Road Race Series versus Trail Race Series

This year I took part in two different race series one was the Run/Walk series which are road races that lead up to the Auckland Marathon and other distances and the other one was the Blackmores XTERRA trail series.

Run/Walk Series

I did this series for the first time last year and entered the one lap option and then ran the Auckland Quarter Marathon.  I enjoyed this series a lot and looked forward to doing it this year in the hope that I would show improvement and I did (with the exception of the last one by seconds).

This is a road race series so it's mostly on roads and pavements with a couple of park paths at some locations.  I'm more familiar with this sort of terrain as I have done most of my running in the past on roads, pavements and the treadmill.  Its easy terrain to navigate, it's fast, and time/distance/pace is easier to compare between runs even if they are done on different stretches of road.

The series is progressive and the courses are 2.5k, 5k, 6k, 7k, and 8k with options to do 1, 2 ,3 or 4 laps.

The 5 race series plus entry to the quarter marathon (or 12k as it is this year) is $175 and this gets you a series t-shirt and an Auckland 12k t-shirt.  The courses are well marshalled and the aid stations well tended with water and sports drink available and there's a banana at the end.  There are no medals or prizes for race or series winners, but there are some spot prizes of shoes and such like.

I was super pleased to find that I was 5th Female in the series and that Kane was 1st Male!

Race Reports:
Race Report: RunWalk Series Race 1 - Unitec Mt Albert
Race Report: RunWalk Series Race 2 - Alexandra Park
Race Report: RunWalk Series Race 3 - Devonport
Race Report: RunWalk Series Race 4 - Highbrook
Race Report: RunWalk Series Race 5 - Barry Curtis Park

Blackmores XTERRA Trail Series

This was the first year I did this series and actually my first go at trail running and I loved it.  The series is suitable for most abilities and there are runners and walkers.  It also encourages the whole family to take part.  More than once was I overtaken by fit senior citizens and small children :/

There were 4 course options to choose from: short(5-7km), mid(10-14k), long(16-20km) and super long(21k+).  I chose the short course option which aimed to keep the distances under 7km.  You could also select from either runner or walker.

I didn't know what to expect of the trails and it turned out that every race was different.  One race was straight up a steep hill and then down the other side, one was knee deep mud, one was quite sandy, one was surprisingly flat(ish).  At first I tried to compare my times to road running and then I tried to compare my times with the other trails, but it was impossible. 

The 7 race series is $345 and this gets you a hoody and a goody bag with a toiletry bag, tote bag, anti-inflammatory cream and vouchers.  The courses were well signposted and taped and the aid stations had water and sports drink.  At the end there were sausages, beer and sports drinks.  There were a few spot prizes at the end of every race and there was a prize giving for the series participants.

Kane placed 5th Male and I placed 10th Female for the series, but we ran all the races together otherwise I'm certain Mr Speedy would have placed much higher!

Race Reports:
Race Report: Blackmores XTERRA Race 1 - Shakespear Regional Park

Next Year

I really enjoyed both of these series and had planned to do them both again next year, however next years dates have been posted and they clash!!

I'm toying with the idea of training for a marathon, but right now I need to train be fit enough to start training!  Depending on how that goes, that may or may not help me make a decision on which series to go for.

What's your favourite, road race or trail race?  Have you used trail running to train for a road marathon?

2 Responses so far

  1. How awesome, you should be proud!! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog:)

  2. That is cool that you got to do both of these series and get a feel for the different types of races! And I think the road race one was a steal at the cost of $175!

    I definitely prefer road running. I like trail running but I live in an area where trail running isn't very accessible whereas I can walk out my door and run on miles upon miles of paved running/bike paths. I have not used trail running to train for a road marathon... I think it might be kind of tough because the two types of races are so different and require different kinds of fitness, but I think my friend Kyria almost exclusively ran on trails and she qualified for Boston multiple times so I know it can be done!

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