By Richard Burgunder
The XTERRA Beaver Creek Trail Runs offer a breathtaking and exhilarating Rocky Mountain adventure. Located in Avon, just a two-hour drive west of Denver, known as the Mile High City, which is also the capital of Colorado and the unofficial capital of the Rocky Mountain West, you'll find some challenging single-track trails amidst strikingly beautiful ski country. Past the Beaver Creek gate lays a picturesque and cozy village where legendary world-class ski terrain meets enchanted luxury mountain resorts.
This year's race is scheduled for Sunday, July 21, and it should once again offer an abundance of thrilling adventure and fun for athletes of all abilities and backgrounds. There will be a 10K and a 5K course available and ONLINE REGISTRATION IS AVAILABLE BY CLICKING HERE.
You'll have a unique opportunity to race in front of an enthusiastically large crowd and a very festive atmosphere, which XTERRA continues to provide with astonishing style and high energy. Runners will be challenged on technical single track trails with 2,400 feet of climbing in the thin Colorado air. The course also offers scenic views while taking runners along the pristine alpine wilderness surrounded by stunningly grand 14'ers. The rugged terrain and thin air will most definitely test your physically fitness and mental aptitude levels.
To prepare for grueling mountain running events, runners should place emphasis on a high training volume, overload and recovery workouts, upper body and strength training, core work, cycling, and other forms of cross training. One great workout to train for uphill running is the "The Lydiard Hill Training Workout," which is a method that involves bouncing up a hill with high knee lift and vigorous arm movement that looks like sprinting in slow motion. The hill can be short and quite steep or longer (300 meters or more) and much more moderate in gradient. For runners coming from lower elevation regions of the country, you can compensate with stair running, cycling, running laps on stadium bleachers, bridges and highway overpasses for short hill repeats, explosive hill sprints, or running on a treadmill with an incline.
Adjusting to the altitude of 8,100 feet at the base of Beaver Creek Resort can provide another hurdle for those coming from lower elevations. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do other than arrive a couple of days early and try to get some easy runs in to acclimate. Consuming enough electrolytes and staying well hydrated will greatly help prevent altitude sickness.
The XTERRA Beaver Creek 5K and 10K Trail Runs are one of the most spectacular and largest events on the XTERRA trail run national tour. For newcomers seeking to experience a taste of mountain trail running, the 5K fun run is an outstanding option. For the more competitive athletes, the 10K course serves as the XTERRA Mountain Trail Run Championship and it will also count as part of the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series, so runners can earn valuable points toward a series championship.
Along the Beaver Creek course, you will find one of XTERRA's most prominent sports nutrition sponsors, PowerBar, offering an assortment of free product samples. PowerBar Field Marketing Associates (FMA's) will be available to assist runners with all of their nutrition needs as well as giving away product samples.
After the race, make sure to take advantage of the wide array of word-class attractions in the local area. You can explore Beaver Creek and its surroundings by mountain bike, horseback, 4x4, or hot-air balloon. Take on one of Colorado's many 14,000-foot peaks with a guided hike. Play 18 holes of mountain golf on a challenging course just steps from your hotel. Cast for rainbow trout in a clear mountain stream. Or, simply spend quality time with your family and nature with a leisurely hike through the valley. To learn more about the local attractions and events, visit: www.beavercreek.com.
If you're in the area on Saturday, come out to Beaver Creek Resort and cheer on your favorite off-road triathletes as they battle it out for the coveted title of 2013 XTERRA Mountain Champion. You'll have the opportunity to witness first-hand some of the world's most prolific and exciting adventure sports athletes in action.
Enjoy your Rocky Mountain adventure and make sure to "Live More!"
Richard Burgunder is an XTERRA Trail Run Ambassador based in Boulder, Colorado. He is a four-time XTERRA Regional Champion, with the three titles coming in three different regions (New England in 2009, Northern Ohio in 2011 and Pocono in 2011 and 2012). He has competed in XTERRA Trail Run events in Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Japan. He is also a Field Marketing Associate for PowerBar and will be at Beaver Creek as both a competitor and representative for PowerBar.