XTERRA Pocono Series

XTERRA Pocono Trail Run SeriesForest trails, streams, and wildlife of Pennsylvania will greet runners in the XTERRA Pocono Trail Series.

The XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series will feature four races this year in the picturesque region of northeast Pennsylvania. “What I like most about the Pocono area is its stunning natural beauty and how the region is an outdoor sports mecca,” said Richard Burgunder, the two-time champion of the men’s 30-34 age group in the Pocono Series. “Within the endless mountain region, you’ll find abundant forest, lakes, rivers, streams and wildlife. It’s an amazing place for any extreme and adventure sports enthusiast.”

Indeed, the four races in the Pocono Series offer runners a variety of challenging terrain, ranging from sandy lake shorelines to narrow single track trails that climb more than 2,000 feet – through rocky river beds and flowing streams.

All of the races in the Pocono Series are held in the months of May and June, when the weather is generally mild. Most of the race courses traverse into forest, so the runners are often well-shaded, even on sunny days. The races in the Pocono Series range from 5 kilometers to 21 kilometers.

“The trails in this area are unique because this is such a mountainous region,” said Pocono Series director Reginald Thomas. “Even a course that is only 5 kilometers can present numerous challenges that will test you from start to finish.”

Burgunder made the cross-state trip from Pittsburgh to enter the Pocono Series races in both 2011 and 2012. He said the abundance of activities and attractions in the region allow him to make a weekend getaway with each race.

“There’s a ton to do throughout the region and most activities are within an hour’s drive of all the race sites,” he said.

For example, the second race at Hickory State Park is being held on Memorial Day weekend. The park will be full of activities including whitewater rafting and camping. There will also be a new half-marathon course at Hickory.

Points will be tallied after every race to determine age-group standings for the series. At the end of the season, each age-group champion will receive a free entry to represent Pocono at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in September at Ogden/Snowbasin Resort, Utah.

To register for a race in the Pocono Series, or to learn more about it, please visit www.wilkesbarreracing.com.