“Last year, it was raining really heavily, and some of the running sections were more like river tracing,” he said. “It is really quite different from most races in Taiwan.”
X-Trail takes runners into some pretty difficult terrain, and Maddess said that this necessarily involves greater organizational challenges.
“All the twists and turns on the trail running course makes marking and following the course more challenging. We need to remind participants to constantly be looking out for course ribbons and signs for junction turns on the trails. This is very different [from] following the person in front of you on a road running marathon course in Taipei,” Maddess said.
Huang said that sometimes during the race he wasn’t sure if he was going the right way and had to look around for direction. “When you feel lost, it is a lot of pressure,” he said, adding that this was all part and parcel of the adventure spirit that the race provided. “It makes the race more challenging.”
Chien enjoyed the technical challenges posed by the wilder terrain that X-Trail offered. “I have talked to lots of friends about ways of handling descents and water crossings,” she told the Taipei Times.
A regular hash runner, she said X-Trail had been the first time she had handled such difficult terrain in a race. This response is exactly what Maddess has been looking for. “It is an event for a type of runner looking for a good mountain challenge to inspire them and to show off to their friends that they accomplished something many would find impossible to do,” he said.
X-Trail not only affords an introduction to some wilder off-road running routes, but also emphasizes the beauty of nature. “For the long course participants, stopping at the top of Er Ge Shan (二格山, 678m) to enjoy the beautiful view of 101 and Taipei is a stunning view many in Taipei and Taiwan have never climbed up to see,” Maddess said. Details of the course can be found at connect.garmin.com/course/3608392.
Registration for the Sept. 14 event are open until the end of the month. More information can be found at www.actionasiaevents.com.