serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Posts Tagged ‘trail races’

Georgia Trail Running Races 2011

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

xterra-thrills-in-the-hills-trail-raceIt’s another season of trail running races in Georgia for 2011 and Dirty Spokes Productions along with XTERRA have some great trail races coming up soon.  Start the new year off on the right foot, toeing the line at the 1st Annual Dirty Spokes 8.0 Mile Trail Running Race at Heritage Park on February 5th or the classic 5th Annual XTERRA Thrills in the Hills at Fort Yargo State Park half-marathon.

The Dirty Spokes Trail Run Series begins this year at the 1st Annual Dirty Spokes 8.0 Mile Trail Running Race at Heritage Park in Watkinsville, GA or also known as Farmington, GA, on February 5th.  I’m not quite sure which town is the suburb of which town.  At any rate, these are some pretty sweet mountain biking, horseback riding (watch where you step!), and of course trail running trails, ranked #12 trail running trail in Georgia by users.  Dirty Spokes says about the race:  ‘This is a great single and double track off road running experience!  The race will start on the gravel road (required for spacing) but will soon lead into the woods.  The terrain is made up of a little big of everything, rolling hills, single track, double track, technical section (rocks, roots and tight twisty sections), creek crossings (shallow and narrow).  If you have never visited Heritage Park – do it!  The course is beautiful and offers 5-csomething for every runner truly wishing to ‘ditch the city.’  Nestled in the woods of suburban Atlanta lies a true gem.  Well groomed system of trails with gentile slopes and beautiful scenery will leave you breathless (if that doesn’t, the 8.0 miles will).  Once you descend into the woods, you forget about the city.  As a matter of fact, you will come t o know why we follow the creed ‘ditch the city.”

The race is on February 5th starting at 8:30 with packet pick-up between 7:00 and 8:00.  Register now until January 25th race entry is $30.00.  After that the price rises to $35.00 with $40.00 fee at race day.  Each runner will get a “Dri-Fit” shirt but there is no guaranteed for late entries.  Medals will be given out to the top three finishers in each age and sex category.  This is sure to be a great race and become a Dirty Spokes tradition.  Get in on the 1st Annual action!

xterra-thrills-in-the-hills-trail-racingAfter you get the trail racing taste in your mouth try the next XTERRA Georgia trail race series race Thrills in the Hills.  This is my favorite trail race in the series.  It’s at Fort Yargo State Park which is rated as the #2 best trail in the United States according to users.  There are 21K and a 42K race distances available.  Register now through February 18th for the 21K distance for $35.00, after that it’s $40.00 until February 24th, then $45.00 on race day.  The 42K is $45.00 from now until February 18th, $50.00 after that until February 24th, and $55.00 on race day.  Register here!  New to this year, Firehouse Subs of Winder will be giving away free subs to all participants of the race!  Subs are my favorite food after a trail race for sure.  If you want to read more about the race check out my race recap of the 2009 Thrills in the Hills trail race.  Or check out more 2011 trail races in Georgia.

TEVA’s X-1 Control 2 Trail Running Shoe Review

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

This weekend I ran in a brand new pair of TEVA X-1 Control 2 trail running shoes in the XTERRA Georgia trail run series “Thrills in the Hills XDURO” half-marathon.   When I say “brand new,” I mean it.  Prior to this trail race, I had only run 6 miles on the road in these shoes.  I also wore the TEVAs around the house the night before the race but I don’t know if this is a good technique for breaking in new running shoes.  It did make me feel better about my preparation for the trail race.  I like feeling better.

teva-mens-x-1-control-2-resize2There was no need for me to worry though, the TEVA X-1 Control 2 trail running shoes fit perfectly and performed well above my expectations!  I had been training for a road race and hadn’t been on any serious trails in a while.  I needed a shoe that would be able to transition me from the roads back to the trail.  I definitely picked the right shoe.  The TEVA X-1 Control 2s cushioning and lightweight package made it feel like I was running in road shoes while on the trail.  The Spider XC rubber outsole maximized my traction while the Shoc Pad inserts provided the extra comfort that I get from my road shoes. 4 out of 5 shoe-scientists agree, Teva’s X-1 Control 2 Trail Running Shoes are, “Strong enough for the roads, but PH balanced, just for the trails.”  You don’t believe me?  Go ahead and ask any 5 shoe-scientists you want!

I really put the TEVAs to the test racing in extremely muddy and slippery conditions.  It had rained for 24 hours straight prior to the race and the course had a lot of standing water with the Georgia red clay forest floor being extremely soaked and slippery.  Even though TEVA was developed in the laid-back CA atmosphere, they made some trail running shoes that performed great even in GA conditions.  Maybe its because all of the best shoe-science Universities are in CA.  At any rate, while other runners were slipping and falling in front of me, I was maneuvering and pivoting with ease because of the superior traction of the X-1s.  I even had to hurdle one runner who went down directly in front of me.  My TEVAs stuck the muddy landing, no problem.  Maybe these trail running shoes could be good hurdling shoes.  Someone should try it out and let me know.

I tend to run straight through standing water rather than go around it which the TEVAs did great in too.  No, they don’t allow you to walk on water, but they do have quick drying mesh material which keeps them from staying wet.  My X-1s were bone dry by the end of the race!  Now I just have to find some socks that do the same thing and I’ll be golden.

The TEVA X-1 Control 2s are for runners that need more stability in their running.  The shoe has a dual-density compression molded EVA midsole which reduces pronation and aids in stability.  It’s science.  At any rate, I’m very picky about the amount of stability in my running shoes and have a tough time finding the perfect fit but I didn’t have any issues with these TEVA X-1 Controls.  They provided the perfect amount of support.  Now I just have to work on my other “stability” issues.

Overall, TEVA’s X-1 Control 2 Trail Running Shoes gave a great performance on my first trail run trial.  Their lightweight cushioning gives you the comfort you need but it is tough enough to handle even the most technical trails.  This shoe allows you to go all out on steep descents and provides enough traction to climb the hills; no matter how muddy the conditions are.  I would recommend these shoes to anyone.  They are perfect for runners who are just beginning to run trails and want to maintain the feel of their normal road running shoe or experienced trail runners who want more performance out of their trail running shoes.  If you are looking for stability in trail running shoes, go no further than the TEVA X-1 Control 2s.

It’s like Le Var Burton from the 1983 kids television show Reading Rainbow says, “You don’t have to take my word for it.”  Check the TEVAs out for yourself.  Remember, ‘you can be anything, take a look, it’s in a book’….a book about trail running is cool.