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.

As for the race, my pace was erratic as usual. When I don’t feel like I am in great racing shape, as was the case, my goal is to balance running hard and enjoying the surroundings as much as possible. I often slow down during the “be one with nature” segments of the race. The outcome is not important, but have a look at the chalked up trailer below to see all the personality on display that late Spring morning.


At Rosaryville, the Adventure Geeks chalk trailer tells the story

Adventure Geeks chalk talk at Rosaryville

I skipped the fourth installment of the series at Brandywine and headed straight for the final race this XTERRA season.

Big Elk Half Marathon, Race 5

I ran to the registration tent, once again, a bit later than I wanted. The morning was warm but threatening rain. Big Elk was another race I had run last year and I felt pretty decent once completing the sneaker tying, bib number pinning, and bathroom going routines. Fitness was not where it should have been, but no excuses.

Ok, one excuse. My memory sucks. Evidently, I forgot about the very rolling hills of the first four miles of the course. So I send apologies to the guy I told before the race that I didn’t think the trail was all that crazy hilly. The first several miles of this half marathon took a toll on my legs and my mental state.

Then it happened. Spiraling around some rocky terrain somewhere after mile three, I urged two runners to pass me. I knew my pace was slowing. They declined as one made some nice compliment that I was running strong. Not more than thirty seconds later, my feet twisted like a pretzel and I went flat on my face. Boom. Splat. So graceful. Are you finished laughing yet? I told the two other runners to keep going and that I was fine. Falling damaged more pride than any limb. For perspective, a runner was struck by lightning after more than 60 miles and finished a 100 mile race. That’s bad ass. I just had a skinned knee and a grumpy countenance.

But that is one more reason running is awesome. It gives so many opportunities to overcome major and minor obstacles. So I popped up and just kept running. Stronger and more determined. I could make this dramatic, but I never passed back those two runners. I did not finish in the top ten, after placing second overall last year. I did not even finish top three in my age group. I was not upset about any of that. The only thing I was pissed about was that I did not have more blood on my knee to prove some ever so slight toughness.

It was another incredibly exciting XTERRA Atlantic series, with technical courses, rewarding experiences, and solid racing. At a time when the Road Runners Club of America issued a warning about the proliferation of sketchy (here) and failing (here and here) race production companies, the Adventure Geeks deserve special mention for their attention to detail, reliability, care for every participant, and super creative race swag (see below). I am definitely proud to be a geek!

Big Elk race medal and bottle opener

Big Elk race medal and bottle opener

XTERRA Atlantic age group award pint glasses


One comment

  1. Bravo for getting up and finishing after a nasty fall. What an inspiration! Looking forward to reading about your runs in the next XTERRA series. Good luck!!

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