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Xterra World Championship Course Recon


The weather has been interesting this week. Our first morning in Maui gave us light rain. As the rain continued to fall, the trails got muddy and slippery. Even though Karel changed out his tires prior to the trip (in anticipation for muddy conditions), it only took one ride for Karel to feel that he needed even better tires suited for even muddier conditions. The trails were so slippery and his tires were covered in mud it was as if he was ice skating on his bike. Thankfully he only had one fall and didn't injure himself. 

I decided to stick to the road for my shake out run and just walked a few sections of the end of the course (trail). It was slippery and I didn't have my trail shoes on so I was extra careful. 

On Wednesday, Karel purchased new tires from the expo and installed them himself in our condo. Even though the course was dry on Wednesday, there is a big rain storm coming this weekend (starting tomorrow) so he is happy with his new setup - even though the conditions will make the course extra challenging and his tires will still get super muddy.

On Wednesday morning we went for an ocean swim and around mid day, while Karel and our friend Ross (from Greenville, SC) were biking the course, I went out for a trail run. I ran on Karel's triathlon run course (~6 miles of the 6.5 mile course) which is also part of my 21K run course. The course was clearly marked with red run signs. 

Within the first 1/2 mile, my heart was beating rapidly and my legs were burning. For the next few miles, I felt like I was constantly climbing and climbing and climbing. Even when there was a downhill, he never lasted long enough to recover. To not fully exhaust/damage my legs and to minimize the risk for a fall/injury/niggle, I walked (aka hiked) more than I ran - especially on the more technical sections. Even though the course was "dry" my shoes were still covered in mud and I could feel them getting heavier and heavier as the mud was accumulating under my shoes (I stopped a few times to wipe the mud off with sticks). 

As I marveled in the beauty of this course - a bit Jurassic park like - I could not help but think how challenging, exhausting and difficult this 21K trail run will be. The course map shows just under 2000 feet of elevation that we will experience over all types of terrain. And from what I experienced during my recon run, the hills are super steep and relentless. Even though there was beauty all around me while running, I couldn't help but feel the scream in my legs and my heart beating out of my chest. And while it's warm here, it's not overly hot - just hot enough to remind me that I am on an island. 

While I'm excited and grateful for this trail run experience, I am also very nervous as it's going to be an incredible test of mental strength, resiliency, endurance, strength, stamina and focus. 

Karel is excited for his adventure and wants the most epic race experience possible. With the predicted weather forecast and difficulty of the course, I think he's in for a very memorable Xterra World Championship event. 

Here are some pics from the past few days, exercising in Maui.