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2014 XTERRA Atlantic Series, Part 2

November 19, 2014

Here is the much anticipated second part to my 2014 XTERRA Atlantic recap. If you were not anticipating it much, you missed out on some great anticipation. Part one can be found here.

Rosaryville 12k, Race 4

The 12k at Rosaryville was another new venue for the XTERRA Atlantic series and it did not disappoint. My performance notwithstanding, the course was beautiful. A picturesque day greeted all runners present. The course glided over fields and through woods, but these descriptions tend to seem paltry compared to the actual feeling of racing, running, jogging, walking, or traipsing through a park like this with the kind of fun group that always shows up for these events. There is almost a feeling of guilt, as I wish every friend could have shared the experience. Read the rest of this entry »

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2014 XTERRA Atlantic Series, Part 1

November 11, 2014

The second year of the XTERRA Atlantic trail race series delivered challenging trails, competitive fields, new friends, and all-around great times. Here is my much belated round up of the four (out of five total) races in which I competed.

White Clay Creek 10k, Race 1

The first XTERRA race this season, White Clay Creek, started twice. Uncertainty and perhaps rust from a cold winter caused the entire group to change direction less than thirty seconds into the run. Like a herd of lemmings, everyone dashed down a paved service road  that turned into a dead end. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lums Pond, XTERRA Atlantic, Race 3

March 14, 2014

Runner’s note: I wrote most of this post last year, after the race. Apologies for not posting sooner, to the many fans waiting to hear about the rest of the 2013 XTERRA Atlantic Series. I am just glad to be back posting again and wanted to finish this one. Also, the XTERRA series starts back up this weekend and I am amped about it!

On trails, you can get lost without ever losing your way. On trails, a runner can feel physically awful while loving the life all around. Recent off-road adventures have brought me a new level of appreciation for hitting the dirt.

Lums Pond Park, location unknown

Lums Pond Park, location unknown

So it was back to Delaware for race three of four in the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run series. The first two events had been terrific, and the next one promised similar fun with new challenges. The packet pickup and finish line area was nestled under trees at the edge of a beautiful, wide open field situated deep within Lums Pond State Park. Read the rest of this entry »

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My 30 for 30

February 13, 2014

There was no finish line, only a number on my watch. Nobody draped race foil over my shoulders to help maintain body warmth. Police did not block off a single road closed for this jaunt. The run had no set date, time, or even location. It was nothing but a solitary training run. The only mark was distance.

So on a random winter Saturday I ran 30 miles for my 30th birthday.

Ask me if it was fun… it hurt a lot. I walked some. Ask me again if it was fun… you better believe I loved every second of it. That’s how a lot of running goes. One step can bring anguish or a frighteningly tight calf muscle. Yet the next footfall has potential to reignite a burst of energy and propel you forward. Don’t get me wrong though, it was painful. I was woefully under-trained and maddeningly over-inspired. Read the rest of this entry »

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Seneca Creek, XTERRA Atlantic, Race 2

May 21, 2013

Sometimes you gotta go beyond the pavement.
You gotta go deep, way on back
Cross a few creeks and a couple little shacks
You gotta get lost way on out
Crickets and frogs, yeah you’re getting close now.
-Banjo, Rascal Flatts

The sun flared overhead as a last winter chill grasped at the early April morning air. My sneakers crackled over rocks and dirt while I ran a light warmup. With the first XTERRA Atlantic Series race caked in dirt under my laces, this was sure to be another fun challenge.

Volunteers manned the registration area and prepared the finish line as the morning activities approached. There would be a 10k and 5k traversing the wooded area of Seneca Creek Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I was ready to attack the longer distance. Though wary of my pained effort in the previous race, I was confident that my legs were better prepared and that the course terrain would be more forgiving.

Clopper Lake, Gaithersburg, MD

Clopper Lake, Seneca Creek Park, Gaithersburg, MD

Read the rest of this entry »

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Boston On My Mind

April 17, 2013

The 117th Boston Marathon will be remembered by runners and non-runners alike. Those who have run it, those who know people who have run it, those who have watched it, and those who had never heard about it until they saw the news, will all have their own memories of April 15, 2013.

As for me, part of my heart is always in Boston. I went to college in Boston. I met my wife in Boston. Many of my best friends and countless memories are in Beantown. I learned how to become a serious runner in Boston. I ran the Boston Marathon with a fundraising number, and my goal ever since has been to return as a qualifier.

It felt very weird that day for the obvious reasons. But it was also surreal because I only missed qualifying for Boston by 6 seconds. While a lot has crossed my mind since that day in Philly, this was never something on that radar. There was comfort in the fact that everyone I knew running and their loved ones were safe, but only for a moment as I watched the news updates. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the tragedy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Brandywine, XTERRA Atlantic, Race 1

April 3, 2013

The race started with over 80 participants gliding along a nice downhill stretch. Grassy fields quickly relinquished territory as runners disappeared into the forest. Incredibly, the rest of the 12k course was all uphill… or so it felt.

Brandywine Creek State Park in Wilmington, Delaware, played host to the first of four events in the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Race series. Having never been there, I welcomed an opportunity to run trails in a state I knew only for its sales tax exemption and weird way of pronouncing Newark. The northeast coastline had experienced some rain and snow throughout the week, but when day broke on Saturday morning there was sunshine with only a slight wind.

Beautiful Brandywine - Wilmington, Delware

Beautiful Brandywine – Wilmington, Delaware

Read the rest of this entry »

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