The 2017 Duke's Beach House XTERRA 10K champ shares her advice for running the course.
Malia Crouse has a lot of experience on trails. Last year she won the Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K, which is part of the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs on Saturday, October 27th at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui. Additionally, the Maui resident was fourth at the 2017 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu.
Most recently Crouse ran the Hana Relay, which is a 52-mile run that includes 617 curves and over 56 bridges on the famous Hana Highway. What was different about Crouse’s race is that her relay team included only one person – herself – making her the first female to ever attempt the distance alone rather than being part of a team.
“I don’t plan on defending my title at the Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K this year, and that’s OK,” said Crouse. “But I am definitely doing the race because I love it. It’s so festive.”
Crouse is referring to the fact that the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs draw an international crowd. Held a day before the XTERRA World Championship, friends and family of triathletes love competing in the trail runs on Saturday. Many have come from halfway around the world to cheer on athletes competing in “XTERRA Worlds,” and the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs reflect the international spirit that infuses this XTERRA Weekend. The trails runs include athletes from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, France, Greece, and Japan, just to name a few. The XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs include the Duke’s Beach House 10K, the Hula Grill 5K, the Leilani’s 3.3K, and Kimo's Keiki K.
Malia’s Tips for the Course
1. Hydrate – The weather in Maui is warm and humid and the sun is always hot. Starting now, begin drinking extra water and taking in electrolytes. Also stay in the shade and stay as cool as possible.
2. Strategize the Start – The beginning of the Duke’s Beach House 10K is often a time when athletes put in a quick sprint in order to get a good position for the single track. However, also be mindful that the first two miles of the course are pretty much uphill. You want to get out at a good pace to find your place, but don’t blow your quads out right away. Pace yourself!
3. Watch Your Footing – The course has been muddy the past few years, and this year, we’ve had two hurricanes as well as tropical storms this summer so the ground is soaked. The loose leaves and roots can be slippery so it’s always smart to watch your footing. Additionally, there are some fun logs to jump over, so take your time and enjoy how goofy and ungraceful you may feel. Trail runs are great fun and an opportunity to not take ourselves so seriously.
4. Save Some for the Sand – The end of the race includes a sandy stretch of beach. See if you can find the sweet spot between the hard-packed sand by the water and staying on a straight line to the finish. This is a tough spot on the course, but know that you are almost at the finish and as soon as you hit the grass, it will feel like a take-off zone for your final sprint.
Learn more and register for the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs. Online registration may be closed, but you can still register at the Ritz on Friday from 9am-5pm and on Saturday from 7-8am.