While many XTERRA athletes identify as either a trail runner or a triathlete, at certain times of the season, it doesn’t matter which one you are. Sometimes, whether or not we do one sport or three, we are all heading towards the same XTERRA finish line.
This is true of the XTERRA Pedernales 25K and 10K trail runs this Saturday, February 24th.
Located 40 miles west of Austin, Texas, the trails at Pedernales Falls State Park are quintessential Texas Hill Country with rocks, dips, drops, ledges, twists, and turns. Runners (and triathletes) will encounter plenty of natural obstacles as they wind through the rugged, heavily-wooded canyons.
Joel Grimmett, of Race Revolutions, puts on both the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series as well as the XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon Series. As a result, both runners and triathletes will be at this XTERRA Texas season opener, together celebrating the joy of being outside on the dirt.
Jordan Winar, the 30-34 XTERRA South Central regional triathlon champ last year, says he is looking forward to testing out his fitness before the official off-road triathlon season kicks off with XTERRA Bluebonnet on March 24th.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and meeting new friends,” said Winar, who qualified for Maui in his rookie season last year. “It's my sophomore year so now I know some of the upper classmen. While it's fun to talk smack over text and on social media with them, I am hoping to race fast and at least keep them in my rearview mirror for as long as possible during this kick off race.”
Hans Ryham, the 2017 35-39 XTERRA South Central Regional Champ, will also be running at XTERRA Pedernales.
“I thought I might try one of trail runs for a change, and am actually glad it is just that,” said Ryham. “The cooler than normal weather that we have been having here in Texas leaves me very uninspired to do any open water swimming at this time. The run also fits into my bigger training and racing goals for this year.”
2017 30-34 South Central Regional Trail Run Champ Emma Kosciak has been struggling with a knee injury, but is going to use XTERRA Pedernales as a comeback race for 2018.
“I’m just going to run and walk the 10K based on how I’m feeling,” she said.
Kosciak illustrates one of the realities of trail running – sometimes injuries demand that we take time and fitness off the table and just show up for the challenge. Knowing Kosciak and her natural talent, her skill on the trails, and her determination, we have no doubt that come September, she will be in fighting shape for the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.
“Last year, the XTERRA Pedernales 25K was one of my best races. This year, I’m starting on a down note, but hopefully, I will end on a high note.”
XTERRA Ambassador Stephayne Gibson will also be at XTERRA Pedernales after fighting some nagging issues following two 50K runs.
“But I finally got the all clear and I’m ready and excited to begin the XTERRA season!” she exclaimed.
2017 20-24 XTERRA Regional Trail Run Champ Xavier Perez is looking forward to a new season because he says he has been running better than ever.
“I’ll be racing the 25K again, and I am looking forward to the fun,” said Perez. “I have been training this off-season to increase my speed so that I can hopefully get a better time than last year and make the podium. My running has been going great so far. I’ve been maintaining a weekly mileage of 36 miles or more so I feel like I am in race shape.”
Most recently, Perez competed in the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon which kept him motivated to train this winter.
“I’m really looking forward to this new XTERRA season,” he said, speaking for all of us.
XTERRA Pedernales on February 24th opens the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series. The next race is the XTERRA Bluebonnet 10K/21K in Bryan, Texas on March 25th, followed up by the XTERRA ATX 10.5K/21K on April 22nd in Austin. There is a total of nine races in this year’s series, and the top amateurs in each division at the end of the regular season (August 12 at XTERRA Muleshoe in Spicewood) earn free entry into XTERRA Trail Run Nationals.
Learn more about the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series.