Gearin’ up for the XTERRA Balarat Trail 21K


I’ve been looking forward to this trail run for SO long. Weez and I run on trails almost exclusively, yet oddly, we’ve never registered to run an organized trail “race” before. I use the term “race” here lightly, only because we have no flippin’ idea what to expect.

What we can expect is the following:
– at least one of us will wipe out and come home with a battle scar
– I will be carrying my camera to take photos/videos along the way
– we’ll run when we can, and walk when we have to
– it’ll be an absolute blast

The course profile? She’s a real doosy. Check it:
The course website says us 21K’ers will run about 2,400ft elevation gain total over those 13.1 miles. Bring it!

I have absolutely no idea what our times will be like. All I can say is that I’ll be running my hardest, but I’ll be having a blast while I’m at it. So whether it takes me 2 hours or 4 hrs, I’ll be running with my hubs and trying my best, and that’s all that matters to me :)

During all of our long trails runs, I carried 20 oz of water on me as well as two GUs for food. Since I’ve never raced on trails before and I’m especially unsure how long we’ll be out there, I don’t know if that’s enough to sustain me…

Experience trail racers: should I plan to carry more water (i.e. my camelback), or just run with my usual 20 oz. water belt? Should I carry more/different nutrition, or just plan on eating my regular two GUs? 

Those are about the only things I’m unsure on. Other that that, I’m just excited and looking forward to the experience! Woohoo!

What’s your most awesome/brutal trail wipe-out story?
Any other tips or advice for our first trail race? 

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Beth says:

    Whoa! That’s one hilly race! If there are aid stations, you’ll probably be fine with the 20 oz water belt. And bring more GU, just in case. Good luck and have fun!

    1. Efo says:

      good advice! thanks beth!

  2. Heidi Nicole says:

    That looks…intense!
    I am not a trail runner but just because I’d throw in some jolly ranchers and/or swedish fish. I loved having them out on the marathon, something that tasted like legit food, not just running fuel.

    Good luck!

    1. Efo says:

      omgggg I love swedish fish. i seriously might do that now :) they are so good!

  3. Lucas says:

    I’d say you should be fine with just the 20oz but I’d pack 3 or 4 GUs just in case. For a trail half, it will be pretty hard to get into too much trouble but having and extra 1 or 2 gels won’t hurt! Looks like 6 aid stations so water won’t be a problem! They’ll probably have other food just in case you need it but I doubt you 2 speedsters will bother with that!

    1. Efo says:

      Thanks for the good advice, oh wise-experienced-trail-racer. A trail half race must be like a cake walk for you and C! As long as we’re not out there for 3+ hours, we probs won’t be eating real food. That’s the plan at least.

  4. Holly says:

    I can only repeat what’s already been said:

    1. Food: If you haven’t eaten it on a run before, don’t do it this weekend. But bring a few extra gus, just in case. You probably won’t need them, but it never hurts to have one or two left at the end. I’d also suggest being careful about eating anything new – sometimes longer trail races offer “real food” at aid stations, in addition to gu/gel/etc. But again, if you haven’t taken it during training, don’t try it tomorrow.

    2. As long as there are aid stations, the vollies should be able to help you refill your bottle (although depending on how experienced they are, you may have to direct them – ie, can you dump 2 cups of water in here *hold out bottle*). No need to carry any more than 20 oz.

    Have SO MUCH FUN! :)

  5. I’ve got nothing for you….other than mile 5-6 looks BRUTAL! Good luck!

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