Trying to Leap as High as I can. In a World Record Time!!
This weekend I'll be traveling to Hawaii to compete in my first trail race on a big stage. The race is the Paul Mitchell Xterra Trail World Championship in Kaneohe, HI. I have dabbled in a few trail races in Flagstaff over the past couple years, finishing 1st or 2nd in each race I ran, losing only to my Team Run Flagstaff teammates. But, again, this is the first big trail race of my career. A debut, if you want to call it that. I am very excited to see how I stack up against some of the other Top US Trail runners that have run this race in years past. The course record is 1:16:36, set by Max King. That is not an easy time considering the terrain, elevation profile, and the humidity, but I will strive to break that.
Course Map and Elevation Profile for Xterra
Looking at results and knowing how tough trail racing can be, I know I should finish anywhere in the top 3. Humidity, technical trails, and steep climbs are all elements of this race that I have trained for over the past 16 years of XC, track and road race training. I have done a couple intense climbs both in Flagstaff and in California, where I came to get a couple more days of warmer weather before flying to Hawaii, and I feeling that I am as ready as I can be for this race. And I have been wearing lots of extra clothing to get my body to adapt to running at an uncomfortable temperature. My preparations going to this race have gone well, so we should all expect a great result this weekend.
For those of you who are worried that I am making a full transition to the trails (Jim Walmsley), don't be too concerned. There will be many trail races in my foreseeable future, but immediately after I tackle the Xterra Half Marathon, I will bounce back to race the Honolulu Marathon a week later. I have a couple friends who have done this double before, and they have told me about how hard it has been for the to race well at both. However, I have no worries that my legs will be able to handle the quick turnaround, as I have done with many other races.
At The End of a Run With Stephan Shay and Epoch Restorations
This will also be my 4th marathon for this year, which is the most I have ever done in a single year. So far I am averaging 2:17:18 for my previous 3 marathons, and despite the humid conditions and coming off of the Xterra race, I am aiming to improve that average dramatically. Because this race rarely ever has good conditions for a marathon, the race is usually won between 2:14 and 2:18. Generally 1st and 5th places are pretty close together, so tactically I know that I will have to be with the leaders the whole race if I want to give myself a chance to win.
Early Morning, And Still Heat Training in CA
And that is what I have coming up for the next couple weeks. I'll update you when I can either here or on my social media pages if you are interested in tracking how things are going. Thanks for reading!