ATLANTIC SERIES PROMISES TO BE A BLAST
The goal is for runners to leave an XTERRA Atlantic Series race feeling remarkable.
Co-race director Jefferson Nicholson made a few tweaks for the second year of the series in hopes runners have an awesome experience on the trails. That includes having a multimedia production so runners and spectators can relive the race with videos and photos. The series begins March 16 with the White Clay Creek Trail Run in Delaware.
“We (don’t) want to make it memorable, but remarkable,” Nicholson said. “We want folks leaving race thinking ‘man that was the smoothest race, the only thing I had to worry about was the race. Directions were easy, parking and check in a breeze all the way through.’ ”
Nicholson said the inaugural year of the series in 2013 went well and there was a bigger turnout than expected. One of the races, the XTERRA Seneca Creek, made Competitor Magazine’s list of “21 Must-Do Mid-Atlantic Races.” He’s expecting 400 to 500 for that race on April 12 in Maryland. The series has races in both Maryland and Delaware, and attracts runners from nearby states.
The multimedia aspect to the series will add another layer to the fun race experience. A production company will gather interviews, shoot video, and take photos, and all of those will be posted online afterwards.
“We want to help them share memories with friends and family, capture race day and make sure we’re having an enjoyable event,” Nicholson said.
He’s added more staff to help with race coordination and course marshaling. The series opener at White Clay Creek is a new race and he encourages runners to use that race to get a jump on the points standings. He thinks the recent winter weather delayed training schedules, so there may be fewer entries. Not only do age group leaders at the end of the season earn a trip to the XTERRA National Championship, but they’ll also receive gifts from Nicholson and his wife/co-race director, Kristen. The two, who own Adventure Geek Productions, got married in January.
Photo courtesy of Adventure Geek
THEODORAKAKOS, DEMAKI WIN XTERRA GREECE TRAIL RUN
Sunshine and mountainous views greeted runners at the first-ever XTERRA Greece Trail Run on March 2. Over 250 runners, including a few from nearby countries, turned out on a public holiday and took part in the trail run and mountain bike events.
“From their testimonies, the athletes as well as the crowd enjoyed the race as a whole,” said XTERRA Greece race director Konstantinos Koumargialis. “The beautiful trails of the southern part of mountain Ymittos coupled with the sunny weather provided the perfect combination for a successful event. The rocky trails proved challenging with the adrenaline running high, but the beautiful view compensated for all of this.”
Greece had its first XTERRA triathlon last summer and there will be another on June 21. Koumargialis said the trail run event would grow in Greece. He said competitors were satisfied with the course, organization, and sponsor gifts.
“The starting area was quite vibrant and full of energy,” he said.
Dimitris Theodorakakos won the men’s 15K winner in 56:43. Deniz Demaki was the top women’s finisher in 1:09:58. Gregory Souvatzoglou was the men’s 6.5K winner in 25:40 and Angela Keramida won the top women’s finisher in 31:16. Top male and female 15K mountain bike finishers were Wilbert Vicente Gacutan (45:46) and Sabrina Tviss (1:05:43).
Photo courtesy of XTERRA Greece
NIGHT RUN LEADS OFF BRAZIL SEASON
For adventure seekers and night owls, the Night Run is your race. It returns this month to kick off the XTERRA Brazil season. The 7K run at Natal starts at 19:00 hours and runners wear lights across their foreheads while running. The race will challenge runners to adapt to different conditions and race against time, as there’s a time limit.
There will be eight Night Runs this season across Brazil. Six of those races will include a 21K distance for adventure seekers who enjoy running after the sun goes down.
The Night Run is one of several international events in March. XTERRA trail runs are also scheduled for on March 30 in Costa Rica and Australia.
Photo courtesy of XTERRA Brazil
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RACING AGAIN PART OF CIESLEWICZ'S PLAN
There’s no question that Rachel Cieslewicz will race again. The only question is when will she be back.
Not long after finishing second at last year’s XTERRA Lake Las Vegas, she was involved in a bad car accident. She couldn’t run down her driveway until December, and couldn’t walk pain free until January. Her jaw had to be reconstructed.
She’s eased back into biking and running again, and will be cheering on her husband and son at the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas on April 12. Cieslewicz has won the women’s race at Lake Las Vegas twice, and didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of racing next month. But for now, she’s just grateful.
“I’m not fully recovered but I think I’m on my way,” said Cieslewicz, who lives in St. George, Utah.
She’s biking 100 miles a week and running 40 to 50 miles a week. Cieslewicz, a familiar face a top XTERRA races, could’ve easily given up. Instead, she kept a positive perspective and focused on areas she could control like eating well and allowing her body to heal. The accident made her realize “how lucky we are when our bodies are able to do things we love.”
“My life doesn’t always go according to plan, but you have to learn to be adaptable to each situation,” she said.
Her son, Canyon, is now running 5Ks (Lake Las Vegas will have 5, 10, and 21K distances) and has been always been around running — whether it’s mom running with him in a stroller or cheering at races.
“It helps his confidence and I feel like he’s doing something where he has this relationship with me,” Cieslewicz said. “Besides (being his) mom, he’s a racer with me. It helps us connect more.”
Registration is still open for Lake Las Vegas and can be done here
TRAINING TIP #8
You may have heard the rumors about vegetarian and vegan eating — it’s boring, hard to make, and you’ll lack the nutrients to fuel your run.
“Many people think following a vegan diet is difficult, but you'd be surprised with how many amazing vegan dishes you can whip up,” said Jaclyn Shockey, XTERRA Trail Ambassador for the Pocono and Atlantic regions.
Shockey is a runner who is also a vegan. Her diet offers enough nutrients and protein to fuel her body. Growing up, she never ate a lot of meat and completely stopped consuming meat four years ago. Vegetarians may consume dairy products like milk and cheese, whereas vegans refrain from animal products, whether it’s in food or a product like leather. Nutrients found in meat like protein, iron, zinc, calcium and vitamins D and B12, can be incorporated into a meat-free diet with careful planning.
“I get plenty of nutrients, even protein, and my running and training doesn't suffer either,” Shockey said. “I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods (whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, etc), sweet potatoes, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds.”
A 2012 presentation at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting revealed there wasn’t enough research to determine how vegetarian and vegan diets affect athletes. But it also said vegetarian and vegan athletes do fine.
“By switching to a plant based diet, I've noticed my running times have improved as well,” Shockey said. “In addition to the health benefits and improvements with my running, another reason I made the transition is because I am very big into animal rights.”
For those contemplating a switch a vegetarian or vegan eating, Shockey recommends a gradual transition.
“For example, start out by eating meatless meals three times a week,” she said. “Almost any dish you make can be made vegetarian or vegan. You can swap out meat for meat alternatives such as tofu, tempeh, seitan, Portobello mushrooms, etc. If you're looking to switch to a vegan diet, there are so many ways to replace traditional ingredients with those that are free of animal products.”
Not sure where to start? There are many recipe sites online, as well as many books on the subject. A glimpse at Shockey’s favorite homemade meals will show vegan eating is anything but bland.
- Making pancakes from scratch
- Steel cut oats with brown sugar and almonds or banana slices
- Toast with peanut butter and banana slices
- Roasted garlic hummus spread on sprouted bread with either spinach or kale, cucumbers, carrots, red peppers, or avocado paired with a piece of fruit
- Hearty stews or casseroles
- Curry dishes (she pointed out a pear and cauliflower curry)
- Homemade burgers such as black bean patties, sweet potato patties, kale/quinoa/sweet potato cakes
- Portobello mushrooms, butternut squash, and eggplant can be used in many recipes like fajitas, pot pie, and stews
- Vanilla coconut chia seed pudding
- Frosty (frozen banana blended with carob powder and unsweetened almond milk)
- Zucchini bread/muffins
- After a race, vegan brownies
Photo courtesy of Leimaile Guerrero