Ready for a new adventure this summer? Lace up your running shoes and get ready for the Multisport Majic Xterra trail run at Beech Mountain. It’s back again after a brief hiatus and it’s bigger and better than ever before.
The trail race will take place on Sunday, July 24 and will offer a 5K and a 15K option to accommodate runners of all skill levels.
The Xterra, which was hosted annually at Beech until a few years ago, is part of a larger trail run series that features four North Carolina races as part of a national qualifying series.
Beech Mountain resident Tim Holland, who wears many hats in the community, has partnered with the town to bring the Xterra back to the High Country.
“Some will do all three and travel across the state to do the whole series, but there will be a lot of people running this race just for fun,” said Tim. “It is open to the public and it will be a good combination of both local runners and those running the whole series, as well as a mixture of experience levels with beginners and seasoned veterans.”
With the help of his son Michael, recent winner of the grueling footrace known as “The Bear” at this year’s Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, Tim is working hard to make sure the Xterra is a great experience for all involved.
Michael has designed this year’s route, which will begin by town hall in Beech Mountain, cross the ski slopes and cover many of the town’s Emerald Outback trails.
“Runners will begin by crossing the ski slopes before heading up a mountain meadow lined with tall grass. From there, the trail dives into the dense Emerald forest where runners will experience a variety of terrain and sights,” Michael said. “The entire race is above 5,000 ft in altitude, providing cool mountain air throughout the race. From grassy fire roads to technical rocky trail, trickling stream crossings to large rock overlooks, and maybe even the occasional wildlife viewing, the Xterra Trail Race is sure to provide a great racing atmosphere that will show why Beech Mountain is truly above the rest.”
So, what makes the Xterra stand out from other foot races in the area? The challenging nature of trail running, Tim explains.
“It’s not like regular road racing, so it’s a bigger challenge from that standpoint,” Tim said. “Most of it is out on the Emerald Outback trails, so it’s not your average 5K or street race.”
“You’re out in nature a lot more with this type of running that we do. There are a lot of hills involved that will challenge you. It’s different from what most people are used to and it’s a good break from your common road races.”
Tim said he hopes the race will give exposure to the Emerald Outback trails, which are maintained by the Town of Beech Mountain’s Parks and Recreation department.
Anyone that’s interested in running the Xterra is invited to participate, no matter their experience or skill level. All you have to do is sign up!
Registration will continue online until the day before, and race day registration and packet pick-up begins at 6:30 a.m. at Fred’s General Store, which will also serve as the finish line.
Plan to run? Pick up your maps at the trailhead off of North Pinnacle Ridge Road and park by town hall.
The race will begin promptly at 8 a.m. on Sunday.
The overall top three male and female finishers will receive medals and prizes, as well as the top three male and female finishers in each of 13 age groups.
Register online and get entry fee information here.
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