Tips for the Trail – Racing in Paradise — XTERRA – 10-11-2013

By Rachel Cieslewicz

published on XTERRA October 11, 2013

What does it really mean to “Live More?” For some it is facing challenges with determination and tenacity. For others, it means dreaming of adventure and doing what it takes to fulfill their greatest aspirations. For many, it is being afraid, yet having the courage to look directly at that fear, while learning how to melt it into grace. For myself, it equates to looking inside my heart and soul and inquiring what it seeks the most, and then doing all possible to play it out. By choosing to “Live More,” we are led to experience how incredible life is, while celebrating how powerful and amazing we truly are.

While there are many incredible experiences XTERRA provides for athletes to “Live More,” there is nothing like an opportunity to race a world championship to exemplify the mantra. Since the inaugural XTERRA Trail Run World Championship race in 2008, XTERRA has welcomed thousands of athletes from throughout the world of all ability levels to race at Kualoa Ranch. It is one of the few World Championships in any genre to have no qualifying factor. This is amazing in itself.

Rachel CXTERRA Trail Run Worlds are held literally in paradise. The setting is the diverse and breathtaking scene for many movies such as, Jurassic Park, 50 first dates and the television series LOST. Yet there is a stark difference between watching the background on a screen, embracing the landscape in person. You create your own running reality as an athlete engulfed in some of the most beautiful scenery and challenging terrain, as you follow your own adventurous heart. In tune with most of XTERRA’s trail races, a 21K half-marathon serves as the championship course, but there are also 10K and 5K races so all can enjoy one of Hawaii’s most beautiful settings.

As with any grand adventure, the rewards are many when you race with XTERRA. The feelings of tribe, friendship, and community are heralded. Athletes, friends, and family all come together to help realize dreams of visiting Hawaii, racing a World Championship, and remembering what it is to really live life. The awesome feeling of racing with the goal of returning home a world champion also adds to the spirit of adventure. All have the opportunity in the 21K distance to race for the overall $10,000 prize purse or an age-group championship win.

In addition the XTERRA crew has their way of celebrating everyone and everything. Children and spectators are loved and appreciated every bit as much as the athletes, as there is a free kids run and an expo area set up at the site on race day. My personal favorite memory was at last year’s World Championship watching team X-T.R.E.M.E. sky dive to the race venue. Eight men, two of them wounded warriors, then ran the entire hot and humid championship course wearing full gear and gas masks reminding us not only to “Live More,” but also to fulfill their mission of – leaving no man behind. The story about them is here (xTerra Story). For me the reminder of what it means to be free, and to hold gratitude for the sacrifices others make to secure our freedom and allow us to live as we do was monumental. These wounded veterans and those advocating for the Team X-T.R.E.M.E. cause are a shining example of courage, strength, and tenacity. “Live More?” Yes they do.

The 2013 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship will be held on November 24th. There is still time to register. The timing is perfect to make travel arrangements for the race in paradise followed by a beautiful sunny stay through the Thanksgiving holiday. I challenge you to put yourself out there and rise to the challenge of pushing through one last training block in preparation for your own amazing race. It is a spectacular event I promise you will always be glad you raced. You will find your new edge and the next leap towards reaching your own human potential. Living from your heart now ensures you will know forever how to “Live More” through all aspects of life.

Rachel Cieslewicz is an elite runner and triathlete based in St. George, Utah. She is a past winner of several XTERRA Trail Run events, including the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run, and placed ninth overall in the women’s field at the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii. She is a talented sports massage therapist, Pilates and yoga instructor, and is a certified running form and endurance coach. She can be reached at rcanyon1@gmail.com or visit her website at newageathlete.com or follow her on twitter.com/newageathlete.