The Xterra White Tanks, part of the Xterra Trail Race Series is a beautiful rugged single track 1,400 foot climb up and back down the mountain. This race was the first Xterra race I did and was the reason I got fired up to do a few more. Here are the notes I wrote right after finishing the race.
What a great course, cool event with great energy and gotta’ love any event with a wood fire to keep pre-runners warm. Single track was amazing! Will do this one again.
The Xterra Experience
There is something special about Xterra events. First, they are small and intimate. These races feel a lot more like a group of friends getting together for a fun day of trail running than the macro runs you find in the big cities. Second, they are crazy unique. Fires are going in the fire pits and may folks are hanging out chatting. Lots of people brought their dogs although I am not sure what they did with them during the run. Lastly, these races require dedication. It took a good 1.5 hours to drive out to the White Tanks, 2 hours to run and 1.5 hours to get back. Its an investment for a half marathon! In the case of this race, the investment was well worth it. Check out the sunrise as I pulled into the parking lot. Nice way to start the morning.
The race never leaves the dirt and if you’re not going up, you’re going down. Not too many flat portions of this course except for a very small section right at the top. The entire course is a single track which makes getting around people very difficult especially if you get stuck behind someone who is having a tough go at it. I was a pretty happy guy once we got to the top which came around mile 6 or so. The elevation gain was just over 1,400 feet which to a runner feels pretty close to straight up. There were several parts where it was simply impossible to run. I always feel a sense of accomplishment at the finish-line however finishing this race was particularly rewarding. Not an easy out and back but a beautiful and fun race. Hope to see you again White tanks!
* Note: This race was just under 13.1 miles (12.54) so technically its not a half marathon. But, its my blog so my rules. 🙂