By Donald Quinn IV
XTERRA Trail Run Intern
Robert Coslick has burst onto the scene of the XTERRA Arizona series, winning each of the first two races by five minutes. When asked how he heard about XTERRA he says, “I have just recently moved to the area in early August from Little Creek, VA. Shortly after getting here I wanted to join the local running community and came across this XTERRA Series online. I’ve never done any trail running before this race series and loved how the Arizona series moved around through all the major trails in the Phoenix area.”
You might expect someone who has never run on a trail before to be a little nervous, or not perform as well as they do on the road, but not so for Robert. As noted above he has won both of this year's Arizona races by five minutes, putting in sub- 1:40 times for both half-marathons. Robert explains his quick transition to trail running: “When I did the first race at Estrella Mountain I was very excited. I wasn’t sure what to expect, being that I’m used to the road running scene. I was a little worried about how different the trail scene would be and what norms I wouldn’t be familiar with. However, when I got to the start line at Estrella it was awesome, people were friendly and the atmosphere was inviting. I really enjoyed the scenery of the course and challenge of the trails at both Estrella and San Tan. I definitely look forward to running in the rest of (the) series.”
Robert's example shows that anybody can make the transition to trail running, although perhaps not everybody can expect to win their first two trail half-marathons. What made Robert choose the XTERRA Arizona series out of all the trail races in the Phoenix area? According to Robert: “I like the smooth flow of the start and social atmosphere at the finish. It’s always good to be able to relax after the race and talk about the great time you had on the course with other racers.”
Having personally run in the Arizona series, I can attest that everything Robert says is true. You can feel the friendly atmosphere and smooth organization of the series in every facet of the races. With three more races in the new year there is plenty of time for people to test themselves against Robert and join one of the fastest growing XTERRA series. Robert is not the first person to switch from the road to the trail, but he certainly is enjoying early success. With a combination of strong competitors, inviting venues, and an outstanding race staff it is no wonder that the XTERRA Arizona series is more popular than ever. Come on out and discover it for yourself.