XTerra Black Mountain Trail Race Report - Veronika Doud

XTerra Black Mountain Trail Race took place this past Sunday. As a Triathlete and Marathon runner, I actually make it a point to stay off the trails and now I know why! When I had originally read the description of the course I thought- this is the race for me: flat trails and a 5K- I've got this! Not to mention I feel like this season truly is a mental battle more than a physical one. I'm trying to make a come back after an injury, so I am sticking to the shorter races this early in the season.

 

The Friday before the race, I went to run the course with a friend, and low and behold, we got lost! We had printed maps, used our Garmin GPS, and still managed to hike it back to the start completely off any trail at the park. I should have known that this would be indicative of the challenge that lie ahead. 

 

When we arrived at the race to check out the course map, the good news was they changed it from what was printed online- I instantly felt relieved about getting lost. The bad news was the elevation profile was now completely different than what I thought I had signed up for...yikes! When they gave the course talk one thing that resonated with me was: "Go slow on the downhill, if you burn your quads on the way down, you will have nothing left on the last mile that is all uphill." I immediately started to question what did I just sign up for....you know that bad mental talk at the beginning of every race. Maybe that's just me....

 

We lined up at the start and I hung out in back for a bit. I love that you can do this with chip timed races! And off we went... dirt, rocks, switchbacks, downhill and finally the last mile of uphill!! Here are some lessons from the trail: trails are HARD, it's ok to walk on the uphill, 5K always means go hard the whole time, and make a point to stick to the non- trail runs! That was definitely a challenge! At the end of the day I placed 7th overall, and 1st in my age group! That was really exciting since I never get to the podium. I love challenges and training with stronger athletes than myself- they really push me to grow and be better than I think I can be. That's one of the reasons I am most thankful to be apart of this ATeam! I love the ladies I get to race and train with!