Allen, Slack win XTERRA England

Vachery Estate/Cranleigh – Surrey, England – Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack won XTERRA England and Hector Guerra finished fourth to join Helena Erbenova as this year’s XTERRA European Tour champions at Vachery Estate in Cranleigh on Sunday.

Ben AllenIt’s the seventh XTERRA major victory of the season for Allen, the fourth for Slack, and the third time the “power couple” and reigning XTERRA Warrior award winners have took home titles on the same day.

For Guerra, a bad ankle sprain was not enough to keep him from finishing in the top five and winning the Tour in his first-full season with XTERRA.  Helena Erbenova previously wrapped up the women’s title following a dominating mid-season five race win streak.

Meanwhile Yeray Luxem continued to impress, placing third in the race (just six seconds behind course designer and hometown favorite Sam Gardner) and second in the Tour.  For the women Muller finished second in the race and jumped past Renata Bucher to place second in the final Tour standings as well.

XTERRA managing director “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas was at the race and brings us this story…

Dreams really can come true.  At XTERRA England it happened for Jacqui Slack and Hector Guerra and Sam Gardner.  Jacqui was racing in England for the first time this year and her entire extended family was here to see her.  Her Dad had never seen her in a major competition and while she smiled and seemed very happy, there was little doubt the pressure was on.  For Hector Guerra, an unknown Spanish rider at the beginning of the season, it was a chance to become the XTERRA European tour pro champion.  For Sam it was the culmination of years of work to bring XTERRA back to England just miles from where he was raised.

Jacqui SlackAll those dreams came true.  Jacqui handily won the women’s race beating German pro Kathrin Muller by nearly four minutes.  For Hector it was not quite as easy.  Guerra needed to finish 5th or better to keep his championship points lead over Yeray Luxem and Nico Lebrun.  His swim was steady but slow and his bike, as always, was blistering.  He caught and stayed level with Belgium’s Luxem and well in front of Lebrun on the bike.  On the very bumpy run Hector twisted his left ankle and went down.  He slowly dropped back, twisting the ankle another 4 or 5 times and found himself in 4th and losing time.

While all this drama was unfolding, a now healthy Ben Allen was simply steaming away.  Richard Stannard, arguably one of the fastest triathlon swimmers anywhere, took off at the start but Allen, a former surf lifesaver swimmer, stayed on his heels and the two exited the water with a very healthy lead.

“I knew Richard was very fast and was able to use him to get the lead.  Once on the bike I just hammered as hard as I could knowing Sam, Hector, Nico and Yeray were coming,” said Allen.

Stannard rode about ½ a lap before his recently operated wrist began throbbing and he retired not wanting to damage it before Maui.

Sam Gardner is a many time XTERRA winner and played a huge role in getting us back to his home country.  Born just a few miles away, Sam worked with organizer Mark Davis to build a course at the fabulous Vachery Estate in Surrey, and knew this course better than anyone.  Sammy was coming hard but Guerra was with him all the way.  They caught Luxem and the three had a terrific back and forth battle taking time out of Allen’s lead.

Kathrin Muller had raced ITU on Saturday and only arrived at Vachery the morning of the race – so late that she came directly to the race site, not even bothering to stop at her hotel.  Slack and Muller were virtually tied coming out of the water, but Jacqui’s knowledge of the bike course was a huge advantage and she immediately pulled away.  As she rode the course British fans cheered her on telling her to go as she was in 2nd place.  What the fans did not know was the rider in front of her was on a relay team.  At the end of the first lap she yelled to me asking how far behind she was.  I ran to where she would start her second lap to let her know she was safely in front and not to worry about the relay woman rider.

Yeray Luxem was on a mission.  He knew to be the 2013 Champion he had to win.  He left nothing out there and at one time got within 45 seconds of Ben Allen and well in front of Sam Gardner and the slowing Guerra.  On the last lap of the run, Yeray simply ran out of gas and slowed.  Gardner took advantage and in the last K of the race passed the young Belgium to finish second by six seconds.  It was a wonderful finish for Sam as he came out of retirement for the 10th time.

Fabulous features of the Vachery race are two big ditches one must cross twice on the run; going out and coming back.  They are only about 100’ apart so spectators can get a good look at the carnage.  The ditch is about 8’ across and 4’ deep.  On race day it had a foot of water in it.  When I saw it the first time I figured 90% would just jump down into it and climb out and 10% would jump it.  I was wrong.  About 90% jumped it.  But not all of them made it!  Kathrin Muller arrived the first time and yelled “what the hell is this?”  She changed her name to Cat and did a crawl over a thin but sturdy branch that had fallen across the ditch.  Another surprise for runners was immediately after the ditch was a Beautiful British Bog.  A big tree in the middle of what looked like a dirt and leaf covered piece of ground.  But if you tried to take the straight line from the ditch under the tree and back into the woods you were rewarded by sinking to your knees in the bog.  The marshal tried as hard as she could to tell people to stay left but some saw the line and paid dearly for it.  I saw at least half a dozen go straight and lose their shoes.  Frustrated, standing up to their knees in the bog reaching down into it to retrieve a hopelessly muddy shoe.  This small area of the race is definitely the signature.

On the return side the ditch was a bit wider but had a bigger tree across it that most put a stride or two on and jumped off on the far side.

So the dreams did come true – Hector finished 4th and became European Champion;  Jacqui won her home country race in front of her family and hundreds of admirers; Sam Gardner, who worked so hard to get XTERRA back to England, made it happen and finished a brilliant 2nd.

In typical English fashion the weather changed constantly through the day.  One-minute sunny and in the low 70’s, and the next raining and in the low 60’s.  Then back again to some sun but then breaking your heart with more rain.  The Brits are a hardy and happy people.  The rain came down again just before awards but most stayed inside the food tent chatting and having a bite to eat with hot tea or chocolate.  We finally got awards going about an hour late and nearly all were still in attendance.

The end of the season and the return of XTERRA to the UK happened at a great new course in the south of England just about an hour from Heathrow airport and 30 minutes from Gatwick.  In the heart of Surrey and West Sussex this area is a postcard of England.  Great pubs and B&B’s everywhere, country estates, small villages and even golf courses.  Be prepared for typical British weather.  Not cold but not warm, a bit of rain here and there and the friendliest folks you will find anywhere.

Mark Davis and Richard Campbell put together a great first time event and should be proud.  We heard nothing but praise for the course and the location and my guess is that next year entries will double.  An absolute classic British experience and one to be planned for.

XTERRA England – Top 10 Men


Pos FirstName LastName Time Category
1 Ben Allen 2:16:09 PRO
2 Sam Gardner 2:17:58 PRO
3 Yeray Luxem 2:18:04 PRO
4 Héctor Guerra 2:18:45 PRO
5 Gregg Shrosbree 2:20:36 20-24
6 Lebrun Nicolas 2:23:01 PRO
7 Cedric Lassonde 2:23:47 PRO
8 Graham Wadsworth 2:25:18 PRO
9 Steve Ferguson 2:26:24 30-34
10 Francois Carloni 2:26:59 PRO

XTERRA England – Top 10 Women


Pos FirstName LastName Time Category
1 Jacqui Slack 2:38:37 PRO
2 Kathrin Müller 2:42:28 PRO
3 Emily Iredale 2:50:45 30-34
4 Daz Parker 2:51:49 PRO
5 Jackie Field 2:55:51 35-39
6 Karin Hansen 2:56:11 35-39
7 Nienke Oostra 3:01:40 PRO
8 Sally Mortleman 3:09:50 45-49
9 Sue Smith 3:12:13 40-44
10 Lizzie Doyle 3:12:47 30-34

Complete Results



Hector Guerra from Spain didn’t win a race outright this season but was the most consistent performer throughout with three 2nd-place finishes, a 3rd-place, and two 4th-place performances to earn the XTERRA European Tour Championship for the first time.  Luxem was not far behind in second having amassed five 3rd-place finishes and a 6th, his best season in Europe thus far.  Defending and four-time Euro Tour Champ Nico Lebrun finished third.

For the women it was all Erbenova, who won the Tour title for the second straight season fueled by five straight wins.  Muller finished in the top three six times to edge 4-time Euro Tour Champ Renata Bucher for second in the series, and Jacqui Slack won the last two races of the season to finish in fourth.

Pros counted their best six of eight finishes.



1 Hector Guerra, ESP 75 90 82 90 90 75 502
2 Yeray Luxem, BEL 82 82 63 82 82 82 473
3 Nicolas Lebrun, FRA 69 75 100 90 53 69 456
4 Ben Allen, AUS 90 100 69 100 359
5 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 45 63 53 53 69 63 346
6 Asa Shaw, GBR 82 69 45 69 63 328
7 Francois Carloni, FRA 41 49 45 69 58 53 315


1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 90 100 100 100 100 100 82 590
2 Kathrin Muller, GER 82 82 82 82 90 90 508
3 Renata Bucher, SUI 100 75 75 90 90 69 499
4 Jacqui Slack, GBR 75 90 90 100 100 455
5 Nienke Oostra, AUS 49 49 63 37 45 75 318
6 Marion Lorblanchet, FRA 69 63 82 75 289
7 Carina Wasle, AUT 63 69 75 75 282

The age group crowned champions as well on Sunday, and here’s a look at this year’s amateur champs:

Amateurs counted their best five of eight scores.


15 – 19 Mathieu Wohlgemuth, FRA 90 75 90 90 345
20 – 24 Niels Ost, BEL 100 D49 28 82 90 75 375
25 – 29  James Walker, GBR 41 75 75 82 90 363
30 – 34  Jan Pyott, SUI 90 100 100 100 390
35 – 39  Riccardo Rosticci, ITA 90 82 58 90 320
40 – 44  Patrick Lichtsteiner, FRA 90 100 58 82 90 420
45 – 49  Pascal Mouchague, FRA 90 100 100 290
50 – 54 Bernd Pannewitz, GER d90 d90 100 90 90 100 100 480
55 – 59 Peter Naegili, SUI 100 100 100 100 400
60 – 64 Jean-Louis Moreau, FRA 100 100 100 90 390
65 – 69 Cecilio Benito Alas, ESP 100 100
70+ Stuart Lumb, GBR 100 100


20 – 24 Tereza Rudolfova, CZE 90 100 190
25 – 29  Verena Eisenbarth, GER 100 100 200
30 – 34  Rebecca Kaltenmeier, GER 100 100 100 300
35 – 39  Karin Hansen, SUI 90 100 100 90 90 470
40 – 44  Caroline Hentgen, FRA 82 75 157
45 – 49  Caterine Gance, FRA 100 100 200
50 – 54  Josie Sinclair, NZL 100 100 200
55 – 59 Barbara Peterson, USA 100 100 100 300


XTERRA WORLD TOUR: Just two World Tour championship races remain –  the culmination of the XTERRA America Tour at the USA Championship in Utah on September 21 then the best-of-the-best gather for the XTERRA World Championship to be held in Kapalua, Maui on October 27, 2013.  Here’s a look at past races and the elite’s who won them:


Date Event (Location)
24-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Grabouw)
Richard Murray and Carla Van Huyssteen
2-Mar XTERRA Philippines Championship (Cebu)
Ben Allen and Lesley Paterson
9-Mar XTERRA  Motatapu (South Island, New Zealand)
Braden Currie and Nicky Samuels
9-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Northern Marianas)
Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack
23-Mar XTERRA  Guam  Championship (Piti)
Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack
7-Apr XTERRA Great Ocean Road (Angelsea, Victoria)
Courtney Atkinson and Renata Bucher
13-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Rotorua)
Ben Allen and Renata Bucher
28-Apr XTERRA Malaysia (Putrajaya)
Ben Allen and Renata Bucher
2-Jun XTERRA  Spain Championship+ (Cieza, Murcia)
Ruben Ruzafa and Renata Bucher
15-Jun XTERRA  Greece+ (Lake Plastira)
Ben Allen and Helena Erbenova
22-Jun XTERRA Brazil Championship (Ilhabela, Sao Paulo)
Conrad Stoltz and Shonny Vanlandingham
29-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship+ (Vallee de Joux)
Victor Del Corral and Helena Erbenova
7-Jul XTERRA France Championship+ (Xonrupt, Gerardmer)
Nicolas Lebrun and Helena Erbenova
14-Jul XTERRA Victoria (Vancouver Island, BC, Canada)
Brent McMahon and Melanie McQuaid
20-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo+ (Scanno, L’Aquila, Italy)
Conrad Stoltz and Helena Erbenova
3-Aug XTERRA Mexico Championship (Tapalpa, Jalisco)
Leonardo Chacon and Fabiola Corona
4-Aug XTERRA Canmore (Alberta, Canada)
Mike Vine and Chantell Widney
10-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship+ (Prachatice)
Felix Schumann and Helena Erbenova
17-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship+ (Zittau)
Ruben Ruzafa and Jacqui Slack
24-Aug XTERRA Japan Championship (Marunuma)
Dan Hugo and Mieko Carey
8-Sep XTERRA England+ (Cranleigh, Surrey)
Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack
21-Sep XTERRA USA Championship (Ogden/Snowbasin, UT)
27-Oct XTERRA World Championship (Maui, Hawaii)

XTERRA England to Determine Champs

The XTERRA European Tour season finale takes to the trails of Vachary Estate in the village of Cranleigh on Sunday, September 8. It marks the first time England has hosted a major since 1997 and it’s an important one with Tour titles and qualifying spots into XTERRA Worlds up for grabs.

Yeray LuxemWhile Helena Erbenova’s dominant mid-season five-race winning streak sealed the deal on her second straight European Tour championship last month, the men’s pro chase will come down to this.

In just his first full season of XTERRA 35-year-old Hector Guerra of Madrid has risen to the top of the standings.  With 427 points – the result of three runner-up finishes, a 3rd and 4th – Guerra controls his own destiny and a top five finish would net him the crown, and make him the first non-Frenchman* to win the Euro Tour since Royce Kortekaas of the Netherlands captured the inaugural title in 2003.

The other two with a punchers chance of winning the Tour title are Yeray Luxem of Belgium, 2nd in points with 391, and the reigning and four-time Tour winner Nico Lebrun who sits in third with 387 points.

As for the race itself, there are several legitimate contenders on the start list, especially when you consider how diversity has ruled this year’s tour with six different men winning the seven European majors (only Ruben Ruzafa has won two).

Of note, Lebrun won the last race in England back in 2007, and this will be his final European race as an XTERRA pro having announced his attentions to retire and focus on coaching next season (he’ll also compete at the USA and World Championships this year).

Lebrun, Guerra, and Luxem will be up against hometown hero and bike course designer Sam Gardner along with other British favorites like Richard Stannard and Asa Shaw; as well as Triple Crown and Greece champion Ben Allen and mountain bike guru Cedric Lassonde

The women’s race looks like it’ll be a great duel between the third and fourth ranked racers on the European Tour – Kathrin Muller from Germany and the UK’s own Jacqui Slack.  Slack edged Muller to win XTERRA Germany just a few weeks ago, they finished 2-3 in Greece (advantage Slack), and 3-4 in Spain (advantage Muller).

All the action from Sunday will be filmed and edited for broadcast at a later date on Ch4, Sky Sports, and Eurosport.  Here’s a look at the elite start list:

Pro Men: Sam Gardner (GBR), Nico Lebrun (FRA), Ben Allen (AUS), Graham Wadsworth (GBR), Paul Hawkins (GBR), Asa Shaw (GBR), Cedric Lassonde (FRA), Chris Carter (GBR), Yeray Luxem (BEL), Francois Carloni (FRA), Llewelyn Holmes (GBR), Ross Macdonald (GBR), Bryan Glynn (GBR), Richard Stannard (GBR), Hector Guerra (ESP), Matt Dewis (GBR)

Pro Women: Jacqui Slack (GBR), Kathrin Muller (GER), Eli Thorogood (GBR), Daz Parker (GBR), Natalie Barnard (GBR), Nienke Oostra (AUS), Brigitta Poor (HUN).

XTERRA European Tour Standings (thru 7 – pros count best six)


1 Hector Guerra, ESP 75 90 82 90 90 427
2 Yeray Luxem, BEL 82 82 63 82 82 391
3 Nicolas Lebrun, FRA 69 75 100 90 53 387
4 Asa Shaw, GBR 82 69 45 69 63 328
5 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 100 90 100 290
6 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 45 63 53 53 69 283
7 Francois Carloni, FRA 41 49 45 69 58 262
8 Ben Allen, AUS 90 100 69 259
9 Jan Kubicek, CZE 75 63 75 213
10 Jim Thijs, BEL 53 41 58 49 201
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 90 100 100 100 100 100 82 590
2 Renata Bucher, SUI 100 75 75 90 90 69 499
3 Kathrin Muller, GER 82 82 82 82 90 418
4 Jacqui Slack, GBR 75 90 90 100 355
5 Marion Lorblanchet, FRA 69 63 82 75 289
6 Carina Wasle, AUT 63 69 75 75 282
7 Brigitta Poor, HUN 58 63 58 53 49 281
8 C. Redelsperger, FRA 69 69 49 58 245
9 Nienke Oostra, AUS 49 49 63 37 45 243
10 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 53 58 45 53 209


See complete European Tour Standings

Past XTERRA European Tour Champions
2012       Nicolas Lebrun (FRA) / Helena Erbenova (CZE)
2011       Olivier Marceau (SUI) / Marion Lorblanchet (FRA)
2010       Franky Batelier (FRA) / Marion Lorblanchet (FRA)
2009       Franky Batelier (FRA) / Renata Bucher (SUI)
2008       Nicolas Lebrun (FRA) / Renata Bucher (SUI)
2007       Nicolas Lebrun (FRA) / Eszter Erdelyi (HUN)
2006       Nicolas Lebrun (FRA) / Renata Bucher (SUI)
2005       Olivier Marceau (SUI) / Renata Bucher (SUI)
2004       Olivier Marceau (SUI) / Jamie Whitmore (USA)
2003       Royce Kortekaas (NED) / Jamie Whitmore (USA)

*Disclaimer: 3x Euro Tour winner and Olympian Olivier Marceau represents Switzerland but lives in France.


While the majority of age group titles will not be decided until Sunday, there are several athletes who have already secured championships including Mathieu Wohlgemuth (FRA) 15-19, Jan Pyott (SUI) 30-34, Patrick Lictsteiner (FRA) 40-44, Bernd Pannewitz, pictured (GER) 50-54, Peter Naegeli (SUI) 55-59, Jean-Louis Moreau (FRA) 60-64, and Rebecca Kaltenmeier (GER) 30-34.

National Championship Event is Open to all Runners from Utah

Snowbasin Resort will host XTERRA Trail Run for third straight year

The XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is designed to attract runners from across the country to the state of Utah. As such, it also provides an opportunity for the home-state Utahns to test their trail running skills against runners from more than 30 different states.

Lindsey AndersonThe 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is scheduled for September 22, and it will once again be staged on the picturesque trails at Snowbasin Resort, near Ogden, Utah. Last year, more than 500 runners participated in the event, and nearly half of them were from Utah.

“It’s a huge advantage to live and train in the area,” said Patrick Smyth, an elite runner from Salt Lake City. “Being at altitude and having access to an amazing network of canyons and trails here in Salt Lake will afford me ample opportunity to prepare specifically for this race.”

The XTERRA Trail Run National Championship moved to Snowbasin Resort in 2011 (it was previously held in Bend, Oregon), and runners from Utah have found success in the event.

Former Olympian Lindsey Anderson, who resides in North Ogden, discovered the XTERRA race last year, and proceeded to run away with the overall women’s title. She will be back in 2013 to defend her XTERRA National Championship.

“My coach told me to try this race, and it was great,” she said of her first experience at Snowbasin last year. “I would encourage anybody to do this.”

Smyth is actually entering the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship for the first time this year. Most of his previous running success came in track and road races, and he has recently started trail running.

“I decided to run this race because of the competitive fields the race has attracted in the past and the reputation XTERRA has established in the world of trail racing,” he said. “Despite being relatively new to the trails I hope to vie for a national title.”

In addition to the close proximity to the race venue, Utahns also have a built-in advantage in their familiarity with the thin air and weather conditions. The course at Snowbasin features more than 2,200 feet of climbing on the 21-kilometer championship trail, and it reaches a peak elevation of approximately 7,300 feet.

“Huge,” is how Anderson described the advantage of being able to train in altitude. “If it were a flat course it might not be as much of a factor, but especially with the steep climb at the very beginning.  It’s also more of a factor for those who don’t train at altitude or have never experienced racing at altitude and go out too fast.  Experienced runners may be better about how they handle it if they’ve raced at altitude before, but you definitely have to respect the altitude.”

Most of the experienced and elite runners choose to enter the 21K course, which is the National Championship race. However, it should be noted that the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is promoted as a race for anyone and everyone, and there are 10K and 5K courses to accommodate the various levels of runners.

There is no qualification process for the event, so any runner of any age is eligible to enter.


Longworth Completes Undefeated Run in North Carolina Series

Charlotte runners take top honors at Fisher Farm

The XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series concluded its 2013 season with the XTERRA Fisher Farm Trail Run last weekend.

Fisher FarmMore than 200 runners from 12 different states participated in the event, which was completed on August 31 at Fisher Farm Park Trails in Davidson, N.C.

Matthew Longworth from Charlotte capped an undefeated season by capturing first place overall. He completed the 10-mile course in 1 hour, 3 minutes, 45 seconds. There were three events in the 2013 XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series, and Longworth was the overall winner at all three races.

Longworth ran with fellow Charlotte runner Jordan Veal for much of the course before pulling ahead late in the race. Veal finished second in 1:04:36, and Cory Sundeen was third in 1:07:21.

Longworth, 33, owns a lawn care business in Charlotte and once served as a missionary overseas.

Wendy Norvell from Charlotte was the top female runner with a time of 1:18:11. It was an impressive XTERRA debut for Norvell, as this was her first time entering an XTERRA Trail Run event. However, she is an experienced runner, and has won other trail races previously in her career.

“I love this course, especially the winding switchbacks near the end of the loop,” she said. “This was my second time running out there (the previous was also a race), but I definitely need to visit again soon. I could do without the humidity, but that’s August in the south.”

Norvell built her lead early in the course, and said she was able to enjoy the thrills of the course in the second half of the race.

“Fisher Farm provides several vantage points for a quick glance over the shoulder, so I noticed early on that I had enough distance between me and second place,” Norvell explained. “After that, I was like a kid hopping through the forest, no pressure just enjoying the ride! I even let out a ‘yippee’ as I flew down a steep hill!”

Kimberley Hefner from Rock Hill, South Carolina, placed second in 1:22:13, and Bonnie Schaefer was third in 1:27:19.


In addition to the 10-mile long course, there was also a 5-mile short course. Chase Eckard and Kaitlyn Mullis were the overall winners of the 5-mile race.


Epley Wins North Carolina Title to Make it Three in 2013

He also won XTERRA Trail Run titles in Tennessee and South Carolina

Carl EpleyPrior to 2013, only a handful of runners had won two age-group championships in two different XTERRA Trail Run regions in the same year. In the last month, two runners have won three age-group titles in three different regions in the same year.

Carl Epley from Marion, North Carolina, is the latest runner to join that historic list. He clinched the men’s 35-39 age group for the XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series last weekend at the XTERRA Fisher Farm Trail Run in Davidson, N.C.

Epley’s North Carolina championship follows previous titles won this year at the XTERRA Tennessee Trail Run Series and the XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series. All told, Epley competed in nine races in those three different states, and he placed first in his age group at seven of those races.

Epley said he drove as long as three hours to get to some of the races, but it was time well-spent.

“It did take a lot of time and weekends to run all of the races in the Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina XTERRA series this year,” said Epley, 39. “All of the race directors in those states put on great events so I always knew that my travel time was going to be rewarded with an awesome XTERRA adventure.”

With his three titles in 2013, Epley now has a record-tying six XTERRA Trail Run age-group championships in his career. He previously won titles in 2009 (Tennessee), 2011 (South Carolina) and 2012 (South Carolina).

Epley joins Tom Hutson as the only runners in XTERRA Trail Run history to win three age-group championships in three separate regions in the same year. Hutson’s titles were in Texas, Florida and South Carolina.

Also of note from the 2013 XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series:

” Kimberley Hefner from Rock Hill, South Carolina, won the women’s 35-39 title for the third consecutive year.

” Clark Jackson from Charlottesville, Virginia, won the men’s 55-59 title, giving him two championships in two different regions in the same year. Earlier this year, he won his age group in the XTERRA Virginia Trail Run Series.

” Two runners went undefeated in their respective age group for the North Carolina Series in 2013: Matthew Longworth (men’s 30-34) and Cory Sundeen (men’s 40-44).

Here is the complete list of 2013 XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series champions:



Age Group Name Age Hometown State
Female 25-29 Kate Benedict 26 Columbia SC
Female 35-39 Kimberley Hefner* 39 Rock Hill SC
Female 40-44 Lori Taylor 43 Charlotte NC
Female 45-49 Marcia Kissel* 46 Charlotte NC
Male 9-younger Jake Mackleer 9 Hampstead NC
Male 25-29 Tyler Turnbull 29 Charlotte NC
Male 30-34 Matthew Longworth* 33 Charlotte NC
Male 35-39 Carl Epley 39 Marion NC
Male 40-44 Cory Sundeen 43 Charlotte NC
Male 45-49 Ken Bohn* 46 Matthews NC
Male 50-54 David Coleman* 51 Mauldin SC
Male 55-59 Clark Jackson 57 Charlottesville VA
Male 65-69 Don Burkett 65 Mineral Bluff GA
* Repeat champion from 2012

XTERRA Regional Champions Announced

The XTERRA America Tour’s 70-race regular season that stretched across the continental United States and into Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan came to a close on Sunday, and as such it’s time to recognize the regional champs.

All told, 159 athletes won a regional title this year. Winners are invited to race in the XTERRA USA Championship (along with other top age group finishers – see full qualifiers list here), and will be honored at the Night of Champions dinner at Union Station on Historic 25th Street in downtown Ogden, Utah on Friday, Sept. 20.

Topping the list once more is 2011 Mr. XTERRA and 55-59 division XTERRA USA Champion Steve Cole, a pilot living in Alpharetta, Georgia.  Cole remains the only racer in XTERRA history to win all 13 regional championships since the inception of the America tour back in 2001. He was the best age group racer in the South Central’s 45-49 division from 2001 to 2005, won the SC 50-54 division from 2006-2010, and just captured his third straight 55-59 division title.

While Cole is the only 13-time regional champ, Beverly Enslow of Metamora, Illinois is the most prolific female age grouper with 12 regional titles in the Midwest region.

Kyle Grieser, Barbara Peterson, and Cindi Toepel joined Casey Fannin with 11 this year, while Linda Usher and Russell Clark joined Kathy Frank in the double-digit club with 10.

Also of note, there are three athletes who won their region this year – a full 13 years after winning their region in the inaugural 2001 season: Steve Cole, Kathy Couthino, and Lorenn Walker.

Congratulations to one and all in the 2013 class of XTERRA Regional Champs!


Powerful advice for XTERRA Trail Run Nationals

Q&A with PowerBar representative Richard Burgunder

Rich Burgunder Editor’s note: Richard Burgunder is one of XTERRA’s most experienced and valued trail runners. He has competed in XTERRA Trail Run events in more than a dozen different states, and has won five XTERRA Regional Championships in four different regions (New England, Ohio, Pocono, Utah). He previously lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but moved to Boulder, Colorado, earlier this year. He has traveled to Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah, the past two years to compete in the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, and will do so again this year.

He is also a Field Marketing Associate for PowerBar, and will be assisting at the product booth during the XTERRA weekend at Snowbasin Resort/Ogden. The 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is scheduled for September 22, and online registration is open Burgunder offers some advice for runners in the following question and answer session:

Q:  How would you describe this 21K course, and are there specific sections to be aware of?

Burgunder: The XTERRA Trail Run Nationals 21K course provides diverse terrain that ranges from long climbs up fire roads to rocky single track along the upper ridges of the mountain. Shortly after the fast start in the parking lot, runners will be immediately challenged by a long climb up the mountain. The trails at this point will consist mostly of dirt fire roads that gradually take athletes to the top of the mountain. The terrain along the initial climb isn’t too technical and most of the trails are relatively wide. As you run along the arête near the summit, you’ll experience more technical running with an abundance of rocks and narrower trails.

Once you’ve ascended the summit, stunning panoramic views allow you to take in the natural beauty that surrounds Snowbasin. You’ll be able to see for endless miles out into the valley, which will provide a breathtaking backdrop of the fall foliage and crystal clear blue skies. After running along the upper ridges for a couple of miles, you’ll descend the mountain on a long switchback ski trail that will provide an adrenaline pumping experience. It’s a long and fast descent, which enables runners to open up and coast down the mountain. After approaching the bottom of the long switchback, runners will then blaze through a gently rolling trail that is embraced with beautiful Aspens. The final push to the finish will include a small, but very steep climb up another fire road, followed by a downhill finish into Snowbasin Resort.

Q: How are you training specifically for this event?

Burgunder: The most beneficial training methods for this type of event would include focusing on mountain or hill running, cross training, and maintaining a mixture of both speed and endurance training. Consistently running up and down a mountain, or a large hill, will benefit athletes in many ways for a race such as the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship 21K. The pain and suffering of climbing a mountain or a hill will prepare you for the pain and suffering of racing. This specific type of workout also builds up your confidence, since it closely emulates the race day experience.

Training for mountain running is basically two workouts in one. The first half, going up, develops leg strength and generally trains the aerobic system at a higher intensity than a flat run of equal duration does. We automatically work a little harder, minute for minute, when we go against gravity. The second half of the workout, going down, subjects the lower extremities to repeated high impact forces, and thereby increases their capacity to withstand such forces. For the half marathoner, this translates as less chance of bonking in the late miles due to accumulated muscle damage or loss of elasticity in the legs.

For speed training, runners should focus on short bursts of extremely taxing exercise, a routine known as high-intensity interval training. This can include either track workouts or tempo runs on roads and/or trails. The goal for such workouts is to increase your VO2max, which stands for maximal oxygen uptake and refers to the amount of oxygen your body is capable of utilizing in one minute. It is a measure of your capacity for aerobic work and can be a predictor of your potential as an endurance athlete. Although there are many factors that affect your VO2max, it is a commonly accepted measure of cardio respiratory fitness.

An example of a good track workout that will help prepare you to run faster at Nationals would be to perform 12 x 400 meters at slightly under 5K race pace. The rest between each 400 should fall between 60 to 90 seconds, depending on your fitness levels.

The final training point to focus on is making sure to get in some long slow distance runs (LSD). The LSD run should be run slowly to ensure that you are developing the fat-burning metabolic pathway, and to minimize the effect of fatigue and risk of injury. It should be around 25-30 percent slower than your half-marathon pace. The optimal LSD run for your XTERRA Trail Run Nationals 21K training would be in the 15 to 18 mile range. For most runners, maximum performance will result from some combination of long slow distance and high intensity training.

Personally, I have been focusing on long tempo mountain runs at higher elevations. Also, I have tried to race as often as possible at higher elevations throughout the Mountain West, this past summer. Additionally, I was a pacer for one of the top finishers at the Leadville Trail 100 Run, which provided some outstanding training on grueling mountain trails at an average elevation of well over 10,000 feet.

Q: For those from out of state, how much of a factor is the altitude, and how do you prepare for it?

Burgunder: Adjusting to the altitude of 6,391 feet at the base of Snowbasin Resort can provide another hurdle for those coming from lower elevations. The top elevation is 9,350 feet, with a vertical rise of 2,950 feet. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do other than arrive a couple of days early and try to get some easy runs in to acclimate. Consuming enough electrolytes and staying well hydrated will greatly help prevent altitude sickness.

Q: Any travel tips – when is the best time to arrive, where is a good place to stay, how do you stay rested?

When traveling to XTERRA Trail Run Nationals, you should try to arrive in Snowbasin a couple of days before the race. In addition to the races, XTERRA will host an expo in downtown Ogden with free kids races, vendor booths, a Paul Mitchell hair cut-a-thon for charity, and evening dinner parties. Here you’ll have the opportunity to pick-up your race bags, mingle with fellow athletes from all over the nation, and also sample and purchase products from XTERRA’s wide array of event sponsors.

There’s an abundance of places to stay in the local area, ranging from luxury hotels to camping options along Pineview Reservoir.  Lakeside Resort Properties is the closest Lodging to Snowbasin and offers luxury 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom condominiums with luxury master suites, fully equipped kitchens, private hot tubs, Wi-Fi, garages/covered parking and much more. Marriott Ogden offers remarkable scenic beauty in the Ogden metro area. The Grand America Hotel is an easy 40-minute drive south from Snowbasin and The Little America Hotel is an easy 40-minute drive south from Snowbasin, and is centrally located in Salt Lake City’s business, historic, cultural and entertainment center. Maples Campground is an abandoned campground north of the Snowbasin Ski Resort. Anderson Cove is located on the South side of Pineview Reservoir, near the turnoff to Snow Basin. This Forest Service campground is right on the lake and offers both individual and group reservations. Jefferson Hunt, also a Forest Service campground, is located at the South Fork inlet to the reservoir and has 29 individual camping units. Reservations for both these campgrounds can be made by calling (800) 280-2267.

Q: Any recommendations for hydration and nutrition for this race?

Burgunder: Sports nutrition will play a vital role in your performance when it comes to more grueling nature of mountain running, especially at higher elevations.  Runners should aim for 60 to 90 grams of carb per hour while you are training/racing. Pay attention to your micronutrient intake (i.e. your vitamins and minerals) and avoid deficiencies with a varied, colorful diet.  Ask your health professional if you need a supplement if your diet is less than spectacular or if you start to feel fatigued, run down, etc. To prevent fatigue, top off your muscle glycogen fuel stores before working out by consuming a meal 2 to 4 hours before a workout, choosing  familiar high-carbohydrate foods and beverages, and by avoiding slow-to-digest fatty and high-fiber foods prior to running.

Some good snack examples include a fruit smoothie, a meal replacement drink, a PowerBar® Performance Energy bar, a PowerBar® Fruit Smoothie Energy bar, PowerBar® Energy Bites, a PowerBar® Gel, or PowerBar® Gel Blasts™ energy chews.

Make sure to start the race fully hydrated; dehydration will make your race demonstrably harder and put your health at risk. Make sure to match your hydration and fueling plan to the workout challenge. For training runs up to the half-marathon distance, your existing fuel stores should tide you over, and your focus can be on staying hydrated. Try to consume fluids at a rate that keeps pace with your sweat rate. This generally requires 13 to 26 fluid ounces (400-800 mL) every hour of exercise, preferably in smaller amounts taken every 15 minutes or so.

Along the XTERRA Trail Run Nationals course, you will find one of XTERRA’s most prominent sports nutrition sponsors, PowerBar, offering an assortment of free product samples.

Note to runners: If you have a question you would like to personally ask Richard Burgunder, he and fellow PowerBar Field Marketing Associate Mark Robertson will be the guest speakers at the XTERRA University presented by Paul Mitchell on September 21 (the day before the race) at noon at the Snowbasin Resort.

Ogawa, Kato win XTERRA Japan 50K

Sato Ogawa and Yoko Kato captured the XTERRA Japan 50K trail run titles on a beautiful blue sky day in the Nikko National Forest on Sunday.

Japan 50K WinnerThe race is arguably the hardest and most scenic on the entire XTERRA World Tour. Race headquarters is at the Kan Ko So Resort in Marunuma – a hot springs retreat that caters to fisherman during the summer and is completely snowed-in during the winter months.

The course starts at 4,700-feet and climbs up and down a variety of mountain tops and valleys, including Mt. Shirane high atop the Marunuma-Kogen ski area.  Its high-point is 8,500-feet and all-told includes nearly 10,000-feet of climbing in dense forest filled with pine, oak, walnut, and aspen trees.

“It’s an insane mountain challenge, and world-class all the way,” said Australian adventure racer Jarad Kohlar.  “The amazing part is it’s almost entirely on these perfectly carved out single track trails in the mountainside.”

The winning time for Ogawa, a 36-year-old from Yamanashi who is an elite runner for Salomon, was 6:13:46, more than 45-minutes ahead of the runner-up Makoto Kurosawa.  Kato, who is 50-years-young and perpetually wins the grueling long-distance XTERRA Japan trail runs, won the women’s title in 8:45:05.

Only a quarter of the nearly 200 runners who took part in the 50K made the time cut-off, with many of those coming in more than 10 hours after the 6:30am start.  Runners who didn’t make the cut were re-routed to a 30K course.

There was also a “Light” 15K run, won by Kentaro Hashimoto (1:24:44) and Ayako Shirato (1:51:06).  Shirato is the wife of event organizer and Japan triathlon legend Taro Shirato – who also produces the Ironman Japan race in Hokkaido (this weekend).

Photo Gallery / 50K Results / 15K Results

King, Anderson will Defend Titles at XTERRA Trail Run Nationals

Snowbasin Resort will host race on September 22

The reigning King and queen of the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship will be back to defend their respective crowns in 2013.

Max KingThis year’s XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is scheduled for September 22 at the Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah. More than 700 runners from around the country are expected to participate in the event.

Max King, the five-time defending men’s champion of the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, will once again wear the No. 1 race bib as he seeks to extend his unprecedented string of XTERRA success.

“That course is one of my favorites for a trail run course,” King said of the 21-kilometer championship course at Snowbasin. “It’s beautiful that time of year with the changing colors and the crisp fall morning temps. The course is challenging but you can really run fast on it, which for me, plays to my strengths. I think it’s a good mix of technical trail running, good climbing, fast smooth singletracks, and sweeping downhills. It has it all.”

King will actually get some rest before this year’s race, which could make him an even more prohibitive favorite than in recent years. The last two years, King competed in a 50-kilometer race in his hometown of Bend, Oregon, the day before winning the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah.

“Each year I continue to go longer and longer so my endurance on courses like this keeps getting better,” King said. “And this year I get to come in fresh. No 50K the day before. Will it matter? I don’t know.”

King said his training routine is the same as in recent years, and he will approach the race weekend with the same mentality as last year.

“I can’t let my guard down and think that it’s going to be easy,” he said. “The minute I do that, it will be my downfall. Each race you have to approach as if it’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, that’s how you have successful races. So, going in I have to keep the mental strength there as if I were going to being doing the two races.”

In the women’s division, Lindsey Anderson will be back to defend her title after a victorious debut last year.

“I actually haven’t been up to run on the trails since the race last year,” said Anderson, who resides in nearby South Ogden. “I think it definitely helps to know the course, so it will be nice that it will at least be familiar from last year.  It definitely doesn’t hurt to run the course one or more times before the race and I was hoping that I’d get an opportunity to go run up there during the summer but it just hasn’t worked out so I’ll go off what I remember and be confident that even though I had never run the course last year I was still able to pull out the win.”

Anderson is actually a road and track runner, and last year’s XTERRA Trail Run National Championship was her first trail race. She was a member of the 2008 United States Olympic team for the steeplechase, and is currently an assistant coach for the track team at Weber State University in Ogden.

The XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from all states. Runners such as King and Anderson will be chasing the overall titles, but numerous age-group championships will also be at stake.

In addition to the 21K championship course, there will also be 10K and 5K races. Online registration for all three courses is open at