King, Docherty win XTERRA Trail Run Worlds in Hawaii
Photo gallery from today's race available at xterraphotos.com
Ka'a'awa, Oahu-Hawaii - Max King, 29, from Bend, Oregon and Fiona Docherty, 34, from New Zealand won the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship at Kualoa Ranch this morning and each won $2,000, airfare from Hawaiian Airlines, a Suunto watch, and a host of other prizes for their efforts.
More than 1,100 runners from 35 states and nine countries participated in the day’s 3.1-mile, 6.2-mile, and 12-mile races, which were a benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Hawaii.
King won the men’s 12-mile championship race in 1:14:26, nearly three-minutes ahead of runner-up Joe Gray, the reigning USA Track and Field Mountain Runner of the Year. It’s the second straight year King has won the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship and just a month ago he won the USA Track and Field National Trail Marathon (six days after finishing 18th at the New York City Marathon).
“This course was a lot harder than last year, it felt like 20 miles, not 12” smiled King.
Epic conditions greeted runners for the 9am start – sunny and clear with cool island breezes coming in off the ocean. The undulating course featured 3,000 feet of elevation gain while weaving up-and-down the verdant cliff faces in Ka'a'awa Valley and into the dense rainforest of Hakipu`u Valley at Kualoa Ranch.
King (#1) went out hard from the start followed in step by Gray (#6) and Ben Bruce (#2) though the early stages, but before the midway point it turned into a two-man race.
“Joe (Gray) was with me for quite a while and I was afraid of him on the hills because he’s so good in the mountains. Both he and Ben are great runners and I knew I had my work cut out for me,” said King.
It wasn’t until about the 7-mile mark when King pulled away, and solidified his position as the “King of XTERRA Trail Running”.
“This valley is really a grand stage for an event like this, the scenery is just amazing with the cliffs and the ocean and the ridgeline single track trails. Plus, I’m really happy to be in Hawaii right now, its 15-degrees in Bend.”
DOCHERTY – ANDERSON – FUHR ... 1, 2, 3 IN THE WOMEN’S RACE
In the women’s race Docherty (a Kiwi living in Boulder, Colorado) sprinted to the lead in the first mile and never looked back, crossing the finish line in 1:30:05, more than two-minutes ahead of last year’s winner Cindy Anderson from Kailua, Hawaii.
"This was an amazing, tough and awesome course," said Docherty (pictured), the 2003 Duathlon World Champion and sister of two-time Olympic triathlon medalist Bevan Docherty. "This was my first XTERRA, but I've always loved trail running. Thankfully I am strong on the hills, so I was able to push it and hold on."
In the race for second Heather Fuhr, a 15-time Ironman Champ and the 1997 Ironman World Champ, was in front of Anderson until about the halfway point.
"I started out hard, but Fiona passed me within about a mile, and I wasn’t able to catch up to Heather until about mile six," said Anderson. “"I'm not usually good on the downhills so that was tough for me along with the heat, but this year's race was fun and I ran six minutes faster than last year, so really psyched to take 2nd."
Fuhr held on for third, followed by Kiwi standout Ady Ngawati and long-time XTERRA pro Jenny Tobin.
2009 XTERRA TRAIL RUN WORLD CHAMP MONEY WINNERS
In addition to the elite runners, dozens of amateur trail runners earned the title of XTERRA World Champion in their age division. Here's a look at this year's title winners...
HAWAII LOCALS DOMINATE 5KM/10KM RACES: Dan Kaneko from Aiea and Jen Ecker from Kailua won the 3.1-mile race (results), while Jordan Kahawai from Lihue, Kauai and Claire Rethmeier from Honolulu won the 6.2-mile race (results).
The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship was the last race in a 50-stop World Tour - a national and international series of 50+ trail races ranging from 5km to 42km held in Brazil, New Zealand, Italy, France, Austria, Japan, and 15 states in the U.S.
The race was filmed for a segment in the nationally syndicated XTERRA Adventures TV show and featured a $10,000 prize purse paid down to the top seven men and women. Highlights will be up soon at www.XTERRA.tv.
The XTERRA Trail Running World Championship was presented by Paul Mitchell, Hawaiian Airlines, XTERRA.TV, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, and GU Energy Gel. Sponsors include Kualoa Ranch, Gatorade, Runner’s World Magazine, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Zorrel, and the XTERRAAlliance - Gear, Footwear, Fitness, Wetsuits, and Cycling.
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