I love the XTERRA races, although I have to admit, a lot of them are more hike than run for me. I won a free entry to this one on RaceGrader. I really wanted to do the 15K but there were only entries left for the 5K so I grabbed one of them. I’m glad I did. Topanga State Park is a great place to run.
My biggest concern is the pre-race parking. I got there at 6:44 for an 8:15 start and the parking lot was full. They were scrambling to find spots for people. I ended up on an embankment – it wasn’t a problem for my car but I would think they would be better prepared for the amount of people that would be coming. Next year I’ll get there much earlier and park on the road leading up to the race site. But once I got there, things couldn’t be better. Plenty of pre-race support (I forgot to eat breakfast but was able to fuel up with the free power bars that were provided). The check-in volunteers were very organized and friendly.
And the course – well, it’s beautiful. A lot of single track which I love. A great climb in the beginning before settling into a nice downhill. Water support along the course was more than adequate, especially for only a 5K (although in truth it was more like 3.6 miles).
The post-race spread was excellent, although I didn’t partake so much in the food as I did the Dos Equis beer garden. Nothing like a cold amber beer after a race. And just the atmosphere itself was very fun to be around. The trail racing community is a great one. This is another one I look forward to doing again and next time I will arrive much earlier.