The Xterra Black Canyon race is an incredible point to point race complete with two stream crossings, amazing views and a piece of pie. My buddy Alan ran this race with me and I almost broke him. It turned out Alan drank quite a few beers parting with some family friends the previous evening. On most mornings this would not be a problem but today we’re running a 13 mile trail race with 2,000 foot of vertical. This was not a good idea and this is going to hurt.
The Xterra Experience
I have mentioned in previous posts about Xterra races that they are beyond fun. This one was the best of the best. We arrived at the race finish line earlier than normal because we got bussed out to the race start. This true point to point included tons of beautiful desert features, a stream crossing and over 2,000 feet of vertical climbing. Shell casings littered the race start. Arizona has a lot of BLM land that gun enthusiasts can use to shoot. That said, it is fairly common to pick up after yourself when you do. It is also a bit unsettling to hear the crack of gun fire as you run off into the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Lastly, this race starts at 2,000 foot elevation. There is going to be some extra huffing and puffing today.
Alan informed me of the previous nights escapades on the car ride to Black Canyon. I knew almost immediately that this was going to be a tough race for him. I was in great shape and didn’t drink and this was a tough race for me. Sure enough, around mile 7, Alan started to cramp. This was perhaps the worst place to cramp because it was the furthest point from the road and help. After walking with him for a mile or two, he insisted I leave him and finish the race. Reluctantly, I did. I finished the race in a woeful 2 hours and 38 minutes. I am pretty sure I waited around for an additional 30 minutes for him to cross the finish line.
Good lesson learned here that I have broken quite a few times. Don’t party the night before the race! Noted.