Countdown to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship – Xterra – 7-1-2011

published in Xterra 7/1/2011

Reasons why you should be there

Rachel CieslewiczBy Rachel Cieslewicz

I often say I’m the luckiest girl I’ve ever met.  It just got proved again. Why is this? XTERRA is bringing Trail Run Nationals to Utah! Since it’s in my backyard, I get to play hostess and not only welcome you once you get to town, but also let you in on some secrets. Here are my top 10 reasons you should come to Utah for what is guaranteed to become one of your fondest memories ever.

1, Be a part of history. There is hands down, nothing like a world class event created by XTERRA, and on Sept. 24 and 25, two national championship events will be staged in Ogden, Utah. On Sept. 24, the XTERRA USA Championship off-road triathlon will take place. On Sept. 25, the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship takes the spotlight. You can be a part of history by participating in the race, as it is the first time that the two XTERRA national championship events will be held in the same city. Two national championships in one place? Yes, a priceless opportunity!

2, Any and all runners are invited for the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. There is no qualifying standard yet. Yes, I can race. Yes, you can race. We all get to rub shoulders with outstanding elites in the same race. Inspiration all the way around!

3, Get inspired by the world’s best triathletes. There is nothing like the XTERRA USA Championship off-road triathlon. Swim, mountain bike, trail run. Watch it and prepare to be motivated. Then, you can take that inspiration with you the following day as you experience running Trail Run Nationals.

4, Ogden, Utah, is one of the most up-and-coming sporting towns on the map.  You will see why fabulous companies such as Salomon, Petzl, Suunto, and Enve Composites have made it their headquarters. Most important, you will experience for yourself why XTERRA has brought the two greatest National Championship events to this town.

5, The beautiful trails. Just a few miles up the Canyon from Ogden is Snowbasin. It is filled with some of the most jaw-dropping scenery and epic single track you will find anywhere in the U.S. It is one of our best kept secrets … until now. My home of the greatest snow on earth is also a mecca for summer mountain running. And this is where our race will go down in history!

6, The buildings at Snowbasin are absolutely amazing. Grand and perfect with a huge outdoor patio for live music and fabulous food. You may wonder what my favorite part of this Sun Valley Resort masterpiece is?  The restrooms at Earl’s Lodge. You must experience to believe. They are seriously nicer than your house.

7, Utah does have good beer. Yes, most Utah beers have a lower-alcohol content than standard beers.  Luckily, though, you will be at altitude so less is more. And if you absolutely need to drink real beer, it is easy to come by at our great restaurants and bars. On this one I suggest Roosters in Ogden.

8, Meet runners from across the country. All runners from XTERRA’s various Trail Run Series have been invited to Ogden for the national championship. This really is a great opportunity to meet – and run against – all the fabulous runners we have heard and read about all year. Of course, there will also be a large contingent of hometown runners such as myself, ready and willing to run and talk with all of you.

9, Utah, in general, is an outdoor lover’s haven. Make a family vacation out of it. Think of it this way: we have pretty much everything but an ocean. But our beautiful lakes and rivers more than make up for it. Be prepared though. You may decide to stay permanently!

10, Meet fabulous people. In addition to an amazing race and vacation at a fabulous location, the most important thing I love about racing nationals is the people.  XTERRA creates opportunities for athletes to put themselves and each other to the test to bring out their greatest potential. You find “family.” If you really want to know what that means, come and race the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. You will find the most incredible synergy of people truly showing what it means to “live more.”

Rachel Cieslewicz is an elite runner and triathlete based in Salt Lake City, Utah. She won the women’s division of the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas and Santa Cruz half-marathons this year, and placed fifth at the 2010 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship last December at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii. She is a talented sports massage therapist, Pilates and yoga instructor and is a certified running form coach. She can be reached atrcanyon1@gmail.com  or visit her website atwww.newageathlete.comor follow her onwww.twitter.com/newageathlete