It's officially hot in Texas right now, but that isn't stopping XTERRA runners from hitting the trails. On June 11th, the Texas Trail Run Series continued at XTERRA Muleshoe, just outside of Spicewood, Texas on the north shore of beautiful Lake Travis.
Athletes had the option of choosing the 21K, 10.5K, or 6K runs.
"The race went off without a hitch, as usual with Joel Grimmett as race director," said Michael Fussell, who was third overall and the first Master's Runner. In 2016, Fussell was the XTERRA Trail Run World Champ for the 55-59 age group.
"My time was seven minutes faster than last year on the same course so I'm really happy with that. It goes to show you can teach an old dog new tricks."
XTERRA Ambassador Steven Stoot was the Muleshoe 21K Champ with a time of 1:29:07, which is about 6:49 pace. Runner up Robert Smith finished in 1:31:15.
"Muleshoe is such a fun race," said Stoot. "The footing is great and the course isn't as hilly as some of the other Texas XTERRA runs."
Stoot added that his training has been up and down due to an injury.
"Muleshoe was my first long run in my return to training after a three week break. Since I hadn't run much longer than eight or nine miles since Pace Bend, I decided to tuck into second for a bit in the race. Once I warmed up though, I could feel a bit of fitness and decided to move up when we crossed a road just after the first mile. From there, it was smooth sailing and I just focused on running an even effort.
"In the future, I'd like to just keep building back some mileage. Summer has arrived in Central Texas making it tough to run many road workouts after work, but I'll keep trying to hit the trails as much as I can. I'm excited to head back home to Colorado in two weeks for a vacation, hopefully get some trail running done in the high country."
Next up for Stoot is XTERRA Magnolia Hill on July 16th.
Race director Joel Grimmett pointed out the special podium for the XTERRA Muleshoe Trail Run.
"It was made by one of our triathletes," said Grimmett. "His wife made the XTERRA stencil for the platforms, and it's a pretty cool set up."
Fussell posed for a photo Dion Papafote on the left and Grimmett on the right.
"I wanted to take a picture of them with my U.S. and National medals on since it is their race series and support that made it possible for me to achieve those goals," said Fussell. "XTERRA really is a family affair of friends!"
View complete results for the XTERRA Muleshoe Trail run at www.redbarnsystems.com.