17 August 2013 By Rachel’s

Tips for the Trail XTERRA Nationals – Running From the Heart — XTERRA — 8-16-2013

By Rachel Cieslewicz

published on XTERRA August 16, 2013

Rachel CThis week I am writing from the high mountains of the Colorado Rockies.  Although it is only August, the chill of fall is already in the air at 10,000 feet.  Experiencing cooler temperatures and clean mountain air is lending exciting anticipation of late season racing, XTERRA style.  In just a few weeks, fall will truly be in full swing at the breathtaking Snowbasin Resort in Northern Utah.  There is truly no better place or time of year for XTERRA to host the Trail Run National Championship.  I highly recommend you sign up for Nationals, which will take place on September 22. Your perspective of the trail running world will forever be changed when racing XTERRA National Championships!  While there are literally dozens of reasons I love XTERRA, there are three I hold closest to my heart.  Family. Experience. Human Potential.

Family – My first love of XTERRA events is always the family friendly atmosphere. XTERRA loves creating amazing soul building events for you. They welcome all friends and family running with you, spectating or volunteering.  The more people who embrace and enjoy the races and spectacular scenery and atmosphere, the better, it is a full circle of wonderful.  XTERRA goes all out to ensure kids have their fill of XTERRA love with runs led by top elite runners, obstacle courses, and celebration of all.  This is certain to endear within hearts the ultimate in outdoor fun.  The community spirit and positive vibes will gift you with fantastic lifetime memories and new friends.

Experience – Building on the energy for XTERRA Trail Run Nationals is the experience of racing on a professionally designed course created by the amazing man of the Snowbasin Mountain, Steve “Yeti” Andrus.  You know it’s good when his self-proclaimed religion is “Live Life to the Fullest.” He does.  Translated into XTERRA lingo, this means “Live More!”  Yeti is dedicated to creating the ultimate usage of the mountain while preserving its inspiring beauty.  The course map is here ( )  XTERRA’s Kahuna Dave Nicholas delightfully gave the course his approval when Nationals moved from its original home in Oregon, to Utah. Included, are slight variations each year to add a bit of mystery and excitement for returning athletes.  It is literally a course built for everyone and no one. I say this, as there are fast flat areas, technical and road run smooth sections.  The course features 2,200 feet of climbing and descent.  The altitude range is 6,133-7,300 feet. It is definitely not sea level, but it is well within a doable range if you are coming from lower ground.  Only at nationals do you have the opportunity to run side by side with all of the inspiring athletes from across America. If the 21K Championship distance seems too much, 10K and 5K race events are options.  This enchanting Resort is less than an hour from Salt Lake City International Airport and a mere 20 minutes from the adorable small outdoors loving city of Ogden.

Human Potential – National Championship events are rare. Even less common is there is no qualification standard to compete. All runners stand on the same starting line at the XTERRA Trail Run Nationals. Single-digit ages up to seniors can start near many of the top elite running heroes. All who show up with a full season of training and racing in your legs are guaranteed to be inspired. Championship events allow us to set aside our fears and run with a fierce joyful heart.  We put our best run out there and learn that we are capable of much more than we ever dreamed.  One of many examples of finding our own human potential is XTERRA Ambassador, Nozomi Wade, from Georgia.  I met her at Nationals in Utah last year. She surprised herself by placing second in her age group at nationals. She then raced XTERRA Worlds last December. She ran hard and strong with her heart and happiness. She left Hawaii as a World Champion.  Sign up and show up for XTERRA Trail Run Nationals and learn what you have within you.  You will start to discover your own true human potential.  I am looking forward to seeing you at the races!


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  or visit her website atwww.newageathlete.comor follow her

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