Arizona Series rings in New Year with "perfect" conditions
A simple lesson learned in childhood held true for Nick Coury at the XTERRA White Tanks Trail Run last weekend: be prepared. Coury's preparation and familiarity with the course were key factors in his overall victory on the 20-kilometer course at Waddell, Arizona.
Close to 350 runners participated in the race, which was completed on Sunday, January 6, at White Tank Mountain Regional Park.
Coury, 25, grew up near the park and said he often hiked on those trails as a youth member of the Boy Scouts. "I've been hiking them since I was a kid with the Boy Scouts and have had the chance to run them several times since," said Coury, who currently resides in Phoenix.
Coury completed the course in 1 hour, 26 minutes, 6 seconds, and described the trails at White Tanks as "spectacular."
"A tough climb on the way out puts you high above everything with a great view," he said. "The work the regional park did to the Mesquite trail a couple of years ago leaves the entire route challenging yet well-maintained. The conditions were absolutely perfect, with cool enough temperatures for racing all morning."
Coury's experience on the trails extends far beyond his childhood. He currently works as a race director for the Aravaipa Running Club in Arizona.
Nathan Rath from Chandler, Arizona, placed second with a time of 1:27:04, and Dan Kuch from Lake Havasu City, Arizona, was third in 1:29:57.
Angi Axmann was the top overall female, finishing with a time of 1:41:01. She finished the race with blood dripping down her knee after she tripped over a rock late in the course.
She said the final four miles of the race were a struggle, as she had to stop several times because of the pain in her knee. Still, she finished more than eight minutes ahead of the other females.
Teri Twarkins placed second in 1:49:32, and Julie Allen was third in 1:54:11.
The XTERRA White Tanks Trail Run was the second of four races in the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA Arizona Trail Run Series. The next race will be the XTERRA McDowell Mountain Trail Run on February 3. To register for a race or learn more about the series, please visitwww.aztrailrace.com.