiful areas of states," Leva said of her experience in various XTERRA Trail Runs. "It's such a different mental and physical challenge than flat roads."
THOMSON, FRIEDMAN WIN AT CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN, COLORADO
J. Marshall Thomson's first XTERRA Trail Run race turned into an impressive victory.
Thomson won the XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain Trail Run in convincing fashion, topping a field that included several elite runners. He finished the 24-kilometer long course in 1 hour, 27 minutes, 27 seconds.
The event was completed on April 14 at Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs, Colo. Thomson entered the race at the last minute because a ski mountaineering event he planned on competing in was canceled.
"This was my first XTERRA," he said. "The course conditions were perfect for a fast, straight-forward race. For me this race was the first of the season. It was nice to have a fast cruisey course to start with. I loved the slightly technical climbs followed by long fast descents."
Tommy Manning, a member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team in 2010 and 2011, placed second with a time of 1:32:13. Greg Friedman was third in 1:34:59.
"Tommy Manning is super strong," Thomson said. "He started the race in the lead and was keeping a fast pace on the initial climb. I just wanted to stay close to Tommy, and knew if I could keep him close I would have a good race. I passed Tommy on the first descent. I was unsure if he let me pass to find out what kind of pace I would lead with. I felt good and the smooth tacky surface on the descent allowed for long fast strides."
Amy Friedman - wife of the third-place finisher Greg Friedman - placed eighth overall and was the top female with a time of 1:41:22.
"I was not aware of any other female competitors around me," she said. "I ran happily with the men around me, pushing me and keeping me going. They kept me energized!"
RACE DAY REGISTRATION AVAILABLE FOR POCONO OPENER
The XTERRA Big Pocono Trail Run is set for Saturday, May 5, and race-day registration will be available. The event is the season opener for the 2012 XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series.
The 5K race is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. at Big Pocono State Park in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, and registration will be open from 9 a.m. Entry fee is $25.
Runners who complete all five of the races in the 2012 Pocono Series will be eligible for a random drawing to win free airfare to Utah in September for the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.
There will not be much time to rest after this race. The second event in the series is set for May 19 – the XTERRA Seven Tubs Trail Run at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
For more information, please visit www.wilkesbarreracing.com.
CONTACT THE XTERRA TRAIL RUN SERIES
Toll-free: 877-XTERRA-1 (877-983-7721)
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