In the world of running events; 5ks, half marathons, marathons, trail races and OCRs (obstacle course races)... many races come and go. Let's face it, It's not easy to produce a well-organized event with a great course. I've seen some disasters in my time as an athlete, but I've also experienced some memorable events.
On a brisk March morning, I ventured from Hollywood to the hills of Valencia, California where New Global Adventures was hosting their 4th annual VALENCIA Trail Race. Broken down into three parts, runners have the choice to participate in the 10k, Half Marathon or 50k Ultra.
Created by Terry Majamaki and his wife Jenny, the race course was technically their backyard at one point. After running the 10k and crossing the finish line, I spoke with fellow runners who felt the same way I did about the trails. It was challenging in all the right ways.
When I asked Terry about how they designed the race he said, "It’s a matter of running the trails, as a runner we know what we like and we find that other runners will enjoy it as well. At the same time, we are not afraid to challenge you, with some tough climbs, steep descents, and technical trails that will push you to be a better runner while also giving you an awesome running experience in the beautiful trails and nature we have in California."
And beautiful it was with plush green hills and blue skies above. Before and after the race, runners can enjoy healthy snacks and peruse a handful of vendor tents. From the first start line wave to the last finisher, an announcer keeps the energy going throughout the day.
Post-race, people are always eager to receive their results and photos. Terry delivered immediately. With smaller race productions, it's normally a waiting game when it comes to getting your race photos, but Terry and his team are on it. To produce such an organized event has to take some personal passion. I asked Terry how he and Jenny got into the business:
"We originally got started into this by chance, a running friend of Jenny’s was working with the Great Wall of China Marathon and reached out to her to create a website for international audiences. Our background is website tech, creative design, and marketing. After helping this race grow for a few years we began to get more invested and wanted to help them improve the experience. However, at the time the race organizer was complacent and did not want to put in any extra effort," Terry said.
They eventually got the opportunity to organize a few races in China: the Yunnan Puzhehei Marathon and Shangri-La Marathon.
Tony Maher, Justin Nucum, Jimmy Stratton & John Burkle of Hardkour Performance
"After doing those we said to ourselves why don’t we create some races in our own backyard? I was already running and riding the local trails regularly and thus began scouting to create the VALENCIA Trail Race back in 2015 with the first year taking place in 2016. That year we created 3 races, VALENCIA Trail Race, Sugar Daddy Race, and SPACEROCK Trail Race," Terry said.
Last year alone, they hosted an impressive 7 races in California and collaborated with 3 in China.
"Each of our events are unique experiences with great courses, awesome swag, and amazing support to give you a great race experience," Terry added.
As the 1st place female finisher for the 10K, I can attest that they have awesome swag! Not only is the dragon themed medal a great addition to my medal collection, but I received a sleeping dragon statue, as well as a great bag with goodies from Stretch Lab, TuMe, Stryve snack, Elevation Culture, as well as an invitation to run Tough Mugu. The race is supported by many companies including my Pro Race Team, Hardkour Performance!
Whether you're a competitive athlete, a hobbyist trail runner or looking for a scenic hike, VALENCIA Trail Race is a go-to fitness event.
Take the Trail challenge on Saturday, March 28, 2020.
Story by Pamela Price