It is all set then... headed to Bend, OR next week to represent North Carolina!!! As the top AG runner for NC, I am afforded a waived entry fee for the Xterra National Championships!! (Of course getting to Bend from Boone is far from free in itself...)
Next week I travel west to run in a new land... well new for me... it has been there for awhile now. This will be my first ever trip to Oregon and I am very excited to check out Bend, the town, and what are reportedly amazing running trails right out the front door.
I've been able to read quite a bit about the trail and last year's race through other blogs, specifically Scott Dunlap's race report from last year. The 21km course sounds very interesting with many ups and down, scenic spots and lots of competition. I hope to be running within sight of some of the huge names in women's trail racing... if I have a good day:)
As far as goals go I have the hope of running 6:20 pace, which would set me in around 1:23 for this trail half. Last year that time was good for about 15th spot overall and an age group prize. The only thing I can really control is my approach to the race- my performance. The rest of that information simply gives a frame of reference for a random day in history.
With runners like Max King, Lauren Fleshman, Kami Semick and Susannah Beck among the large presence from the Oregon Track Club (just up the road) I will be free to focus on the personal goals and gain some great experience around top-level runners. Seeing how the successful competitors handle themselves can have amazing effects on anyone paying attention! Since these runners are world-class, Olympic level performers I should be able to get something out of the trip!!