Hunter McIntyre is one of the top ranked Spartan Obstacle Race athletes in the world. Recently, he decided to make the transition to the XTERRA SoCal trail race series. At the Point Mugu race on October 12th Hunter dominated the race, winning by two minutes over his closest competitor. When asked what his impression was of the XTERRA community, Hunter had this to say: “I had an awesome experience at the XTERRA Point Mugu event!! I really love the running community for how supportive and friendly they are, especially the trail runners.”
Some might think that a Spartan athlete would have difficulty transitioning to trail running, but Hunter believes that the two compare nicely: “The course was very hilly, something Spartans take great pride in tackling. The single track gave the opportunity to really pick up the pace which you rarely see in a Spartan event. Without obstacles I was a bit out of my element. I just hit the gas pedal hard around mile 6 and decided it was time to try winning this thing if I could survive the pace.” Hunter admits there are some differences between training for a Spartan and training to do an XTERRA race, but he believes his Spartan training gives him a solid base of running to work off of, saying,“The training I use for Spartan includes much more strength than an average runner would need to compete at a high level. I still have a major focus on being very conditioned for high speed trail running, but if I'm going to take on some of your world champion athletes like Max King, I'm going to need to focus more on raw running. I suggest every endurance athlete have a strong strength base, but for these races hard miles are king when it comes to winning.”
When asked if he would consider doing another XTERRA race Hunter replies, “I would love to make it to your next SoCal trail event! If I'm feeling fresh after worlds toughest you can expect to see me duking it out for another podium spot with you guys.” It looks like the XTERRA SoCal series will have a two-sport star in their future.
By Donald Quinn IV
XTERRA Trail Run Intern
Coming up next in the 2015 XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series:
11/27/14 – XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot Trail Run – Calabasas, CA – 5/10/15km
12/7/14 – XTERRA Crystal Cove Trail Run – Newport Beach, CA – 6/16km