JP2_1249

XTERRA Early-Bird Rates End Jan. 31st

From now until January 31 XTERRA is offering early-bird prices on registration rates for its championship races and the trail runs held at select venues.

Rates start at just $85 for the full length off-road tris ($110 for teams), $55 for Sprint races ($70 for Sprint teams), $30 for the new “€œXticer”€ beginner off-road tris, and $40 for 21km trail runs, $30 for 10km races, and $20 for 5km runs.

Follow the registration links below for more information:
May 21-22 – XTERRA Oak Mountain – Pelham, AL
July 16-17 – XTERRA Beaver Creek – Avon, CO
Sep 17-18 – XTERRA Pan American Championship – Ogden, UT (Championship rates start at $150)
Oct. 22 – XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs – Kapalua, Maui
Dec. 4 – XTERRA Trail Run Worlds – Kaaawa, HI

Patrick Smyth

Honors for Trail Run Worlds

The 8th edition of the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship half-marathon staged at Kualoa Ranch on the northeastern shore of Oahu earned some well-earned heavy praise from the two leading running publications in the U.S. in the last two weeks.

Last week Trail Runner Magazine named the annual race to its prestigious bucket list of races “you’ll want to travel for.”

The article said, “The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship seems designed for runners who find themselves craving warm, sunny weather by the time December rolls around each year. The 21K (world-championship course), 10K, 5K, kids’ race and adventure walk take place amidst the dense rainforest, broad valleys, white sand beaches and verdant cliff faces of Kualao Ranch, a working, family-owned cattle ranch on Oahu Island, Hawaii, about an hour outside of Honolulu. As if the lush volcanic greenery and the consistently competitive field weren’t enough to put the XTERRA Worlds on every runner’s bucket list, movie and TV aficionados will delight in running against literally cinematic backdrops: Jurassic Park, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Five-O, LOST and other big- and small-screen hits have filmed scenes at Kualao Ranch.”

Then on Monday Competitor Magazine released its list of “America’s 21 Most Scenic Trail Races,” and Trail Run Worlds was on it. “Run amid dramatic rock formations and dense, tropical foliage with views of the clear, blue ocean and verdant valleys,” the article said.

This year’s XTERRA Trail Run World Championship is scheduled for December 4, 2016 and from now until January 31 registration fees for the 21K are just $50 ($35 for 10K and $25 for 5K and adventure walk).

Learn more at www.xterrakualoa.com.

MIkeAdrian_XTERRA_2015Trail-58

2015 T’was the Night Before XTERRA

T’was the Night Before XTERRA

And all around the Ritz;

Some athletes were sleeping,

Others at the end of their wits

 

800 strong were on Maui to race

Tomorrow would go at a furious pace;

Would the surf be crashing or would it flat,

Would the bike be muddy or sticky with tack

 

They dreamed of speeding downhill like Conrad Stoltz

And hoped for no flats or broken bolts;

Could they climb like Ruzafa and drop the field,

Would the technical pieces make them yield

 

The moon on the racks of the big, bold transition

Sparkled and twinkled as the dew made them glisten;

Those looking outside saw a wonderous sight

A kindly old gent was working late at night

 

Then all of Kapalua heard a jolly old laugh,

Old St. Nicholas was there with the XTERRA staff;

“Go to sleep my family, tomorrow is near

Be rested and ready and have no fear”

 

“The surf will be fine, the trails sticky and fast

From 9 o’clock on you’ll be having a blast;

Remember blue is for bike, red is for run

Keep yourself hydrated, go out and have fun”.

 

They were suddenly gone, as quick as a flash

The fields back to pristine not one piece of trash;

But the racers all knew as they yawned with a smile

That the race would be great, mile after mile.

 

This was XTERRA and for the last twenty years

There’d been happiness and joy, and sadness and tears;

Sometimes they won and sometimes they lost

But our racers gave it all, regardless of cost.

 

It made no difference if from lands near or far

They would fight like warriors and then drink at the bar;

It’s our way to Live More, a family that is right

Brothers and Sisters who argue and fight.

 

As they all left their windows and went back to bed

The old mans words echoes inside their head

“tomorrow’s the race we’ll be ready and right

Happy XTERRA to All and to All a Goodnight”.

Beaver Creek Transition

XTERRA Early Bird Specials on Now

From now until January 31 XTERRA is offering early-bird prices on registration rates for its championship races and the trail runs held at select venues.

Rates start at just $85 for the full length off-road tris ($110 for teams), $55 for Sprint races ($70 for Sprint teams), $30 for the new “Xticer” beginner off-road tris, and $40 for 21km trail runs, $30 for 10km races, and $20 for 5km runs.

Follow the registration links below for more information:
May 21-22 – XTERRA Oak Mountain – Pelham, AL
July 16-17 – XTERRA Beaver Creek – Avon, CO
Sep 17-18 – XTERRA Pan American Championship – Ogden, UT
Oct. 22 – XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs – Kapalua, Maui
Dec. 4 – XTERRA Trail Run Worlds – Kaaawa, HI

Patrick Smyth

Smyth, Mattox win Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship

(Kaaawa, HI) – Patrick Smyth from Santa Fe, New Mexico and Kimber Mattox from Eugene, Oregon both successfully defended their titles to capture the 8th annual Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship half-marathon on a gorgeous day at Kualoa Ranch in Kaaawa, Hawaii on the Island of Oahu.

It’s the third title in as many years for Smyth “the fastest man on dirt” who is also a two-time XTERRA USA Champion and has won back-to-back U.S. Trail Half-Marathon titles as well.

“That was a lot of fun,” said Smyth, who took the lead early and never let up.  His winning time of 1:20:16 was four minutes slower than his winning time last year, but still two-minutes faster than runner-up Daniel Jones, the XTERRA New Zealand National Champ.

“The first bit at the start is good running, even though its uphill, because it has good footing and it’s double track and you can kind of get rolling,” said Smyth, who’s on the U.S Mountain Running team and the Nike trail team.  “I just tried to go out hard and put the hurt on early and then hold on and hope I didn’t overcook it.  It’s nice to have the lead, especially on the back side.  When it got muddy I was able to enjoy it, get down in one piece, and look around and enjoy it rather than stress.  That downhill is nuts, you just have to go head first and kind of squish down.  That was a lot of fun.”

Smyth won’t have long on the islands to enjoy his three-peat as he heads back to New Mexico and his full-time job in computer mapping tonight so he can be back in the office tomorrow.

“I have good coworkers that are really understanding. They’ve been good about letting me get out and go for it. And, we’re a conservation organization so to be able to come to amazing places like this that are the pinnacle of conservation efforts is really pretty cool.  It was nice also to have my girlfriend Liz come out this time, way better to enjoy Hawaii with her.”

Smyth now turns his attention back to the road with a build-up to the Olympic marathon trials in Los Angeles, California in February.

As for Jones, he knew what he was up against running with Smyth, and said he was “beyond stoked” to cross the line in second.

“I raced Pat’s teammate in Brazil a few weeks ago and so I knew Patrick would be the one to beat, especially when he took it out at the start.  He was next level compared to the rest of us, and it was a good experience to race against him.” said Jones, who comes from the same home town, Whakatane, of this year’s 15-19 XTERRA World Champion triathlete Hayden Wilde and other well-known multisport racers like Sam Clark.

“It was an awesome course, a bit of everything.  The views going around the course were incredible.  By the time we got to the muddy downhill I was really in my element.  I was battling it out for second for the first 4 or 5K on the single track, and at one point at about 9K I had 45-seconds to one-minute and felt strong so I pushed it hard on the back half.”

Jones, who graduated with an MBA in finance from Sam Houston State University in Texas in May, will get to work on his career as a financial analysis for PWC in Wellington, New Zealand this February.

“I’d still like to race some, though, and the XTERRA Wellington Trail Series will be a great place to start.”

Alex Pilcher from Derby, Great Britain finished in third in 1:28:30, six-minutes behind Jones.

“Great course, really undulating and the second half was tough, and really steep,” said Pilcher, who’s been traveling around the U.S. on a bit of a running vacation with his cousin. “It was my first time in Hawaii, and I can tell you this is a really beautiful island.  But the heat and humidity is just brutal.”

Florian Neuschwander from Germany and Niam Macdonald from New Zealand finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in 1:29:31 and 1:34:19.  As proof of the international status of the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, runners from six different countries landed in the top 10.

Kimber Mattox

 

MATTOX WINS AGAIN

In the women’s race Mattox pretended she was a dinosaur from the Jurassic era running wild through the jungles to propel herself to another XTERRA World Title.

“Last year I imagined I was being chased by dinosaurs, but this year I got some advice to pretend I was the dinosaur, so I did,” smiled Mattox.  “It was like Polina (Carlson) and I were the girl dinosaurs trying to chase down the boy dinosaurs in front of us.”

Mattox indeed had company early as the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run World Champ Polina Carlson ran nearly stride-for-stride with Mattox through the first 10 miles.

“We stayed together for the first 10-miles and then she got away at the hardest part of the course, the big uphill,” said Carlson.  “I tried to stay with her but she’s amazing and has a lot of power and then I tried to catch her but she was too quick.”

Mattox, who like Smyth is a member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team and placed 6th this year to help Team USA to a bronze medal, said she had to remind herself to just keep moving forward.

“Anytime you have to start walking, you’re wondering ‘how is it you’re racing and walking,’ but in a tough race like this as long as you keep moving forward that’s the goal,” said Mattox.  “It was tough.  Polina and I were pretty much together the whole race until that last uphill.  We were both struggling, but I had a little more in my legs and got a bit of a lead.  Once you get to the top from there to the end it’s all about who can stay on their feet and keep moving forward.”

Mattox finished with a winning time of 1:36:44, nearly four-minutes ahead of Carlson who placed second in 1:40:24.

“It was a lot muddier but amazingly I only fell one time this year. The climbs are tough but I love how you pop out and you’re looking over the ocean.  It gives you a little reward at the top of each hill.  It was fun to be out there with Polina too.  I felt like I was working with her and that was really fun, a really great experience.  I was also thinking about Christmas, and that when I got to that line it was Christmas vacation for me,” said the USATF Trail Half Champion.

For Carlson, she said that even though she finished second it was still her most enjoyable race.

“It was such an amazing event, so much fun.  Trail running, especially out here, is so unpredictable and it was extremely muddy which was the most challenging part for me.  I crashed at least 15 times, can’t you tell,” smiled Carlson, as she looked down at her mud-covered body.

Coming in third was Penelope Freedman of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in 1:47:18.

“I loved it.  I’ve been training so hard but nothing could compare me for the heat and the humidity and the mud which was out of this world but I just absolutely loved it,” said Freedman.  “I loved the friendliness of all the people, it’s just been the most incredible experience.  It’s been my dream to come here so I’m just elated right now.  I was prepared for the climb, but it was funny, when the guy said watch your step I fell down, like in the movie.  I just had the attitude to slide down, get down. I’ve followed Kimber and Polina online so to be able to meet them and run with them was really very cool.”

Reegan Ellis from Newport, Australia finished fourth, just edging Ashley Jensen from Boston who rounded out the top five.

MALE
Place Name Time Hometown Prize
1 Patrick Smyth 1:20:16 Sante Fe, New Mexico $2,000
2 Daniel Jones 1:22:20 Whakatane, New Zealand $1,000
3 Alex Pilcher 1:28:30 Derby, Great Britain $750
4 Florian Neuschwander 1:29:31 Frankfurt, Germany $500
5 Niam Macdonald 1:34:19 Feilding, New Zealand $300
6 Kenneth Stover 1:35:09 Kailua-Kona, Hawaii $250
7 Andreas Sembrant 1:35:53 Uppsala, Sweden $200
FEMALE
Place Name Time Hometown Prize
1 Kimber Mattox 1:36:44 Eugene, Oregon $2,000
2 Polina Carlson 1:40:24 Kailua, Hawaii $1,000
3 Penelope Freedman 1:47:18 Steamboat Springs, CO $750
4 Reegan Ellis 1:49:56 Newport, Australia $500
5 Ashley Jensen 1:50:27 Boston, Massachussetts $300
6 Dulia Daly 1:52:34 Napier, New Zealand $250
7 Kasuga Watabe 1:53:16 Kanagawa, Japan $200

   

Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship

AGE DIVISION WORLD CHAMPIONS

The 2015 class of XTERRA Trail Run World Champions features 28 men and women from six different countries and 10 U.S. states.

Standing out among them was Hawaii’s own Ed Bugarin, who won his fourth XTERRA Trail Run World Championship.  Bugarin won his first world title in the 55-59 division in 2009, he won two in the 60-64 division, and now he’s got his first in the 65-69 age category.

Wilhelm Northrop picked up his third title in the 45-49 division, and Nancy Andrade (Kapaa), Ellis Andrews (Penticton, Canada), Dan Walker (Haleiwa, HI) Kasuga Watabe (Kanagawa, Japan), and Christian Friis (Malmo, Denmark) all collected their second world championship crowns.

One of the more remarkable performances came from the 12-year-old Watabe, who not only won the 10-14 division in 1:3:16, she also finished seventh overall among all women.

Also of note, Hawaii Sport Magazine founder/editor Christian Friis is back in Hawaii and ran XTERRA Trail Run Worlds for the eight straight time.

Above all, Kualoa Ranch was once again the star of the show, providing trails and views that are one-of-a-kind.

MALE      
Division Name Hometown Time
1-9 Dallas Stricker Hattiesburg, Mississippi 2:41:51
10-14 Daniel Kirkland Gilbert, Arizona 2:37:52
15-19 Niam Macdonald Feilding, New Zealand 1:34:19
20-24 Colton Barber Waipahu, Hawaii 1:46:08
25-29 (3) Patrick Smyth* Santa Fe, New Mexico 1:20:16
30-34 Alex Pilcher Derby, Great Britain 1:28:30
35-39 Sergio Florian Kaaawa, Hawaii 1:42:54
40-44 (2) Christian Friis Malmo, Denmark 1:45:41
45-49 (3) Wilhelm Northrop Boise, Idaho 1:47:10
50-54 Kawika Carlson Honolulu, Hawaii 1:48:05
55-59 Todd Marohnic Volano, Hawaii 1:57:22
60-64 Len Hall Enfield, New England 2:07:59
65-69 (4) Ed Bugarin Honolulu, Hawaii 2:27:11
70-74 (2) Ellis Andrews Penticton, Canada 2:17:25
75-79 (2) Dan Walker Haleiwa, Hawaii 5:02:10
PC Michael Stoddard Wahiawa, Hawaii 2:48:34
FEMALE      
Division Name Hometown Time
1-9 Abigail Osness Long Beach, Mississippi 3:30:45
10-14 (2) Kasuga Watabe Kanagawa, Japan 1:53:16
15-19 Brianna Glynn Pearl Harbor, Hawaii 3:29:59
20-24 Kelly Wolf Mesa, Arizona 2:00:19
25-29 (2) Kimber Mattox* Eugene, Oregon 1:36:44
30-34 Penelope Freedman Steamboat Springs, CO 1:47:18
35-39 Reegan Ellis Newport, Australia 1:49:56
40-44 Tina-Marie Poulin South Portland, Maine 2:08:58
45-49 Jane Hewett Juliaetta, Idaho 2:07:19
50-54 Amy Vasquez Honolulu, Hawaii 2:12:03
55-59 Andina Faragher Canberra, Australia 2:15:25
60-64 Diane Kelly Wilmington, North Carolina 4:03:47
65-69 (2) Nancy Andrade Kapaa, Hawaii 3:17:41

(#) Denotes number of XTERRA World Titles
*Overall Champs

5/10KM WINNERS

In addition to the 21K championship course, there were also 10K and 5K races staged at Kualoa Ranch on Sunday.

Nathan Carlson (husband to Polina) from Kailua won the 10K race in 36:11 and Phaelen French from Warner Robins, Georgia was the women’s winner (5th overall) in 44:58.

Kevin Enriques from Honolulu placed first in the 5K for the third year in a row with a time of 20:27, while Laura Simons from Kailua was the top female in 26:17.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

The Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship is sponsored by Outrigger Resorts, XTERRA Travel, PowerBar, the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Kualoa Ranch, Gatorade Endurance, Trail Runner Magazine, LifeProof, Hawaii Sport Magazine, Muscle Milk, XTERRA Fitness, Optic Nerve Sunglasses, XTERRA Boards, and Greenlayer.

ABOUT TEAM UNLIMITED / XTERRA
TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2015 offered more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 30 countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 400 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990.  View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at www.xterraplanet.com and www.xterratrailrun.com.

XTERRA Trail Run Worlds

Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Worlds This Sunday

The 8th annual Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Running World Championship returns to Kualoa Ranch on Sunday, Dec. 6, with one of the most scenic half-marathon trail races on the planet.

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 one thousand runners from nearly every state in the U.S. and dozens of countries have traveled to Oahu for the challenge.

“Kualoa Ranch never ceases to inspire me even though I have been there upwards of 20 times,” said Laurel Dudley, a Vermont-native who has made quite a name for herself in the Hawaii endurance sports scene over the last decade.

“There is something about it that is truly magical. Trail Run Worlds 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.

“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.

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.”

While online registration is closed, runners and walkers can still sign-up on Saturday in Waikiki (at the Waikiki Beach Walk from 9am-to-5pm) or Sunday from 7-8am before the race at the ranch.

Learn more at http://www.xterrakualoa.com or call toll-free to 877-XTERRA-1.

topanga

Thanksgiving Day Trail Race

The field is nearly at capacity for the race on November 26. It will feature three courses – a 15K, 10K and 5K. All three courses are open to runners of all ages and skill levels.

The race starts at 8 a.m., and the course closes at 11 a.m. so that everyone can make it home in time for a Thanksgiving meal, but not until you indulge in the race’s traditional hot egg breakfast with coffee and all the fixin’s. (It also features their famous XTERRA Beer Garden).

The runs are the third of eight races in the 2015-16 season for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series. To learn more about it, please visit www.trailrace.com.

Be sure to put this race on your calendar next year.

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 www.xterrakualoa.com.