Runners looking to reach new heights will be in their element at the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series.
The Colorado Series features six challenging races, all staged on high-altitude mountain trails. The combination of thin air and picturesque views off mountain ridges will leave runners breathless in more ways than one.
“Altitude is always a factor, especially for those coming from other states,” said Steve Parker, the 2013 age-group champion for the men’s 60-64 division of the XTERRA Colorado Series. “If you live in Colorado, it’s a given and most of us are used to it.”
Temperatures in Colorado can also drop to extreme lows, so the Colorado Series will avoid the winter months. The races in the series are scheduled for September, October, April, July and August. “It could be snowing one day, and 70 degrees the next, but that is the norm,” race director Victoria Seahorn said of the Colorado weather. “It’s perfect for trail runners, who will show up no matter what the weather is.”
Such was the case in October 2011, when a snow flurry hit Colorado Springs, but the XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races still took place, with more than 200 runners getting to experience a trail run in the snow. “That’s what running in Colorado is all about,” Seahorn said. “The year before, the weather was perfect. Next year, who knows? That’s part of the excitement. We have some races in the summer, and even at that time of the year, it can either be hot and sunny or cold and rainy.”
Because of the sometimes extreme conditions, every race in the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series offers two or more course options – a “short” course for less-experienced runners and a longer course for experienced runners. The short courses are usually 10 kilometers or less; the long courses are usually 20 kilometers or more. There is even an event in October that will offer a 42K full marathon trail course.
All of the races in the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series are open to runners of all ages and skill levels. Points will be awarded to the top age-group finishers of each race at the longest distance. However, if there is a half and a full marathon at an event, points will be given to both distances. At the conclusion of the series, each age-group champion will receive a free entry to represent Colorado at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.
“There are a lot of running series in Colorado, but what’s different about the XTERRA Series is that it leads to something,” Parker noted. “If you do well in the XTERRA (Colorado) Series, you can move on to the Nationals or Worlds, and that’s a nice incentive.”
1. XTERRA Racing Age isthe age you will be on August 31st of the series season. (The old date was December 31.) We need to fix a firm age for the year so people won’t race in January at one age and in August at another if they have a birthday in-between. For example: If you are 29 in Feb, but turn 30 on Aug. 20th, you will be racing in the 30-34 division all season.
XTERRA Trail Run Series age groups: <9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80+, Physically Challenged.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Races scheduled after September 1, will become part of the following year’s XTR Series.
2. Enter as many XTERRA Trail Runs as you can – In order to be eligible for the XTERRA Regional Champion title for your age group, you must compete in at least two trail runs within a given series. You should run in as many events within the regional series as possible to score maximum points.
If your regional series consists of 3 races, all 3 races will count towards your points
If your regional series consists of 4 or more races, we will drop one of the events from your score:
If there are 4 races in your Series, your final score will be calculated based on your top 3 races.
If there are 5 races in your Series, your final score will be calculated based on your top 4 races.
If there are 7 races in your Series, your final score will be calculated based on your top 6 races.
It’s not mandatory that you race in all events in your Series, but your chances of winning the region are much better if you do. You will be allocated “0” points for races in your Series that you do not enter.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If there are two race distances offered on the same day, only the longer distance event counts for points. For example, if there is a 5k and a 15k race on the same day, only the 15k will count for points.Exception: All races 21km and over will receive points. For example, if there is a 21km and a 42km race, both will get points.
3. Accumulate Points –Points are awarded to the top 15 finishers in each age group. Please see the points breakdown below. Current standings will be posted after each event. Points stay within the region you raced in and do not transfer (For example – if you won XTERRA Thrill in the Hills you’d get 100 points in the Georgia Series. Then you won the XTERRA Mission Gorge Trail Run and earned 100 points in SoCal Series. You would have 100 points in each Series).
XTERRA TRAIL RUN SERIES POINTS- awarded to each age group
1st – 100
2nd – 90
3rd – 82
4th – 75
5th – 69
6th – 63
7th – 58
8th – 53
9th – 49
10th – 45
11th – 41
12th – 37
13th – 34
14th – 31
15th – 28
4. Count ‘em Up! – The athlete with the most points- by gender and age group- after the last race in the Series earns the title of XTERRA Trail Run Series Champion and earns free entry into the XTERRA National Championship in Ogden, Utah in September. Series Champs can also race for free in the 5k or 10k offered at Nationals if they wish, but only the 21km is considered the national championship race.
6. Tie Breakers – Ties in point standings will be settled by:
Head to Head competition (order of finish from the most recent race in your Series where both/all competitors participated.)
Winner of the most recent race (the highest placing athlete at the most recent race in your series will break the tie).
HOW TO QUALIFY FOR XTERRA TRAIL RUNNING NATIONALS
The XTERRA Trail Running National Championship at Ogden, Utah, is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, even those who do not compete in a regional series during the year. There is no qualifying process. However, only the regional champions are eligible to receive a free entry to nationals.
HOW TO QUALIFY FOR XTERRA TRAIL RUNNING WORLDS
The XTERRA Trail Running World Championship at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii, is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, even those who do not compete in a regional series during the year. There is no qualifying process.
If it’s not necessary to qualify for Nationals or Worlds, why set a qualifying standard?
Couple of reasons. 1) We wanted to recognize those runners that completed a half-marathon in the time allotted because that’s a great achievement 2) We wanted to tie-in all the half-marathons (your race leads to U.S. Nationals and all of them lead to Worlds) so by the time we get to Worlds we’ll have this great international field of runners with good vibes and great competition 3) Because this is just year nine of the Series, and we believe someday the demand will be such that we’ll have to limit the number of runners in the Championship races (understand that at some parks there are limits to the # of participants you’re allowed to put on a trail). When this happens, qualifying for the Championship races will be necessary.
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