February 6, 2011

The McDowell Mountain Park XTERRA was the last race for the 2010-2011Arizona XTERRA season. The park entrance is only 8 miles from my house so it was really nice to sleep in this morning instead of facing the hour plus drives I had to get to the first two XTERRA races. As I pulled in the park entrance my truck thermometer read 29°, thankfully it warmed up fast and was close to 40° by the start.

I run the trails at McDowell Mountain Park every week so this would be my first race that I actually had an idea where I was going and what to expect on the trails. The race started out much faster than I wanted, even though I ran the first two miles over 2 minutes faster than planned I'd estimate at least 30 runners went past me in the first two miles. I knew at mile two the hills started so tried to be patient, at the two mile aid station I passed my first runner who was bent over puking on the side of the trail...I guess that's at least one guy that started out too fast. Between miles 3 and 8, I passed 21 runners and didn't get passed by anyone. From mile 9 to the finish, 9 runners caught me on the downhill, I spend a lot of training time in the mountains and have gotten strong on the climbs but just don't have the turnover speed to hang on the flat and downhills, yet.

My final time was 2:19:19 over 15.1 miles on the trail. I'm happy with that, I felt good all day and had a lot of fun. Arizona XTERRA did a great job putting on the three races this season. With two race distances to choose from I would highly recommend anyone that's interested in trail running to sign up next year when the races are announced.

You can get more information on the XTERRA McDowell Mountains race at AZTrailRace.com

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