Kimber Mattox

Smyth, Mattox Return to Defend Titles

Patrick Smyth and Kimber Mattox will return to Hawaii to defend their titles at the 8th annual Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship half-marathon at Kualoa Ranch on December 6.

Since winning Worlds in his first-year racing off-road in 2013 Smyth has become arguably America’s best trail runner, having won two XTERRA National Championships, back-to-back U.S. Trail Half-Marathon Championships, and the last two XTERRA World Titles.

“I had no idea, it was total serendipity,” said Smyth, on being asked if he knew two years ago that trail running would become such a big part of his life.  “I was just trying to get excited about running again, so I decided to give the trails a go. It was a great decision in retrospect, as the sport has really renewed my love for running.”

It turned out to be great timing as well, with trail running becoming more and more mainstream.

“Trail running seems to be thriving,” exclaimed Smyth.  “I don’t have any hard metrics, but from my experience it seems participation numbers are on the upswing and more people are getting into the sport for the first time. From an elite perspective, there are more sponsorship and racing opportunities and the level of competition has never been better. There is great racing, great drama on a weekly basis and I think this has really helped push the sport forward.  And, the U.S. Mountain Running Team is garnering more and more support from sponsors, thanks to people like Nancy Hobbs and Richard Bolt, and seems to be gaining prominence amongst the general running populace.”

As for coming back to Hawaii, Smyth says he can’t wait.

“I’m healthy, fast, and injury free so I’ll be chasing the course record at Kualoa,” said Smyth.  “It’s a challenging course, but it plays to a lot of my strengths. I can push hard early and then just hold on when the brutal climb and technical descent come later in the race. It’s also stunningly beautiful which helps when I’m hurting bad in the later stages!”

While Smyth seems the clear-cut favorite, his U.S. Mountain Running teammate David Roche has yet to concede the win…

“The secret to beating Pat is to pull a Tonya Harding on his knees pre-race, or for him to go woefully off-course!” joked Roche, who finished 10-minutes behind Smyth in third last year at Kualoa.  “To be serious, Pat is nearly unbeatable at all distances–when he is on his game, his mix of speed and technical proficiency is unmatched. However, at the U.S. 50k Championships I ended up under a minute behind him so I’m hoping the trend of getting closer continues. And, Pat is a Nike teammate (plus an awesome guy), so it’s hard not to root for him, even if he makes me look like the Washington Generals to his Harlem Globetrotters.”

For Roche, who made Team USA at the World Long Distance Mountain Championships in Switzerland, won bronze at the U.S. Trail 50k Championships, and set the course record at the Leadville Heavy Half Marathon, his primary reason to return to Hawaii is the same as many others … the course.

“It’s the most beautiful, challenging course I’ve ever raced,” he said. “I hope to run XTERRA Worlds every single year just to experience such awe-inspiring (and life-affirming) ocean views, jungle sights, and epic trails.  Last year’s race was impossibly difficult in the best way. I’m more prepared for the heat this year (sauna!) and am relishing the chance to splash in the Hawaii mud one more time.”

Like Smyth, Roche said he sees a notable up-tick in trail running nationwide.

“U.S. trail running is exploding due to the efforts of organizations like XTERRA and companies like Nike,” said Roche.  “People are realizing that trail running distills everything that is fun and fulfilling about running without the boring stuff. XTERRA, Nike, and others have created an environment where people – both pros and age-groupers – can do what they love (adventure!) without suffering through what they hate (slogging!).”

Other men’s notables include XTERRA Lake Las Vegas 21K Champion, elite XTERRA triathlete, and U.S. Mountain Running team member JP Donovan and Costa Rican stand-out Ashur Youssefi-Dizagetakieh, who finished 9th at Worlds last year.

The women’s race features a super-compelling matchup between last year’s winner Kimber Mattox of Oregon against 2013 champion Polina Carlson of Hawaii.

Mattox, who placed 2nd in her first-ever trail race at XTERRA Nationals in 2014, has been on a role ever since.  She won the XTERRA and Warrior Dash World Championships, placed 6th (top American) to help TEAM USA win the silver medal at the World Mountain Running Championship, and last month captured the USATF Trail Half Championship in Bellingham, WA.

“I’m excited to come back to Hawaii for the XTERRA Trail Run Championships because this was one of my favorite races last year,” said Mattox, who helps coach track and cross country at the University of Oregon. “I know it will be a really tough race, but I love the varying terrain, the gorgeous sites, and the overall atmosphere of the event. I learned a lot and met some great people at this race last year, and I look forward to doing the same this year.”

Mattox said she’s also looking forward to getting ‘chased by dinosaurs’ … “I think my favorite part of the race are the sections where you’re running through the lush, jungley trees because for some reason I kept picturing that I was being chased by dinosaurs!”

Note: Kualoa Ranch is famous for being the setting for both the original Jurassic Park movie as well as the recent mega-hit, Jurassic World.

This year the mighty Dino chasing Mattox will likely come in the form of Polina Carlson.

The former Hawaii Pacific University cross country standout has turned into Hawaii’s fastest distance runner.  She was 5th in the 2013 Honolulu Marathon, 1st in last year’s Great Aloha Run and in December of 2014 ran under the “A” Olympic Marathon Trials Standard by placing 6th at the California International Marathon with a time of 2:35:41

“After winning XTERRA Worlds in 2013 I decided to focus on longer distances and had my training goals set on tackling the marathon,” said Carlson.  “I can definitely say that the marathon is my favorite distance. It’s the perfect challenge for me, a race requiring both speed and endurance. Also, there is no better feeling when crossing the finish line, but, I do miss the trails!  I was extremely happy to get off road and run the 2015 XTERRA Gunstock 21K. Sometimes when I get tired of the road, I feel like running trails because it always brings me a new passion for running. I like both, and I like mixing it up.”

Other female contenders include Hawaii’s own Lauren Ho – who has placed 7th at Worlds in each of the last two years, XTERRA Lake Las Vegas 21K Champ Julie Byran, and a pair of future superstars; 12-year-olds Kasuga Watabe from Japan (who finished 8th last year) and 11-year-old Alayna Szuch, a 6th grader at Evergreen Elementary School in Colorado who most recently finished 2nd overall woman at the XTERRA Trail Running National Championships half-marathon in Utah.

Of course with registration for the race still open, there’s just no telling who might join this super-fast field.  Learn more at



Put Your Name on It!

Enter the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship 21km or the XTERRA Kualoa 5/10km trail runs by Friday, November 20 and you’ll score a personalized race bib. It’ll be a great souvenir of your adventure!  See you there!


When: Sunday, December 6, 2015 @ 9 a.m.
Where:Kaaawa Valley, Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, HI
What: 8th annual XTERRA Trail Run World Championship half-marathon, plus 5km and 10km trail runs, an adventure walk, and free kids runs.
2,000 runners from 20 countries and 40 U.S. States of all ages and skill levels from around the world.
Why: The last race in the 100-stop worldwide XTERRA Trail Run Series to determine the best-of-the-best.  Elite runners race for $10,000 in prize money, and each age division 15-19, 20-24, etc…crowns World Championship titles.
Visuals:  The race will be filmed and edited into a segment for a 2016 XTERRA Adventures TV show that will be seen by millions of viewers across the country.
Highlight Video:

Visit for more information.

Kualoa Arrow

Another Hawaiian-Style XTERRA on Horizon

Since January, thousands of runners have taken part in the worldwide Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Series and through the trials of these 100+ races some of the world’s top trail runners have emerged and are headed to Oahu to race in the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in one-month from now on December 6, 2015.

The main event is an adventurous half-marathon (13.1-mile/21km) that starts at the base of Kaaawa Valley at Kualoa Ranch.

Established in 1850, Kualoa Ranch is a family owned and operated 4,000 acre working cattle ranch, spread from the steep mountain cliffs to the sparkling sea on the northeastern side of Oahu in the Hawaiian countryside.

The ranch terrain varies from dense rain-forest to broad open valleys and from beautiful white sand beaches to awesome verdant cliff faces. It is truly a paradise for outdoor recreation with many places accessible only by horseback, on an all terrain vehicle or by hiking.

There are two major areas of the ranch: the northern half of the ranch including Ka’a’awa Valley which contains most of the movie locations sites, and the southern half that includes Hakipu`u Valley, the 800 year-old Moli’i fishpond, and Secret Island.

If the ranch’s views look  familiar, that’s because Kualoa Ranch has been the site of many television shows and Hollywood films such as Jurassic park, Windtalkers, Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, Tears of the Sun and 50 First Dates. TV shows include  Hawaii Five-O, Magnun P.I. and the hit show LOST.

Kualoa Ranch will be further exposed by the race itself, which is being filmed and edited into a segment for a 2016 XTERRA Adventures TV series that will be seen by millions of viewers across the country via national syndication starting in May and online at XTERRA.TV.

Watch last year’s Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship highlight video here:

Haugan Kapalua

Walker, Haugan win XTERRA Kapalua 10km Trail Run

It was the fourth time Nick Walker has won the 10K.  He won three straight here in Maui from 2009-2011.

“It’s a lovely course, an amazing course.  Got married here last year and came back for our first anniversary.”  said Walker.

“I don’t know, this course just went up, up, and some more up,” said Haugen, who’s son Tate is the youngest racer in tomorrows XTERRA World Championship triathlon at just 14-year-old.

Conrad Stoltz, the four-time XTERRA World Champion triathlete from South Africa, who was inducted into the XTERRA Hall of Fame last night … finished 3rd.  Stoltz is retired now and will be providing commentary for tomorrow’s race online.

More than 1,000 runners from around the world took part in the 5K/10K and Keiki K runs today (the Keiki K was not a timed event).

Results are posted at

XTERRA Trail Run Worlds

Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Worlds Two Months Away on Dec. 6th

It’s championship season for XTERRA. The 20th running of the XTERRA World Championship for off-road triathlon is just a few weeks away and the world champs for trail running is only two months away.

The Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Running World Championship returns to Kualoa Ranch on December 6 with one of the most scenic half-marathon trail races on the planet for the 8th straight year now.

The course itself is pure nature – secluded singletrack trails and dirt roads framed by a pair of dramatic knife-edged mountain ridges that drop into the ocean.  More than 2,000 runners from nearly every state in the U.S. and dozens of countries worldwide adventure to Oahu for the challenge.

“XTERRA Trail Worlds at Kualoa Ranch is one of my favorite running events of the year,” said local runner Sergio Florian, who is originally from Argentina but now lives right down the road in Kaaawa. “Not only is the scenery stunning, the course is super fun throwing a little bit of everything at you. The terrain varies from open grassy cow pastures to single track with lots of climbing to boot. It’s definitely not your average half marathon.”

In addition to the main event which dishes out $10,000 in prize money and attracts big name runners like Patrick Smyth and Kimber Mattox, there are also 5km and 10km fun runs, an adventure walk that explores the movie sets in the valley, and free kids races.

“I like to race and train in places that inspire me, which is why I prefer the trails to the roadway,” said Laurel Dudley, a Vermont-native who has made quite a name for herself in the Hawaii endurance sports scene over the last decade.   “Kualoa Ranch never ceases to inspire me even though I have been there upwards of 20 times. There is something about it that is truly magical. Trail Run Worlds is another awesome event and the 21K allows you to run through both valleys which is a little tortuous but also really beautiful.”

Kualoa Ranch has been used as a backdrop for numerous television and movie scenes, including Jurassic Park, Godzilla, Pearl Harbor, 50 First Dates, LOST and Hawaii Five-O.

Having the rare opportunity to run in one of Hawaii’s most pristine landscapes should be reason enough to jump into this event, but for runners looking for even more incentive, need only heed the advice of Florian and Dudley.

“It really is a fun activity for the whole family and offers a little something for everyone,” said Florian. “You can go hardcore and attack the 21k course or just do a mellow 5k taking in all the beauty around you. Kids are also welcomed! They have games and a kid’s race! Great way to introduce them to a healthy/active lifestyle.”

For Dudley, it’s all about the spirit, she said “training for and doing an XTERRA run is hugely motivating. It’s harder than a normal road race, but it is so much more fun! The best aspect of it is that regardless of how fast or slow you are, or whether it’s your first race or your 100th,  the spirit of the race casts no judgement and instills you with a sense of gratitude for being able to be outside and active in a beautiful place.”

Learn more at or call toll-free to 877-XTERRA-1.

Paul Mitchell XTERRA Finishers Badge

The Paul Mitchell Badge of Honor

The 2015 Paul Mitchell digital XTERRA Finisher’s badges are all about recognizing athlete accomplishments. While simply participating and living the healthy, active, outdoors lifestyle is reward enough, actually surviving the rigors of an XTERRA deserves a special shout out and it’s fun to see and read some of the stories from first-time racers and those just elated with their performance.

Here are what some of this year’s XTERRA Warriors had to say about their Paul Mitchell badge of honor…

“Completed Deuces Wild XTERRA with my 13-year-old son, his first. This will always be one of my most memorable XTERRA races.” – Alan Abeyta

“This badge means a full time working mother of three can do anything!” – Denise Kirkman

“From training with friends, to pushing myself beyond what I thought I was physically capable of, this was one of the most rewarding physical experiences I’ve ever had. And the ocean view was spectacular! I’m grateful that my first triathlon was XTERRA! I dedicate this race to Marene Hammitt, my dear stepmom with alzheimers, who hiked many mountains with me all through my youth. She was with me in this race every step of the way.” – Shannon Walker

“Finished, placed 3rd, even after wipeout off of the “elevator” drop! And THAT’S how I spent my 53rd Birthday! :)” – Penny Munz

“It was the biggest accomplishments of my life,” – Luis Salazar

“This was crazy amazing. So fun and great people. I love my dad for getting me hooked on triathlons. Overall, awesome,” – Anna Heustis

“My new RA Diagnosis doesn’t mean I have to stop, it just changes things a little,” – Jennifer Schrage

“Great day at Beaver Creek. Altitude and the 5,000 feet of total vert made it one of the hardest XTERRAs I’ve done,” – Bob Koehler

“This was the biggest challenge for me since I began running in 2010. There were many times I really didn’t think I would finish, but I did. Now I am asking what challenge is next?” – Andrea Rountree

“Hardest XTERRA I’ve done so far. Curt Gowdy,” – Kelci Weese

“This was my 1st XTERRA Off Road Triathlon and the beginning to a new love for the sport!” – Kenji Takanishi

“Loved doing this awesome race with two of my siblings and having the other two there to cheer us on!!!” – Katelyn Dickson

Read more stories here / Other XTERRA Finisher Badges


XTERRA Poinsett Trail Run 4/22km

By Summer Quinn

If you are looking for a new trail running experience this fall, head down to South Carolina where you’re sure to find one! Conveniently located near Sumter, about one hour from Columbia, and under two hours from Charleston, Myrtle Beach, and Charlotte, Poinsett State Park is the host of this first-time trail race. XTERRA Poinsett will kick off the 2016 XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series. The race will be held on November 15th, includes 4K and 22K distances, and offers a discounted rate for members of the military and veterans. The race route is 100% off-road, and will challenge experienced and beginner racers alike.

Known as “the Mountains of the Midlands”, Poinsett State Park offers a diverse ecosystem, widely varying terrain, and scenic lake and stream views. “The park and structures came about from the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and offers some stunning overlooks of ponds, streams, and ravines,” says race director Geoff Duncan. The course is well-groomed, but does feature some off-camber sections. It is mostly single-track, and features several bridge crossings, stair sections, and some sections of moderately technical trail. The trail varies from loam, to sand, to clay/mud; a little something for everyone. Half marathon racers will experience a surprisingly hilly course, with some short, steady climbs, for an overall elevation gain of nearly 1,000 feet. Three stocked aid stations will be available along the route.

Awards are given to the top three finishers, men and women, of the 4K and 22K courses, as well as men and women forty years of age and older for the half marathon course. Series points will be awarded to the top 15 runners in each age group for the 22K.

Geoff has more than thirty races to his directing credit. “I enjoy the outdoors, am Co-Director of an amateur cycling team, Mt. Pleasant Velo, and enjoy cycling.” If you’re not quite up to racing, or wish to come out and support friends or family, Geoff would love to have you volunteer.

With a fantastic race director, series points up for grabs and amazing scenic terrain, this inaugural race shouldn’t be missed!

Learn more and register.


T S Restaurants Line-Up Concert Series During XTERRA Worlds Week

The Maui T S Restaurants, title sponsors of the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs, will host a concert series featuring legendary Hawaiian music during the week of the 20th XTERRA World Championship events at Leilani’s on the Beach, Hula Grill and Duke’s Beach House

The concert schedule is as follows:
Thursday, October 29th | Leilani’s on the Beach
3:00 to 5:00 p.m. John Cruz
Friday, October 30th | Duke’s Beach House
5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Raiatea Helm
Sunday, November 1st | Hula Grill Kaanapali
2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Walt Keale, Andrew & Jay Molina

Grammy winning musician, John Cruz is known for his soulful vocals and unique acoustic style of music. Cruz is a ‘Ki ho’alu’, slack key master and his album ‘One Of These Days’ was named one of Hawaii’s greatest albums of the new century by Honolulu Magazine. Don’t miss this unforgettable performance by John Cruz on Thursday, October 29th from 3:00 to 5:00p.m. at Leilani’s on the Beach.

Renowned songbird, Raiatea Helm is celebrated for her natural leo ki`eki`e (falsetto) voice. Helm is an eight time Na Hoku Hanohano Winner, Grammy Nominee and winner of the Native Arts and Cultural Foundations ‘Fellowship in Music’ Award. Enjoy an evening with Raiatea Helm on Friday, October 30th, 5:00p.m. to 7:00p.m. at Duke’s Beach House. Bring your chairs and blankets foradditional seating on the grass area.

Walt Keale, musical storyteller, is known for his original style. Keale’s music resonates the influence of Niihau, the bluegrass of the Dustbowl & the latino strings of jarocho, cumbia & ranchera. Father and son duo, ukuklele master Andrew Molina and electric bassist Jay Molina will open the show. Hula Grill hosts an incredible lineup on Sunday, November 1st from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The concert series is open to the public with seating in the restaurants. For more information please call or visit:

Leilani’s on the Beach, 808-661-4495,
Duke’s Beach House, 808-662-2900,
Hula Grill Kaanapali, 808-667-6636,

About T S Restaurants of Hawaii and California

Founded in 1977 by Rob Thibaut and Sandy Saxten, T S Restaurants owns and operates 14 restaurants in Hawaii and California, including in Hawaii: Duke’s Waikiki and Hula Grill Waikiki on Oahu; Kimo’s, Leilani’s on the Beach, Hula Grill Kaanapali and Duke’s Beach House on Maui; and Duke’s Kauai and Keoki’s Paradise on Kauai. The California locations are Jake’s Del Mar, Sunnyside Restaurant and Lodge, Sandy’s, Duke’s Huntington Beach, Duke’s Malibu and coming in October 2015, Duke’s La Jolla. For more information about T S Restaurants visit

Scott Dunlap

Our Favorite Blogger is Back!

Perhaps our favorite runner / writer on the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Series is Scott Dunlap, winner of the 2009 National and World Championship titles in the 40-44 division.

The last few seasons, however, Dunlap has been chasing the long dreams, the ultras, and has won masters titles in just about every long-distance trail race you can imagine from 10-milers to 50Ks.

On Sunday, however, he came back to the Tribe to take part in the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship race and as much as we missed him, it looks like he missed us too…

“It had been a few years since I raced an XTERRA trail run, and I’ll be honest, I missed it,” wrote Dunlap on his incredibly popular blog, aptly titled “XTERRA has always been able to take their cool mountain community vibe and inject it with some polish, such as a blazing finish line chute full of top notch sponsors, professional prize purses, enough events for the whole family to get dirty, and a post-race video worthy of sharing. Even in this world of barbed wire obstacle and tough mudding insanity, XTERRA successfully sticks to their roots and consistently wins the hearts of a loyal group of outdoor warriors. The events are long enough to hurt, but not so long you can’t spend the afternoon meeting people and sipping beers at the end.”

Have a look at the videos, photos, and report for more on this year’s Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship:

Highlight Video // Photo Gallery // Report