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King, Anderson win XTERRA Trail Run World Champs
Ka'a'awa, HI – Max King, 28, from Bend, Oregon and Cynthia Anderson, 25, from Kailua, Hawaii won the inaugural XTERRA Trail Running World Championship half-marathon at Kualoa Ranch this morning.
More than 800 runners from 32 states and eight countries participated in the 5, 10, and 21km events.
Near perfect running conditions with cool breezes, cloud cover, and temperatures in the mid-70’s greeted runners for the 13.1 mile championship race that 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 (pictured above, wearing #1 with Ben Bruce), a member of the Team USA cross country squad and the reigning XTERRA Trail Running USA Champ, led from start-to-finish and was the only runner to post sub 6-minute miles for a winning time of 1:18:23. Ben Bruce of Eugene, Oregon finished more than three minutes back in second place at 1:21:55, and Thomas Taylor of Phoenix, Arizona placed third in 1:29:33. Honolulu’s Matt Stevens was the top local finisher just 17 seconds later.
“Ben (Bruce) is as good a runner as I am, and I am always afraid of him” said Max. “This race was a lot tougher than Nationals. The last 5 kilometers were definitely the most challenging. I just didn’t want to do anymore hills. This was an awesome event.”
His first time in Hawaii, Bruce said this terrain, and the course’s elevation gain was quite different than what he is used to. “There was more climbing in the first two miles of this race than the entire Nationals race combined.”
In the women’s race Anderson (pictured), a former cross country and track stand-out at the University of Rhode Island, was in a tight duel with Canadian Danelle Kabush the entire way. Kabush, the race favorite, had the lead until about mile seven when Anderson passed on a steep uphill. Kabush stayed close the rest of the way and was right on Anderson’s heel for much of the final six miles but ultimately finished 32 seconds back with a time of 1:40:10. Anderson’s winning time was 1:39:38.
“Danelle and I were together most of the race especially when we were skating down the large ridge. She really kept me in the race,” said Anderson, a research assistant for the University of Hawaii.
“Cynthia is tough” said Kabush after the race. “She was a great runner and the course was beautiful. I just wish I had been able to focus on the scenery more while I was running.”
“The trails were nuts” according to Richard Burgunder of Astoria, NY. “I took a bad spill out there, but the course was even more amazing that I expected, especially the upper ridge section. I loved it, but it was really challenging.”
Winner of the men’s 55-59 division Francisco Rodriguez, of Bayonne, NJ, has a running resume that includes completing 157 marathons, at least one in every state. He is now working on a half-marathon in every state and chose the XTERRA Trail Run Worlds as his stop for Hawaii. “I obviously run a lot, but this was my first trail run. It was a tough course, but I definitely want to come back next year.”
At just 12-years-old, Dakota Grossman of Pukalani, Hawaii finished the half-marathon test of endurance in just 2:01:05. The 5km winner at the XTERRA Makena Beach Trail Run back in October said “The course was a lot different from Maui. I had a lot of fun.”
Ages for the 21km race spanned from 11-year old Mililani local Jakob DeWald to 74-year old George Taylor of Kelowna, British Columbia who said winning his age group “really made his day.”
In the 10km race, it was Leo Rosenberg, 19, of Manhattan, KS who was crowned the men’s winner with his time of 47:08, just 38 seconds ahead of Honolulu’s Kevin Weng, 37. Jenny Selan, 27, made her hometown of Honolulu proud winning the women’s race in 50:45, over 2 minutes ahead of Pearl City’s Liz Ford.
A nurse at Kapiolani Medical Center, Selan is usually on the triathlon circuit but decided to come out today and run with a friend. “Hawaii has some pretty steep hills, and they made the course great.”
Pierce Murphy, 15, of Hanalei, Hawaii and Brigid O’Connell, 26, of Honolulu took home the gold medals in the 5km men’s and women’s 5km division with their times of 19:19 and 29:23 respectively.
Not even knowing she won at first, Brigid said this was her very first running competition. “I had a lot of fun. I am used to running on the road, so this was very cool and different for me.”
The XTERRA Trail Running World Championship was a benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – Hawaii Chapter. $10 from every entry went directly to the JDRF to help with their goal of finding a cure for type-1 diabetes. The organization helps tons of kids like 14-year old Devin Rettke, who must check his insulin level several times a day. After competing in the 10km event today, Devin said “The course was really fun, but that first hill was really tough. I usually do multi-sport events, but after this I am definitely going to start doing more trail running.”
Today’s event would not have been possible without the help of Kualoa Ranch and its President, John Morgan, who even competed in the 5km event. “The event turned out very well, and everyone had a great time. We were glad to be a part of it.”
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. Find complete results at www.xterratrailrun.com
TOP 7 MEN
TOP 7 WOMEN
2008 XTERRA TRAIL RUNNING WORLD CHAMPIONS (BY DIVISION)
The XTERRA Trail Running World Championship was the final stop on the World Tour - a national and international series of 50+ trail races held in New Zealand, Italy, France, Switzerland, Japan and the U.S.
The XTERRA Trail Running World Championship was presented by Paul Mitchell, Hawaiian Airlines, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts, and GU Energy Gel. Sponsors include Gatorade, XTERRAGear.com, Kona Brewing Company, Tiki’s Grill and Bar, the Hawaii Tourism Authority, XTERRA.TV, and Runner’s World Magazine.
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