XTERRA CRYSTAL COVE 15K TRAIL RUN
February 22, 2015
I am still super excited, and a bit sore, from my first trail race which was held yesterday morning in Laguna Beach. XTERRA Crystal Cove 15K Trail Run
Until now, I have been racing half marathons all over the country BUT they’ve all been city runs. These runs have introduced me to cities I had never visited before and I have been having a blast! Although I will continue to enjoy these city street races, I have found MY NEW LOVE! TRAIL RUNNING! I think I picked a great race to be my first because it was quite challenging but beautiful at the same time. What an experience! This particular course has a section they call “the wall” because it is quite literally a wall you pretty much have to climb straight up…like on your feet and hands! It wasn’t too long of a section but it sure did feel great to get to the top of it!
Here is the course map and the elevation chart I copied from their website.
Since this is was my first one, I can’t really compare it to any other race. While I was running, I was thinking about the differences between this race and my usual street races though.
1. First and foremost…the beauty of it all. I have been in this area before but only to hike, which is a challenge on its own, but to run it…what a rush!
2. The challenge. Wow. This was the hardest race I have ever run even though it was 4 miles less than a half marathon. City hills such as San Francisco or the like can not even prepare you for these types of inclines. OMICALVES! They were having to really kick it in. Calves, glutes, and downhill quad action! I felt like I was getting the most amazing workout during this race!
3. I love how this course played out. The beginning was quite difficult for me. I think I started out too fast and then barely crawled up a few of the inclines. Then I started feeling good and warmed up and everything seemed to start falling into place and I started feeling like I really could become a trail runner. THEN, the coolest part…the last couple of miles turned into downhill and beach view! I was hauling A down those hills and enjoying the feeling of finally moving fast! It was the perfect ending to a great race! While I was running down the hills, I think I may have forgotten about most of those feelings I had a the beginning of the race…such as OMG I can’t do this for 9 miles!!!
4. Way less crowded. There were less than 400 people running this 15K. I am sure they cap these races for safety reasons. I felt there were the perfect amount of runners there. We all fit nicely even in the narrowest of sections while there were still enough runners around that I never felt like I would be separated or lost (yes, that was a worry of mine being as I tend to lose easily)! After running many races with over 10,000 other participants, this was pretty cool…not to mention NO bathroom lines and real state park bathrooms! Didn’t have to use 1 single porta-potty!
5. Simple process…no expo or day before attendance required. Not to say that I don’t enjoy a good expo, because I DO! But it was nice to just show up early enough to grab our t-shirts, bibs, apply our XTERRA tatts, and grab a bite to eat. Also, since this race was so close to my house, we didn’t require hotel stay which is a rarity for us. Again, I do love all my travel races – but this was a nice change. OH, and they served free coffee and breakfast after the race which was AWESOME! I love coffee, with no lines, after a race!
As after every singe race, I would like to thank everyone that makes these wonderful events so awesome! This was a well run, well staffed, friendly, fun, race. I definitely, for sure, plan to run more races in the Xterra Trail Race Series!
I know I’ve already post some of these pictures on social media but did I mention that I am still super excited about being a TRAIL RUNNER!?
What are your favorite trail runs and/or races?
Interested in entering my drawing for 4 free packages of MealEnders?