Talk With XTERRA’s Staci Lovell of Hawai’i, age 15
Born and raised on the Big Island of Hawai’i, runner Staci Lovell has been attending XTERRA’s championship racing events since she just five months old. As soon as she was old enough, she began timing the races at six years old and is still the “most reliable timer” XTERRA has today. Then, she successfully competed in her first XTERRA event at 15 years old in 2018 – so it’s no stretch of the imagination to say that XTERRA is in her blood! According to her mentor, 74-year-old XTERRA World Champ Wendy Minor, Staci works hard and trains even harder. As a lifelong member of the XTERRA family, Staci is known for her dedication, passion, and enthusiasm for the sport. Recently, she took the time to talk to Runnerclick about her favorite track, best running tips, and her upcoming race at the XTERRA Asia Pacific Championships in Taiwan on March 30, 2019.
Runnerclick: Staci, thank you so much for joining us today. As the youngest female competitor last year at the XTERRA World Championships in Maui, we are inspired by your story and honored to share it! What do you find to be most rewarding as a runner?
Staci Lovell: I think it is always an accomplishment. You can have a horrible day and come home, go out for a run and everything seems to get better. Even after a two-mile run I still feel better and it is always extremely rewarding to know what you can do!
RC: Can you tell us a little bit about your biggest running related challenge, and how you overcame it or are overcoming it?
SL: Honestly my biggest challenge is keeping a steady pace. I have not been competing for too long now and running six miles at the same speed is always tough for me. At the beginning of my run, I always find myself wanting to go faster but I know I will slow down or even take a second to walk if I go too fast.
RC: So, what type of running is your specialty? Do you have any upcoming races, and if so when and where will they be?
SL: I race XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon so my running and other training are all off road! My next race and my first race of the season will be XTERRA Asia Pacific Championships in Taiwan on March 30, 2019!
RC: In terms of beautiful scenery, which race or track is your all-time favorite?
SL: My favorite race is most definitely the XTERRA World Championship on Maui. The course is beautiful and challenging. Lots of hills and tons of mud!
RC: Every runner has their own favorite methods to stay healthy and in the best shape possible. Can you share the top three little things you do to prevent injuries?
SL: I always stretch in the evenings and also before a workout, if I remember. I try my best to eat well and stay well hydrated. I think what you put in your body determines a lot! I also try to listen to my body as best as I can, if I am not feeling like a hard workout, I know it is usually because I am tired so I fit in an easy swim instead.
RC: Do you incorporate any type of cross-training into your fitness regime?
SL: Well because I do triathlons I already have three events to train for, however, I do a small core workout every night and sometimes some squats and pushups.
RC: Sometimes as a runner, it’s hard to lace up the shoes and get out the door. How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?
SL: I usually try to look up inspirational videos and/or watch XTERRA Highlight videos and those always make me want to get out and have fun!
RC: What’s your favorite food to eat before and after a run?
SL: A kale banana protein smoothie! There is nothing like it after a hard workout!
RC: It can sometimes be a little bit intimidating for new runners starting out, whether they are interested in running around the block, up against a mountain, or interested in eventually competing in races. For those who are interested in learning more about becoming a runner, what source of information would you point them to first?
SL: My recommendation is first asking any friends that you might already have in the sport. Even if they only do one or two races a year they probably still have some connections within the racing community.
RC: If fans or fellow runners would like to contact you or keep up with your career, what is the best way to connect with you?
SL: You can find me as @staci.love on Instagram and as Staci Lovell on Facebook. Aloha!