We all know about the loneliness of the long distance runner. In fact, most of us love the sport because of the solitary hours on the trails. But, when you can find a community of others who will head into the woods with you? Well, there’s nothing better than that.
XTERRA Ambassador Simon Edgett’s goal for 2018 is as much about creating community as it is racking up the miles.
“This year, I want to get more involved with the local trail running community,” said Edgett. “I have always loved exploring the woods by myself, and I still really enjoy the solitude of trail running. But, sharing the adventure and the additional motivation running with a group offers something new I am learning to appreciate. “
“Long distance running is a lonely sport,” added race director Denise Mast. “That’s why these races are such a celebration.”
Racing season is short in the Northeast, which is why the XTERRA Northeast Trail Run Series packs as much into each race as possible. In each event, there are more distances offered than any other trail run on the XTERRA calendar.
At both the XTERRA Shepaug Trail Run in March and the XTERRA Steep Rock Trail Run in August, you can choose from 10K, 25K, 50K, and 80K distances, and in May’s Wawayanda Trail Run, you can hop into a 10K, 25K, or 50K.
After a long, snowy winter, the first race of the season is a joyful day, and we expect no less of the season opener on March 24th. The XTERRA Shepaug Trail Run in Bridgewater, Connecticut will likely have snow on the trails, but plenty of runners will be out reveling in the sun, snow, mud, or all three.
“For us at NYARA, we are endurance athletes and are drawn to longer events,” Mast explained about the decision to include ultra runs in the series. “The 10Ks are short, but they are a good gateway into longer distance running. The 25K is kind of the sweet spot, and it’s close to the distances at the XTERRA Trail Run National and World Championship races. The 50Ks and 80Ks require a much bigger mental commitment. So even though it makes for a longer day for us, we like to offer those distances as it shows how tough your mettle is. As ultra running continues to grow, we want to continue to offer those distances.”
Edgett knows what it is to start small and then go big. He began running simply as a way to quit smoking. Then, in 2016, he did the XTERRA Northeast Trail Run Series as well as the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah.
“Last year, I built on that base and trained smarter.” He competed in all three of the XTERRA 50K races as well as some endurance events. “Instead of burning myself out, I enjoyed every moment of training and racing. This year, I am definitely running the three 50K XTERRA races in the XTERRA Northeast Trail Run Series. They are spaced nicely throughout the season and I am going to use them as solid training for some bigger targets.”