This was the first time that I had run the Xterra Series in Crystal Cove in a few years and the course has changed a lot from prior years, and I believe for the better! The course has 2 fairly modest climbs, and then what is known by my friends as “The Wall”. At the Wall, the runners come to a complete stop and sort of become mountain climbers. The incline is very steep, but you will feel a sense of accomplishment after completing the Wall. The Wall occurs at about mile 5-6, and after that, it is rolling hills, and a pretty steep decline before crossing the finish line. I HIGHLY recommend this course if you are into trail-running. It was a definitely change of pace for me. Not to mention that the views are incredible! I had run the Rock N Roll Vegas Marathon the weekend before and the run definitely helped me to stay on track for my next race (Surf City). Also, the post race is the BEST post race that I have ever been a part of. Xterra offers you a full breakfast after the run, and they raffle off prizes as well. I even got a chance to meet and hang out with the people from the Race Grader website. They are a great group of people, and they also raffled off a free entry to a future race. Keep up the great work!!!