September 18, 2016 (Ogden, Utah) – Patrick Smyth of Santa Fe, New Mexico and Liz Stephen from Park City, Utah defended their Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship half-marathon titles on a picture-perfect day for running up and around Snowbasin Resort this morning.
Smyth clocked in at 1:14:48 (5:42 pace), nearly five minutes ahead of runner-up Anthony Costales of Salt Lake City. Stephen ran it in 1:31:08, more than eight minutes ahead of Ogden’s Amber Schultz.
It’s the third national title for Smyth and the fourth for Stephen, who has now won three in a row.
“Winning three is great, I think Max King has five so I’m chasing that legacy and have a couple more to go,” said Smyth. “I love it out here, and my legs were feeling pretty fresh this morning so I was able to get a good rhythm going on the climb and really fly on the downhills. I always savor those here, certainly one of my favorite downhill stretches is Sardine Peak to the bottom.”
Smyth had a 15-second lead on Costales and Noah Hoffman, a 2014 U.S. Olympic Ski Team member, at the one-mile mark then the course went vertical and he started pulling away and soon after he was running by himself.
“I like running alone, just me and my thoughts, no footsteps, nobody breathing hard behind me, that’s fine by me,” said Smyth. “The trails are great; I say it every year. It’s one of my favorite courses in the world. The three miles from the top of Sardine to the bottom, I love that stretch. As soon as you start descending the switchbacks you get in a special place mentally, your feet are landing in the right place, your moving quick, I think I was able to get down to some 4:50 miles. It’s just fun and reminds you what running is all about, getting that high.”
Next up for Smyth is the New York City Marathon, where he has a goal of finishing in the top 10. He was 8th at the Olympic trials this year, so you know it can be done.
For the women’s winner Stephen getting back on the trails by foot was a little bit of a shock to her system.
“It’s different muscles, I’m going to be sore,” said Stephen, a two-time Olympic cross country skier who returned from a three-week ski training camp in New Zealand on Thursday.
“It’s really nice to be back here in Utah, and this is such a beautiful venue, and wonderful course, it keeps me coming back. And I really like getting the lei at the awards ceremony, I keep it in my room for weeks it smells so nice.”
It’s the sixth time Stephen has run this course.
“I always look forward to getting up to Sardine Peak, it’s so beautiful, and you can take a quick glance down and see how far away the lodge is. I just think trail running is great because you’re not in the road with cars, and you get to see these beautiful places. It’s so pure. Plus, the people here are all so relaxed and their having fun and they’re all so pumped on running.”
Stephen is chasing her third Winter Olympics (South Korea 2018) with the goal of medaling in the 4 x 5k relay, saying “It’s where all my focus is right now.”
Elite Runner Results:
|1||Patrick Smyth||Santa Fe, New Mexico||1:14:48||$1,000|
|2||Anthony Costales||Salt Lake City, UT||1:19:30||$600|
|3||Ben Dickshinkski||Salt Lake City, UT||1:20:25||$400|
|4||Travis Morrison||South Salt Lake, UT||1:20:55||$300|
|5||David Kilgore||New York, NY||1:21:05||$200|
|1||Liz Stephen||Park City, UT||1:31:08||$1,000|
|2||Amber Schultz||Ogden, UT||1:39:35||$600|
|3||Selina Sekulic||Farmington, NM||1:40:37||$400|
|4||Sarah Graves||Ballantine, MT||1:42:23||$300|
|5||Penelope Freedman||Salt Lake City, UT||1:43:19||$200|
UTAH’S TUCK WINS EIGHTH TITLE
Although the elite runners chase the overall crown at the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, the event remains an age-group race.
Twenty-five runners representing 10 different states took home age-group titles at the 2016 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Nationals.
The home-state Utah runners led the way with 10 champions, not including Kevin Tuck (formerly from Salt Lake City but now living in Phoenix, AZ). Tuck, 60, was an impressive 21st overall, and this was his unprecedented eighth Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship age-group win.
Bob Evers (men 65-69) from Park City, Utah won his sixth straight XTERRA National title. It was the fourth national crown for Stephen (25-29), Hans Unger (70-74) and Tamara Tabeek (55-59), who also won the XTERRA Pan America Championship off-road triathlon championship yesterday. Donnie Gray (45-49), Patrick Smyth (30-34), and Adrian Wolford (75-79) won their third crowns, while Andy Lee (40-44) and Micala Schultz won their second.
All of the age-group champions received a free entry to participate in the 2016 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, which is scheduled for December 4 at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii.
|Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Champs
|10 – 14||Joseph Schultz||Fort Collins, CO||3:15:20|
|20 – 24||Ben Dickshinkski||Salt Lake City, UT||1:20:25|
|25 – 29||Anthony Costales||Salt Lake City, UT||1:19:30|
|30 – 34||Patrick Smyth* (3)||Santa Fe, NM||1:14:48|
|35 – 39||Joshua Merrick||Tabernash, CO||1:31:38|
|40 – 44||Andy Lee (2)||Lakeway, TX||1:32:02|
|45 – 49||Donnie Gray (3)||Layton, UT||1:36:27|
|50 – 54||Blake Sacha||Gilbert, AZ||1:46:08|
|55 – 59||Michael Fussell||Grapevine, TX||1:47:03|
|60 – 64||Kevin Tuck (8)||Tucson, AZ||1:37:23|
|65 – 69||Bob Evers (6)||Park City, UT||1:54:35|
|70 – 74||Hans Unger (4)||Sylmar, CA||2:43:44|
|75 – 79||Adrian Wolford (3)||Mustang, OK||3:17:35|
|10 – 14||Hannah Lutzker||Park City, UT||2:18:06|
|15 – 19||Micala Schultz (2)||Fort Collins, CO||2:54:26|
|20 – 24||Molly Metivier||New York, NY||1:56:28|
|25 – 29||Liz Stephen* (4)||Park City, UT||1:31:08|
|30 – 34||Selina Sekulic||Farmington, NM||1:40:37|
|35 – 39||Sarah Graves||Ballantine, MT||1:42:23|
|40 – 44||Lizzie Brenkus||Park City, UT||1:53:49|
|45 – 49||Anne Bonkowsky||Salt Lake City, UT||2:01:49|
|50 – 54||Lina Haggard||Salt Lake City, UT||2:21:18|
|55 – 59||Tamara Tabeek (4)||Ramona, CA||2:12:45|
|60 – 64||Nicky Humphrey||Reno, NV||3:19:39|
|65 – 69||Deborah Wagner||Park City, UT||2:37:00|
|* TOP AMATEURS|
The 2016 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is presented the Utah Sports Commission and XTERRA TV at Amazon Video. Sponsors include PowerBar, Muscle Milk, Outrigger Resorts, the GOAL Foundation, Gatorade Endurance, Utah Media Group, the U.S. Forest Service, Snowbasin Resort, XTERRA Fitness, Optic Nerve Sunglasses, XTERRA Travel, Greenlayer, Hub 801, and XTERRA Boards.