I love the Xterra race series. I have done the Crystal Cove race for the last 4 years. This year they changed the course for the better. Packet pick up is race day and no problems. Except for the parking…get there early to get a spot. The course starts with a pretty flat run until you hit “Mach 1” (our name prob not official). Major climb up about 3/4 of a mile. Then down, up, single track(steep and more like hiking in parts), down, then up “THE WALL”. This hill is more like rock climbing at first and then goes on for another half mile or so….I wish I could’ve seen the leader take this hill and see how they did. From there it’s a gradual climb to the peak or high point. Then you get your reward..A 3-4 mile fast finish. Mostly downhill with great ocean views as you finish towards the Pacific Ocean. It’s a little steep at parts so you need to be careful not to turn an ankle. The course is 15K instead of 17K but I like it alot better than the previous course. Medals are average at best (unless your top 3 in your age group). But the T shirts are the best i’ve seen from any race. I still wear shirts from 3 years ago! Great race and very well organized. The race announcer also gets my vote for “best around”…very entertaining.