Tips for the Trail – Reasons to run the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship – XTERRA 11-9-2012

By Rachel Cieslewicz

Published in Xterra on November 9, 2012

Over the past few years, November has become one of my favorite months.  Why is this? Now five years running, XTERRA has ingeniously facilitated the perfect way to ease into winter – the 21-kilometer XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at the incredible Kualoa Ranch on Oahu.  For me, this is a priceless yearly pilgrimage I value deeply.

Training for Trail Run Worlds is the greatest for many reasons.  First, my summer and fall love of warmth and sunshine is extended.  In addition, it is much easier to keep my body lean and healthy through the first holiday rush.  And finally, who doesn’t love an excuse to travel to a tropical island to meet up with friends and enjoy racing with fierce and friendly competitors? This is a grand way to complete a fantastic year of hard work and fun.

I recently relocated from a classic four-season Salt Lake City, to Utah’s much warmer southwestern tip, St. George.  For me this is awesome! I get to delay cold weather a bit longer.  But with that still comes the need to prepare, despite living in a warmer desert. Warm and dry is not hot and humid, like Hawaii is in December.

Most of us traveling to Kualoa Ranch for Worlds will find that the race goes much better if heat and humidity are given a bit of pre-race love.   My favorite way to do this is to participate in hot yoga sessions.  The benefit of this is that I am able to adapt to high intensity workouts in a hot and humid environment in addition to the strength, detox, and flexibility that also comes with the yoga. Each year I have raced XTERRA Worlds, I used hot yoga two or three days a week as my secret training regime in addition to running. I was delighted to go from my cold snowy northern Utah home, to Hawaii, and thrive. You better believe I am doing that now!

The benefits of the yoga continue when preparing for Worlds in Hawaii.  When Thanksgiving is here, running becomes much more exciting than over-indulging on heavy foods. This gives the added benefit of navigating the Christmas holiday with a happy mind and lean body.

As I always love to highlight, in addition to creating world-class events, XTERRA always delivers what I consider to be the most important in any situation. They truly exemplify that it is about each person having the opportunity to tap into what they are capable of as athletic competitors and as humans.  XTERRA provides us with beautiful family opportunities and seed planting of lifelong friendships.   XTERRA world championships very quickly become, not to be missed, family reunions.

I am in love with November. My anticipation of seeing my “family” at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship is running high! I look forward to meeting new friends and reuniting with dear friends gained from past big races. XTERRA has changed my life for the better. I am thrilled for all to have the opportunity to Live More at XTERRA Trail Run World Championships 2012. I’ll see you in Hawaii, at The Ranch, December 2.

Rachel Cieslewicz is an elite runner and triathlete based in St. George, Utah. She is a past winner of several XTERRA Trail Run events, and placed fifth at the 2010 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 coach. She can be reached atrcanyon1@gmail.com  or visit her website atwww.newageathlete.comor follow her onwww.twitter.com/newageathlete.