Andrea and Dave Morgan, both 61, are proof that trying something new is always worth the risk. The XTERRA trail runners are veterans of XTERRA Oak Mountain, the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship and the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship. This year, they are adding XTERRA Beaver Creek to their list of races to conquer.
Andrea’s first trail running experience was at the sustainable community of Serenbe in Palmetto, Georgia.
“I saw an ad regarding their 15k trail run and signed up,” said Andrea. “My husband thought I was out of my mind but he went to support me, anyway. All it took was that one race and I was hooked.”
Along the way, Andrea met Nozomi Wade, who introduced her to XTERRA and to race director Tim Schroer, who manages many of the XTERRA Georgia Trail Runs.
“I am sure that Tim Schroer and his family - genetic and otherwise - are the reason we love XTERRA,” said Andrea. “Tim's group is a well-oiled machine with friendliness oozing from its engine. We love to either run or volunteer. There is no better way to start a weekend than to spend time with the XTERRA family.”
As proof of the Morgan’s commitment, they are doing all of the runs in the XTERRA Georgia Trail Series, including XTERRA Harbins Park, XTERRA Thrill in the Hills, XTERRA Little Mulberry, XTERRA Fort Yargo, XTERRA Allatoona, and her favorite, XTERRA Battle at Big Creek.
Last year, the Atlanta, Georgia couple registered for XTERRA Beaver Creek but their schedules did not allow them to attend.
“This year, we decided to make it happen,” said Andrea. “I am intrigued by the figure eight course.”
Although the Morgans live at sea level, they aren’t concerned by the altitude of XTERRA Beaver Creek, which is about 8,100 feet up at the resort base, and climbs up another 2,400 feet in the race.
“I am not too concerned about the altitude,” said Andrea. “Dave and I both ran at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in 2016 with a couple of days to acclimate, and I did not have issues.”
Andrea is more curious about what mental games she will play as she completes the loops.
“I am a math teacher, so I often tell myself what fraction of the course I have under my belt. The grassy single-track looks like my cup of tea and I actually prefer hills to flat terrain. I know I can talk myself into making a strong effort just to the top of that hill."
Andrea started her XTERRA Beaver Creek training plan on April 30th, about three months ahead of the race, and she keeps it on her computer’s desktop to stay inspired and motivated. Her plan includes a schedule for speed work, hill repeats, long runs, and some tempo and threshold runs. Because she is also a triathlete, Andrea will supplement her training with swimming, biking, and a few sprint triathlons this summer.
“I have found my body holds up better and I have fewer injuries if I work to keep my core tighter and mix in the swim and bike. My plan for this race - I really just call them runs - is the same as every other. I want to be happy at the end and have just enough left to want to come back for the next one.”
For the Morgans, trail running is the glue that holds their healthy lifestyle together and helps them stay connected to training partners who are also great friends.
“I love the changeup in your cadence on a trail, the natural beauty of the surroundings, the softness of the trails, the tranquility, and the peacefulness of being in nature,” said Andrea. “But it’s the people I have met along the way that have amazed and inspired me the most. They touch my heart in too many ways to name.”
Learn more and register for XTERRA Beaver Creek.