XTERRA Trail Mix Newsletter

COUNTDOWN TO SANTA CRUZ

XTERRA Santa Cruz ScenicThere is still one week left to register for the inaugural XTERRA Santa Cruz Trail Runs.

The event is scheduled for May 14 at Wilder Ranch State Park in Santa Cruz, Calif., and registration is open at www.xterratrailrun.com.

Runners of all ages and skill levels can participate, as there will be three separate courses – a 20-kilometer championship course, and shorter 10-kilometer and 5-kilometer fun runs. Every runner who enters will be a part of history, because this is the first XTERRA Trail Run ever staged at Santa Cruz.

Fitting for a city renowned for its beaches, the courses will traverse along the shoreline before heading into the open fields at Wilder Ranch.

XTERRA’s trail run tipster extraordinaire, Rachel Cieslewicz, will be making the trip from her home state of Utah to race in the 20K. Like every other runner in the field, she is not sure what to expect from the courses. Below, she offers advice on preparing for a mystery race such as the inaugural XTERRA Santa Cruz Trail Runs.

For more information on the event, please visit http://www.xterraplanet.com/xduro/santacruz.html.

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TIPS FOR THE TRAIL: PREPARING FOR A MYSTERY RACE

By Rachel Cieslewicz

Rachel CieslewiczWhen it comes to trail run racing, we often don't know what to expect. It is easy to ask a veteran of the race what it is like or perhaps the race organizers will enlighten you. In the case of XTERRA's 5/10/20K Santa Cruz Trail Runs, nobody knows what's out there.

This is a brand new venue and course, and XTERRA is giving only the slightest bit of information out. When race course details are a bit of a mystery, how does one prepare?

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INTRODUCING THE XTERRA POCONO SERIES

Seven Tubs PoconosYet another region has joined the national family of XTERRA Trail Runs. The XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series is new in 2011, and the first race of the series is the Big Pocono Trail Run, set for this Saturday (May 7) at Tannersville, Pa.

The inaugural Pocono Series will feature five races in Northeast Pennsylvania, all along the picturesque Pocono Mountains.

"The trails in the Pocono region of Pennsylvania offer a variety of challenges, as this is a mountainous region," Pocono Series director Reginald Thomas said. "Our trails are unique, running through glacial formations with hills, boulders, rhododendron tunnels, single track, grass roads, streams with native trout, and forest floors painted pink with wild teaberries. One course has a 600-foot high cliff with a 50-mile view on a clear day."

Photo: wilkesbarreracing.com

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ROBINSON AND HASH PREVAIL AT FLORIDA FINALE

Andy Robinson made the most of his first XTERRA trail race, and Liza Hash capped an undefeated season to highlight the XTERRA The Claw Trail Run last weekend.

Andy RobinsonClose to 400 runners participated in the event, which was held at Alafia River State Park, Lithia, Fla., on Sunday (May 1).

Robinson (pictured courtesy www.tamparaces.com), who is 27 and resides in Gainesville, Fla., dominated the field and finished first overall. He completed the 10-mile course in 1 hour, 7 minutes, 11 seconds. Robinson mostly competes in road races, and this was his first experience in an XTERRA trail run.

“That was the craziest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” he said of the course conditions. “There were fell trees, brush and debris to crawl under or over, knee- to waist-high grass and water, roots, rocks, brash downhills, breakneck turns, and bluffs you literally had to climb up.

“Despite the sometimes rough terrain and obstacles, there were some places so beautiful you wanted to stop and stare. This is by far the most fun I’ve ever had running a race.”

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ECOTHON TRAIL RUN MAKES XTERRA DEBUT

Nearly 400 run alongside animals at "The Wilds"

Dylon GrahamIt was a day of "Wilds" fun for nearly 400 runners last weekend at the XTERRA EcoThon Trail Run Presented by AEP.

The event featured 10-kilometer and 5-kilometer courses - both offering muddy trails and challenging hills through a wide-open field at "The Wilds" conservation center in Cumberland, Ohio, on Saturday (April 30).

(Pictured here is 5K winner Dylon Graham with the cheetah courtesy EcoThon at The Wilds)

Ryan Collins and Carrie King took top honors for the 10K course. Collins was the overall winner, completing the course in 39 minutes, 34.8 seconds; Randy Frame placed second, more than a minute behind Collins.

King was the first female, finishing with a time of 50:28.6; Lisa Douglass was second in 51:03.7.

Race director Gordy Haggard said the weather was "great" on the day of the race, but rainfall earlier in the week created a muddy course.

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XTERRA PHILLY SERIES READY TO START 2011

XTERRA Philly SeriesThe popular XTERRA Philly Trail Run Series will start its 2011 season next Wednesday (May 11) with the XTERRA Hibernia Park Blast Trail Run at Coatesville, Pa.

The 2011 Philly schedule will feature five races, at three different venues, and ranging in distance from 5 kilometers to 21 kilometers. The first race is scheduled for May 11, with the season finale set for July 24.

“The Philly Series offers a great opportunity to explore three different parks, at a couple different distances,” elite runner Derek Schultz said. “Each park offers different types of terrain, adding its own uniqueness, appeal and challenge to the series. They have everything from grassy cross-country fields to single track (sometimes muddy!) - with a mixture of rocks, roots, a knee-deep stream crossing, and of course, hills to climb or fly down!”

A new event was added to the series for 2011 – the XTERRA Wolf’s Hollow Park Challenge on June 19. It will feature both a 10k and 5k course on trails that have a little bit of something for every runner.

“This recently-opened park has a great mixture of hills and single track trails,” Schultz said. “It adds some nice double-wide old jeep trails, some small creek crossings, and a great location. I am looking forward to seeing runners take these trails on for the park’s first race.”

The XTERRA Philly Series is also unique because of its weeknight races. Three of the five races in the 2011 series will be staged on weeknights, including next week’s season opener.

Series director Don Morrison said he likes to schedule races during the week so that runners can also enter other races on the weekends. The races are held in the early evening, while the sun is setting (and before complete darkness sets in).

“This is a great way to break up the mundane work week schedule,” Schultz said. “Don and his crew always have a great organized fun event. The trail markings are fantastic and easy to follow. To top it off, there is post race food, awards, and a bunch of prize drawings!”

To enter a race in the XTERRA Philly Trail Run Series, or to learn more, please visit www.mid-atlanticevents.com or www.xterratrailrun.com.

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