For most people in the U.S., Super Bowl Sunday is reserved for pigging out while watching the big game, but not the runners in the XTERRA Arizona Trail Run Series.
“Who doesn’t want to have a guiltless pig out?” said race director Shannon Lindner, who will host the XTERRA McDowell Mountain 7 and 24K trail runs (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) this Sunday, February 2, 2020, on a scenic course that includes an abundance of cacti.
The races will be run in the morning, allowing runners ample time to get home in time to watch the Super Bowl later in the day, and as Lindner noted: “What better way to pre-burn those beer calories?”
With over 80 miles of trails to choose from, McDowell Mountain Regional Park is a trail runner's paradise and the fifth of six races in the XTERRA Arizona Trail Run Series.
The 15-mile long course features a gradual climb full of cholla forests and fields of beaver tails. It is one giant loop with a short out and back down to Dixie Mine (and a treat at the turn around). The shorter 7K course is easily defined by its name, the Scenic Trail.
All participants will receive a huge post-race breakfast, a super cool race tee and finisher medal, as well as entry into fun post-race festivities.
The Arizona Series made its debut on the XTERRA Trail Run schedule in 2011 and has been going strong since. Due to its unique climate and geography, the races in the Arizona Series offer some of the most challenging conditions in the area.
“Of course, it can get pretty hot out there, so that’s the first thing that comes to mind,” Arizona series director Shannon Lindner said. “But with all the mountains, you can find some great climbing. And in the dry desert weather, the dirt and rocks tend to be loose, so you really have to watch your footing, and that’s hard to do sometimes because there are some very scenic trails.”
Because the heat can get extreme during the summer months in Arizona, the series does not schedule races during that time of the year. The races are usually held in the fall, winter, or early spring.
“During those months, it can actually be pretty nice running weather,” Lindner said. “Especially in the morning.”
Up Next: XTERRA Black Canyon Trail Run - 3/8/20 – 1/2 marathon or 10k
Learn more about the XTERRA Arizona Trail Run Series.