TIPS FOR THE TRAIL - EVERYONE MATTERS
By Rachel Cieslewicz
When it comes to competition, the elite athlete is typically heralded and perceived as a hero. This is beautiful, as these athletes dedicate enormous amounts of energy to their chosen sport. They are examples of human potential. They inspire us to inquire what is within ourselves waiting to shine.
What's important to remember is that there are so many more heroes in the race scene. The importance of every person involved in an event can sometimes get lost in the glory of the elite results. Everyone brings their history, current story and reason for racing behind the lines. Whether acknowledged publicly or not, what is brought to the race immensely increases the energy of the event. I absolutely enjoy the fact that every athlete matters at an XTERRA event. No one is just a number. We all have a name, a story, and a reason we are racing. We have value and are celebrated. We are a tribe.
For myself, athletic competition has served as a crucial and savored component most of my life. Growing up, I played fast-pitch softball and competed and performed in dance. As I grew older, I discovered my passion for running and cycling. Ever since my teens, I have raced bicycles and run competitively. It is my way of finding my own human athletic potential. The thought of toeing the line next to other fit and talented athletes is exciting and scary and inspiring all at the same time. I love that my high energy is channeled into drive and the vision of, "what can my body achieve?"
SAMBOLEC, BERRY MAKE GOOD FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Eric Sambolec and Emily Berry made quite the first impressions at the XTERRA Earth Conservancy Trail Run last weekend.
Sambolec was the first overall finisher, and Berry was the first female. It was the first XTERRA Trail Run for both runners.
The Earth Conservancy Trail Run drew runners from seven different states, and it was completed on Saturday, June 16, at Mocanaqua, Pennsylvania. It was the fourth race of the season for the 2012 XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series.
Sambolec, who is from Ithaca, New York, completed the 21-kilometer course in 1 hour, 29 minutes, 36 seconds. He took the lead midway through the course and stayed in front the rest of the way. He finished more than five minutes ahead of the rest of the field.
"The course was one of the toughest courses I've ever run," said Sambolec, 34. "Even the leaders had to walk the climbs in the first two to three miles. It was very rocky, and even the downhills were hard to run. It really beats you up."
Sambolec said he started to get tired in the final two miles, but kept pushing because he did not realize how far in front he was at the time. "Died some in the last few miles, but had enough to hang on for the win," he said. "I never knew how big the gap was because the course winds around so much, so I just kept working the whole way."
Sambolec said he found the XTERRA Earth Conservancy Trail Run online while searching for "a new and challenging race" for himself. He said the lure of the first place prize was an added bonus.
The male and female winners from the race received round-trip airfare to Utah to compete at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in September. Sambolec said he will make use of his prize and plans to race in Utah in September.
Photo courtesy www.wilkesbarreracing.com
RACE VETERANS PREVAIL IN TEXAS SERIES
Claudia Spooner made a triumphant return to the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series with an impressive victory at the XTERRA Muleshoe Trail Run last weekend.
Spooner was not just the top female at the 16-kilometer race, she was the first overall finisher, beating all the elite male entries.
Dozens of runners endured the 95-degree weather for the race, which was completed on Sunday, June 17, at Muleshoe Bend Park in Spicewood, Texas.
Spooner, 42, completed the course in 1 hour, 28 minutes, 37 seconds, and described the course as: “Yes, it was hot! Thankfully a lot of the course is under trees, so there is shade for approximately the first 10 kilometers. Then you head into the second section, which is under the full sun, and uphill, and hot!”
SOUTH CAROLINA SERIES RESUMES ON JULY 8
Runners from around the country will be gathering at Harbison State Park next month, when the XTERRA Harbison Trail Run returns for its second year.
Last year’s inaugural race drew 220 runners from 20 different states. This year’s race is scheduled for July 8, and another diverse field of runners is expected.
“The course was full of hills and it is necessary that runners have skills in downhill running, as well as strength on uphills,” said Ali Herd, who was the top female at last year’s race. “The first half had occasional uphills, but it mostly downhill. The second half is reverse, with occasional downhills, but mostly steady uphills. This race is not a beginner course.”
That is not to say that beginners are not welcome. In fact, the event is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. The experienced runners can enter the 21-kilometer long course, while the less-experienced runners can opt for the 5-kilometer short course.
Both courses will take place along picturesque trails at Harbison State Park, which is located less than 10 miles outside of downtown Columbia. The easy access to the park makes it one of the most popular venues for trail running in the state.
CLICK HERE to register online for the race or to learn more about it.
Photo courtesy www.strictlyrunning.com
WIN A FREE 3-NIGHT STAY IN HAWAII
Congratulations to Libby H. of Fort Collins, CO winner of last month's free stay in Hawaii at the Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort on Kauai.
Here's another chance to win as our Outrigger Hawaii Sweepstakes returns for 2012. Each month through December we will be offering a free 3-night stay for you and a guest at one of Outrigger Hotels and Resort's Hawaiian properties. Sign up today for your chance to win a free 3-night stay in Hawaii at the Outrigger Aina Nalu on Maui.
Entries must be received by June 30, 2012 and certificate is good for stays through December 01, 2013.
ENTER TO WIN TODAY
CONTACT THE XTERRA TRAIL RUN SERIES
Toll-free: 877-XTERRA-1 (877-983-7721)
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