St. Marie Prepares for College by Winning XTERRA Mohican Trail Run
Woodward breaks through in women's division
Just before leaving the state for college, Jack St. Marie accomplished one more impressive feat in Ohio last week.
St. Marie won the XTERRA Mohican Trail Run on July 9, completing the 19-kilometer course in 1 hour, 20 minutes, 59 seconds. He led the race from start to finish, and described the course at Mohican State Park Campgrounds as "challenging." Making it even more impressive, it was his first XTERRA Trail Run.
"This was my first trail race so I don't really have anything to compare it to," St. Marie said. "Obviously, the hills at the beginning were tough and I found the 2 mile section in the woods after we left the camp grounds rather difficult. By that point, I was tired and started making mistakes on how I was running the trail. I tripped and fell a couple times."
St. Marie is a 2011 graduate of Westlake High, where he competed in track, cross country and swimming. A few days after winning the XTERRA Mohican Trail Run, he left for college at the University of Virginia, where he will attempt to join the cross country team.
He said he entered the Mohican Trail Run as a way to "get back into things," after taking the previous month off from competition.
"This was my first race in over a month," he said. "What I like about the XTERRA trail races is the athleticism needed in running in the woods. I really had to think about when to go hard and when to recover and play it safe. I like the thinking aspect of it."
St. Marie finished well ahead of the rest of the field, but the overall runner-up created just as much buzz.
Thirteen-year-old T.J. Hooks placed second with a time of 1:22:32, edging 42-year-old Steven Fenster (1:22:33) at the finish line. Hooks is from West Virginia, and made the trip to Ohio to compete in his first XTERRA race.
St. Marie said he never saw Hooks along the course, but said of the young runner-up: "I just think that's awesome."
Beth Woodward of Orville, Ohio, was an impressive fourth overall to earn a breakthrough victory in the women's division. She finished with a time of 1:25:00 for her first XTERRA victory. Woodward, 36, placed second at an XTERRA race earlier in the season.
"The course was tough with a couple of big steep hills, then it was rolling hills and ended with lots of flat areas," she said. "Luckily, most of the course was dry and some parts were little bit damp, but overall very good challenging course."
Cate Fenster stayed close to Woodward the entire race, and Woodward won it with a strong sprint to the finish. Fenster, 39, placed second, just four seconds behind Woodward.
Lee Conner, who was the top female at the three previous races in the Northern Ohio Series, placed third.
Laurie Schroeder, who won the women's 25-29 age division, said of the Mohican Trail Run: "As far as trail running is considered, this is the best of the best around here. Everyone who is anyone comes to this race to not only see how well they do, but to prove themselves as runners. I love it, and will continue to run this race until God will not permit me to do so anymore."
For complete results, click HERE.
The Mohican Trail Run was the fourth of seven races in the 2011 XTERRA Northern Ohio Trail Run Series. The next race in the series will be the XTERRA Girdled Road Trail Run on Aug. 6 at the Girdled Road Reservation in Concord Township, Ohio.
(Race photo courtesy Far Sandusky)
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