Gray, Carlson win Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Worlds

(Kaaawa, HI) – Joe Gray and Polina Carlson captured the 9th annual Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch this morning.

Gray, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, finished the grueling half-marathon course in 1:17:15, six-minutes ahead of runner-up Nick Arciniaga from Flagstaff, Arizona.

Carlson, from Kailua, Hawaii, cruised to victory in 1:38:06, more than seven minutes ahead of Caroline Veltri from Butler, New Jersey.

The men’s race started out fast with Gray and the reigning, three-time champ Patrick Smyth setting a blistering pace and pulling away from the rest of the field. At the two-mile mark those two were charging down the mountain valley side-by-side but when they got to the intersection at the bottom Smyth went left and Gray went right. Right was the right way and both the TV crew, who was filming the race for an XTERRA Adventures show, and Gray himself, yelled out to Smyth to turn around. He did, and got back on track but not without losing a little time and perhaps more importantly, momentum.

“That one was my fault I think, because I’ve done this course a few times now,” said Smyth.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the only wrong way of the day for Smyth. Roughly six-miles into the race with Gray in front by more than a minute, Smyth missed an arrow which led to a 3/4-mile uphill. Instead of going up, Smyth went straight and re-connected with the course just 1/3-mile later. As a result, he took over the lead but didn’t know it until Gray caught back up at about mile nine.

“Didn’t see it, didn’t hear anybody yelling for me, had no idea,” recalled Smyth of the mistake. “I thought Joe was still ahead and I was in second. I heard someone behind me, but I thought that was Nick coming up. When I saw Joe there I was totally confused.”

There were two marshals at the spot back at mile six who both called out for Smyth to turn around but with no success. Thus, Smyth was disqualified, a tough decision considering how gracious a champion he has been over the last three years at Kualoa. He also was running strong and certainly would have finished at least second on the day. Instead, second place went to Arciniaga, a 2:11 marathoner and former USA Marathon Champ who was running in his first trail race.

“I feel bad for Pat, both he and Joe left us all behind,” said Arciniaga.

Ultimately, the day belonged to Gray, who won his second XTERRA Trail Running World Title and his second running World Championship this year. He led Team USA to Gold at the World Mountain Running Championships earlier this year.

“It was a tough year out here with all the mud, slipping and sliding the whole way,” said Gray. “Mud or not, I’m glad to be here and not Colorado where it was like 19-degrees today. This win means a lot because I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on mountain running this year and this is different. It isn’t as steep, it’s more runnable, and it’s important to show diversity and how you can compete across a variety of distances and different types of events.”

Chad Hall, two-time Olympian Ryan Hall’s younger brother from Big Bear, California, finished third on the day followed by Tyler Curtis from Colorado and Jacob Fure from Washington. Ryan Hall, the two-time Olympian who has notched America’s fastest half-marathon and marathon times, finished 18th overall in 1:43:39 and had a smile on his face all day.

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In the women’s race Carlson led from wire-to-wire, and picked up her second overall XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in four years.

“I’m so happy to be here, it was such a great day,” said Carlson. “This race is hard, but it’s so adventurous and so fun. I love to run trails, especially here at Kualoa where it is so beautiful.”

For Veltri, the runner-up, today’s race was a grand welcome to Hawaii. She just got in last night from New Jersey, and signed up for the run this morning.

“I planned this trip for the Honolulu Marathon but saw this and love to run trails so wanted to come try it out,” said Veltri, who runs for the Central Park Track Club in New York City. “It’s simply beautiful. The hills were devastating though, and I can tell you it is one of the hardest runs I’ve ever done.”

In third, and the top true local girl, was Malia Crouse of Makawao, Maui, followed by Leslie Nowicki in fourth and Kelly Wolf in fifth.

FULL RESULTS | PHOTO GALLERY

MALE

Place Name Time Hometown Prize
1 Joe Gray 1:17:15 Colorado Springs, CO $2,000
2 Nick Arciniaga 1:23:15 Flagstaff, AZ $1,000
3 Chad Hall 1:24:51 Big Bear Lake, CA $750
4 Tyler Curtis 1:27:10 Golden, CO $500
5 Jacob Fure 1:33:06 Brier, WA $300
6 Niam Macdonald 1:33:08 Wellington, NZL $250
7 Kenneth Stover 1:33:47 Kailua-Kona, HI $200

FEMALE

Place Name Time Hometown Prize
1 Polina Carlson 1:38:06 Kailua, HI $2,000
2 Caroline Veltri 1:45:26 Butler, NJ $1,000
3 Malia Crouse 1:46:14 Makawao, HI $750
4 Leslie Nowicki 1:47:31 New Caledonia $500
5 Kelly Wolf 1:48:52 Mesa, AZ $300
6 Malory Peterson 1:50:36 Kailua, HI $250
7 Monica Ross 1:53:27 Anchorage, AK $200

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AGE DIVISION WORLD CHAMPIONS

MEN

DIVISION NAME HOMETOWN FINISH
10 – 14 M Finn Tower-Pierce East Burke, VT 3:00:42
15 – 19 M Finn Battersby North Saanich, CAN 1:46:28
20 – 24 M Jacob Fure Brier, WA 1:33:06
25 – 29 M Chad Hall Big Bear lake, CA 1:24:51
30 – 34 M Joseph Gray (2) Colorado Springs, CO 1:17:15
35 – 39 M Sergio Florian (2) Kaaawa, HI 1:36:54
40 – 44 M Jerome Auruskevicius Anchorage, AK 1:45:13
45 – 49 M Kengo Yoshimoto Honolulu, HI 1:41:42
50 – 54 M Mark Geoghegan Honolulu, HI 1:42:19
55 – 59 M Michael Fussell Grapevine, TX 1:46:22
60 – 64 M Clark Jackson Charlottesville, VA 2:12:20
65 – 69 M Doug Beagle Houston, TX 2:28:00
70 – 74 M Ellis Andrews (3) Penticton, CAN 2:32:21

WOMEN

DIVISION NAME HOMETOWN FINISH
01 – 09 F Nova Stickley Kaneohe, HI 4:00:50
10 – 14 F Naia Tower-Pierce East Burke, VT 2:57:38
15 – 19 F Claire Cutler Kailua, HI 2:17:27
20 – 24 F Kelly Wolf (2) Mesa, AZ 1:48:52
25 – 29 F Polina Carlson (3) Kailua, HI 1:38:06
30 – 34 F Malia Crouse Makawao, HI 1:46:14
35 – 39 F Leslie Nowicki Noumea, New Caledonia 1:47:31
40 – 44 F Mindy Morizumi Lahaina, HI 1:57:12
45 – 49 F Maria Lourdes Rivera Glendale, CA 2:15:31
50 – 54 F Monica Ross Anchorage, AK 1:53:27
55 – 59 F Marcy Fleming Kailua, HI 2:41:46
60 – 64 F Ellyn Brown Anchorage, AK 2:18:51
65 – 69 F Jo May Houston, TX 3:57:59

(#) Denotes number of XTERRA World Titles

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
The Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship is sponsored by Outrigger Resorts, Muscle Milk, PowerBar, Gatorade Endurance, the Hawaii Tourism Authority, Kualoa Ranch, XTERRA TV on Amazon Video, Trail Runner Magazine, Compex, XTERRA Fitness, Optic Nerve Sunglasses, XTERRA Boards, XTERRA Travel, Greenlayer, and Surgicare of Hawaii.

ABOUT TEAM UNLIMITED / XTERRA
TEAM Unlimited LLC, founded in 1988, is the Hawaii-based television, events, and marketing company that brought off-road triathlon and trail running to the world under the brand name XTERRA. From a one-off race held on the most remote island chain in the world XTERRA evolved into an endurance sports lifestyle with worldwide appeal. Over the past 20 years XTERRA transcended its status as ‘just a race’ to become a bona-fide way of life for thousands of intrepid athletes as well as an emerging brand in the outdoor industry. In 2016 XTERRA will offer more than 200 off-road triathlons and trail running events in 30+ countries worldwide and produce 10 adventure television shows for international distribution. Learn more at www.xterraplanet.com and www.xterracontent.com.

T-3 Days to the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship

The competition is strong and deep but once again the reigning and three-time XTERRA Trail Run World Champion Patrick Smyth is the man to beat.

The elite men’s race chase pack is headlined by Joe Gray, the 2016 World Mountain Running Champion who led the Team USA mountain running team to their first-ever Gold medal in Bulgaria this September.

Gray has had perhaps his best year ever on the trails in 2016. In addition to his World Mountain Running title he also won the 30K USA Trail Run National Title, the USA National Mountain Running Championship, and the North American Continental Champion in Sky Marathon and Vertical Kilometer.

“It’s been one of my best years so far and I’ve had a blast racing and experiencing different types of races and challenging my personal records at old races,” said Gray. “I’m ready to compete, and take on anybody who toes the line…I just wanna run.”

In 2012 Gray and Ben Bruce crossed the finish line at the same time at XTERRA Trail Run Worlds, and neither photo nor video could determine a clear winner so the two were declared co-champs. A year later, in 2013, Gray finished 2nd to Smyth and since then Smyth has won three in a row at the ranch.

Smyth, who finished 10th at the New York City Marathon earlier this month, said he’s looking forward to racing against Gray as well as the legacy of Max King.

“I’m really looking forward to racing Joe, it’s been awhile and he’s had an amazing 2016,” said Smyth. “For him to win the World Mountain Running Championship is really impressive. Even with Joe on the start line I probably won’t mix up my strategy too much. I’m as fit and confident as I’ve ever been and really just need to focus on racing tough.”

Smyth will also try to match Max King’s record of winning four straight XTERRA World Titles, a feat King accomplished from 2008-to-2011.

Then there is Ryan Hall, who has run a half-marathon faster than any American ever. While he says he won’t be a contender, how could you overlook the two-time Olympian?

Other men sure to be in the mix include Kiwi Niam Macdonald and top Hawaii runner Ken Stover, who placed 5th and 6th, respectively, at last year’s race. Japanese star Fujio Miyachi, who placed 5th at Worlds in 2009, is back as is Rivers Puzey, who was 3rd in 2010 and 4th in 2011. Other locals to look out for include Sergio Florian, who lives right there by the ranch and has gotten faster and faster, finishing 13th overall last year, and Jimmy Davis, who was 5th at the inaugural Trail Run World Champs and may still have some life in those legs.

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CARLSON HEADLINES WOMEN’S FIELD

In the women’s race Polina Carlson, who won the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Running World Championship women’s elite title in 2013, is the clear-cut favorite.

“I’m pleased with my training right now and I’m excited to test my fitness on race day,” said Carlson, who won the Great Aloha Run, the XTERRA Gunstock Half-Marathon, and the Fontana Half-Marathon overall with a PR of 1:13:35 this year. “I’m increasing my mileage every week and my workouts show that I am more fit than a year ago, and I’ll be ready to race on December 4th.”

Last year Carlson was 2nd only to Kimber Mattox, who won’t make this year’s event.

“The Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail World Championship is one of the most amazing and unique trail races in the country with the most breathtaking views of the mountains,” said Carlson, a former stand-out cross country runner at Hawaii Pacific University.

“It’s a tough course, but I enjoy the challenge and I try to embrace it. Every year I look forward to coming back, because it’s not a just typical race, it’s a true adventure!  Running the last few miles of the race are the toughest but the most memorable. The last hill is killer, but the breathtaking views definitely make up for it, and having cows mooing and spectators cheering as you approach the finish line is just epic!”

Four other women who finished in the top 10 last year are back for another try, including Ashley Jensen, who was 5th, 14-year-old Japanese sensation Kasuga Watabe, who was 7th, Kelly Wolf (9th), and Molly Ashkenas (10th).

Jensen, who ran cross country at both Providence and USC, said she’s hoping to improve on that 5th place showing last year.

“I was happy with my performance but I did struggle on the hills and power walked for a bit on the super steep grade portion,” said Jensen. “I’ve added more hills to my training runs and speed workouts, so the goal is no walking this year! I also came back this year because it really is my favorite race I’ve ever run. I feel like I’ve learned a lot from racing it 2x in the past (she was 8th at the inaugural event in 2008) and think as they say, the 3rd times the charm. Also, Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies and was filmed at the ranch! Sometimes I like to pretend I’m in the sequel and racing through the Dino park!”

Also of note is Kelly Wolf, 22, who graduated from Arizona State over the summer, won the Flagstaff 55K and was third at the National Trail Marathon Championship in Moab this year. She certainly has the endurance, but will she have the speed to keep up with Carlson?

Then there is XTERRA triathlon pro Sarah Graves, who was a star cross country runner when going to school at Montana State University – Billings. She won the tough XTERRA Beaver Creek half-marathon the day after racing the Mountain Champs triathlon this summer.

There are also several age group World Champions returning to the ranch to defend their crowns including some of the aforementioned runners like Kasuga Watabe (10-14), Niam Macdonald (15-19), Colton Barber, and Kelly Wolf (20-24), Smyth (25-29), Sergio Florian (35-39), Christian Friis (40-44), Wilhelm Northrop (45-49), Kawika Carlson (50-54), Todd Marohnic (55-59), Ed Bugarin (65-69), Nancy Andrade (65-69), and Ellis Andrews (70-74).

Ryan Hall

Ryan Hall to Run at XTERRA Trail Run Worlds in Hawaii

Ryan Hall, the American record holder in the half-marathon, is headed to Hawaii to run in the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship half-marathon at Kualoa Ranch on December 4.

While you might expect the 33-year-old, two-time Olympian to be considered the front-runner to win the upcoming trail championship, he begs to differ.

“Based on my 2:04 marathon PR you would think I would be the favorite but I have a completely different, more athletic and stronger body now,” said Hall, who ran the fastest marathon time ever by an American five years ago.  “I would have a better chance at winning America Ninja Warrior than winning this race.”

Hall, who retired from professional running in January after struggling with fatigue in the final years of his illustrious running career, set out to combat the lethargy with weight training and dietary changes.

“Since retiring I’ve gotten super into weight training,” he explained. “It’s really fun to do something so anabolic in nature and being able to see such rapid growth and improvement.  Weight training is my new passion but I can’t say it’s done a lot for my running.  I am kind of a lumbering giant these days so I am not putting out any impressive numbers anymore, but I am happy making my gains in the weight room rather than on the trails.”

His regime now includes “pouring down about 50 grams of protein every three hours, usually in the form of Alaska Salmon or Muscle Milk.”

“A year and a half ago I weighed 127 pounds.  Today, I weigh 170, and while I am not as lean as I was then I will say that I never had abs before, no matter how ridiculously skinny I would get.  And that wasn’t from a lack of core training.  Sometimes I would train my core hard for 30 minutes a day, but since bulking and getting into weights I noticed my abs starting to pop for the first time in my life. It’s fun to see how big and strong a 127lb, 2:04 marathoner can get.  I’d like to eventually get over 200lbs with somewhat low body fat.  Not sure if that’s possible, but I am having fun trying.”

Despite the muscle gain, one might still believe Hall could give reigning and three-time XTERRA Trail Run World Champion Patrick Smyth and reigning World Mountain Running Champ Joe Gray a good chase.

“In arm wrestling I’d dominate.  In running, not so much,” said Hall. “I used to train with Patrick in Mammoth, so it will be fun to see him and other familiar faces again but I will just be wishing them luck on the starting line, then enjoying my own run at my own pace.  It would take a massive miracle for me to be within 20 minutes of the winners.”

Instead of being “in it to win it” Hall says he’s just going to enjoy the run and later “challenge the winner to a bench press competition…that’s where I’ll have a chance.”

When Hall was a sophomore in High School in Big Bear, California he came to Hawaii for the first-time to watch his dad race in the Ironman World Championship.

“I was training in the dry and cool mountains of southern California so my first experience in heat and humidity training was in Hawaii.  I felt like I suffered as much on my short 5-mile training runs as my Dad did during his Ironman,” said Hall.

This time around, Hall will be discovering Hawaii in a whole new way.

“This trip to Hawaii is going to be super special for me because I’ll have the whole family in tow,” he said.   “Sara and I adopted four sisters from Ethiopia a little over a year ago, and they are enjoying many new “first” experiences.  They have never been to any place tropical before so this will be a whole new world for them.  I am looking forward to showing them Hawaiian culture, the beautiful land, and spending some time on the beach and in the ocean.  Our oldest two girls like to run so it will be fun to go on some beautiful trail runs while we are in Hawaii.”

Hall, who heard about XTERRA Trail Run Worlds through his sponsors at Muscle Milk, said he was thrilled to get invited to come run in paradise and check out Kualoa Ranch.

“I was stoked when Muscle Milk said they wanted to bring me out for the event,” he said. “I’ve been going down my bucket list and running races for pure enjoyment in some of the most beautiful places in the world, and it’s been really fun for me to let go of the high-performance end of things and really just soak in the entire race experience without the high expectations.  When I saw the pictures from previous year’s XTERRA Trail Run Worlds I was instantly drawn to the event. I’m excited to see Kualoa Ranch, it looks stunning!”

Hall says he’s also happy to be back running trails, which he trained on almost exclusively while growing up in the mountains of SoCal.

“I love running trails because I love being out in the quiet of nature. Trail running goes by super-fast compared to the roads.  I just love being buried out in the middle of the forest.  Life just seems to make sense out there,” he said.  “Plus, trails are great for easy days because they are on soft surfaces so they keep the legs from getting beat up by the pounding.  They also slow you down so they let you stay in that easy running zone that you need to be in to recover from hard sessions.”

As for the prospect of starting a “new career” in running trails, Hall laughed, saying “Nah, it’s just a fun challenge.  I just run for fun now so I try and choose races that are in epic locations, offer an amazing adventure, and are fun atmospheres so I think I’ve found the perfect match for all that at XTERRA Trail Run Worlds.”

Hall added that his “new job” as a Dad keeps him plenty busy…

“I put in quite a few driving miles these days shuttling the kids around to the various sports they are involved in.  They play gymnastics, soccer, and running.  It’s great being a dad.  The kids have

brought so much joy to our lives.  We are blessed to be their parents. But, life certainly has changed from the days of watching movies in between training sessions.  The only movies I watch now are on airplanes.”

Hall will watch his next movie on the airplane ride to Hawaii, and those lucky to be on Oahu over the XTERRA Weekend (Dec. 3-4) are invited to take in a free XTERRA University running clinic with Ryan Hall on Saturday, December 3, at the Waikiki Beach Walk at 10 a.m.

For more information visit www.xterrakualoa.com.

Carlson, Smyth Ready to Run for Another World Title

Polina Carlson won the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Running World Championship women’s elite title in 2013. Patrick Smyth took home the men’s titles in each of the last three years.  Both will be looking to add another crown to their trophy case at Kualoa Ranch on December 4.

“I’m pleased with my training right now and I’m excited to test my fitness on race day,” said Carlson, who won the Great Aloha Run, the XTERRA Gunstock Half-Marathon, and the Fontana Half-Marathon overall with a PR of 1:13:35 this year.  “I’m increasing my mileage every week and my workouts show that I am more fit than a year ago and I’ll be ready to race on December 4th.”

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Last year Carlson was 2nd only to Kimber Mattox, who won’t make this year’s event.

“The Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail World Championship is one of the most amazing and unique trail races in the country with the most breathtaking views of the mountains,” said Carlson, a former stand-out cross country runner at Hawaii Pacific University.

“It’s a tough course, but I enjoy the challenge and I try to embrace it. Every year I look forward to coming back, because it’s not a just typical race, it’s a true adventure!  Running the last few miles of the race are the toughest but the most memorable. The last hill is killer, but the breathtaking views definitely make up for it, and having cows mooing and spectators cheering as you approach the finish line is just epic!”

For Smyth, who finished 10th at the New York City Marathon last week, he said he’s looking forward to racing against Joe Gray and chasing the legacy of Max King.

“I’m really looking forward to racing Joe, it’s been awhile and he’s had an amazing 2016,” said Smyth. “For him to win the World Mountain Running Championship is really impressive. Even with Joe on the start line I probably won’t mix up my strategy too much. I’m as fit and confident as I’ve ever been and really just need to focus on racing tough.”

Smyth will also try to match King’s record of winning four straight XTERRA World Titles, a feat King accomplished from 2008-to-2011.  King, unfortunately, is still recovering from injury and will not make it to Oahu this season.  “He set the standard, so that’s what I’m chasing,” said Smyth.

Learn more about the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Running World Championship at www.xterrakualoa.com.

The Team to End Aids Gets Ready to Say Aloha!

By Devin P. Quinn

If you’re fortunate enough to attend the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship this December on the island of Oahu, keep your eyes peeled for a team of runners in red. You’ll be able to pick them out by their enthusiasm—no, those aren’t grimaces on their faces, those are smiles, even on the uphill stretches. They are the TEAM TO END AIDS (T2).

The story of this team begins roughly 35 years ago with the genesis of Aids Project Los Angeles (APLA) during the early days of the AIDS crisis. Initially an AIDS service organization, APLA evolved into APLA Health and has since significantly broadened its scope in the field of medical care, becoming a Federally Qualified Health Center in 2014. APLA Health’s mission is to achieve health care equity and promote well-being for the LGBT and other underserved communities and people living with and affected by HIV. They now run two state-of-the-art medical clinics in the Los Angeles area in addition to providing case management, food, transportation, dental care, behavioral health, residential services, and more.

The T2 program began in 1997 under a different name, assuming its current moniker in 2010. Since its inception, T2 has trained over 11,000 athletes and raised over $34 million in Los Angeles. This will be the team’s fourth appearance at Worlds.

“We recruit athletes of all fitness levels, from complete beginner to advanced,” explains Kerry Quakenbush, Director of Endurance Events for T2. Kerry has been involved with APLA’s endurance event training program since 2003 and has completed over 55 marathons, several half marathons, and various trail races, relays and 10K and 5K races. He is also an accomplished triathlete and two-time Ironman. “All of our Worlds athletes are enthusiastic amateurs who love coming together to train and raise funds for a worthy cause. We offer each person group training at least once a week (three times for triathletes) in exchange for their raising funds for the organization. Each runner at Worlds will raise at least $3500. To date (for Worlds) we have raised $105,000 and we expect to hit $125,000 or more.”

Kerry describes this year’s group as “Very easy to work with, very excited about Hawaii (who wouldn’t be?) and eager to enjoy the scenery of Kualoa Ranch. Our runners will not be the fastest on December 4, but they will likely be some of the most excited.”

So, if you’re one of the lucky ones headed to Hawaii for this year’s Worlds, be sure to look for those 37 runners in red. Cheer them on—they’re running for a cause.

The 2016 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship takes place December 4th at the Kualoa Ranch on Oahu, Hawaii. More information can be found at www.xterrakualoa.com.

If you want to donate to this amazing group, visit https://www.t2eala.com/XT16/Donate.

Joe Gray

Joe Gray Headed to Hawaii

Joe Gray, the 2016 World Mountain Running Champion who led the Team USA mountain running team to their first-ever Gold medal in Bulgaria this September, is headed back to Kualoa Ranch to chase his second Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Running World Championship December 4 in Hawaii.

“I just happen to love Hawaiian food and of course being that I spend most of the year in the mountains, it’s nice to change things up and race near the ocean,” said Gray. “That, and I really enjoy the energy of the finish and start line areas at Kualoa Ranch.”

Gray has had perhaps his best year ever on the trails in 2016. In addition to his World Mountain Running title he also won the 30K USA Trail Run National Title, the USA National Mountain Running Championship, and the North American Continental Champion in Sky Marathon and Vertical Kilometer.

“It’s been one of my best years so far and I’ve had a blast racing and experiencing different types of races and challenging my personal records at old races,” said Gray.

In 2012 Gray and Ben Bruce crossed the finish line at the same time here at XTERRA Trail Run Worlds, and neither photo nor video could determine a clear winner so the two were declared co-champs. A year later, in 2013, Gray finished 2nd to Patrick Smyth and since then Smyth has won three in a row at the ranch.

“I’m ready to compete, and take on anybody who toes the line…I just wanna run,” exclaimed Gray.

As for getting the title back, he said “it would be nice to add another XTERRA World Title to my 2012 title but also nice to add to my recent 2016 World Mountain Running Championship Title.”

Smyth, who is racing in the NYC Marathon this weekend, will make the call on defending his crown after seeing how he feels after this weekend.

The Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship is the culmination of 100+ XTERRA trail races held around the world in 2016. The main event is an adventurous half-marathon (13.1-mile/21km) that starts at the base of Ka’a’awa 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 rainforest 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 some of the views around the course 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, Magnum 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 2017 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:
https://vimeo.com/148056367.

Lebrun, Schleifer win Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K Trail Run

RESULTS | PHOTOS

Former XTERRA World Champion triathlete Nicolas Lebrun from France and Christine Schleifer of Germany captured the Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua this morning.

Lebrun, who won XTERRA Worlds back in 2005, is retired from elite triathlon racing but is still a coach and a great runner.

He took the tape in 45:37, just three seconds ahead of Martin Diebold from Germany. Just a quick look at the results and you can tell it’s not your average Maui 10K race, as the top 10 finishers came from France, Germany, Korea, Argentina, China, Switzerland, Poland, the U.S. and Belgium.

“The trails were muddy from all the rain and some sections were very slippery but it was still a beautiful day,” said Lebrun, who serves as the technical director for the XTERRA European Tour and was one of the commentators for the live coverage of the triathlon. “The run course is very tropical, like you’re in a jungle, then goes to the beautiful beach next to the water. It’s a fantastic course.”

Jacob Fure from Lynnwood, Washington and Bailey Haugen from Canada took home the Hula Grill XTERRA 5K titles in 20:06 and 23:42, respectively. Jorn Van Der Veken from Belgium and Eden Newman from Makawao won the new Leilani’s XTERRA 3.3K Trail Run in 13:57 and 19:32, respectively.

2016 marked the sixth straight year T S Restaurants Hula Grill, Duke’s Beach House, Kimo’s and Leilani’s served as title sponsors of the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs.

Held in conjunction with the 21st running of the XTERRA World Championship triathlon, the Kapalua runs are an opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels to get involved and experience the legendary XTERRA run course.

“They are all awesome races, and the vibe around The Ritz-Carlton rocked on Saturday morning,” said XTERRA President Janet Clark.

In addition to the trail runs a Paul Mitchell cut-a-thon was held at the site of the race where runners and spectators got their hair cut by professional Paul Mitchell stylists, with all donations benefitting the Challenged Athlete Foundation.

More than 1,000 runners from around the world took part in the events, and both the overall and top Maui finishers in each race were rewarded with T S Restaurant gift certificates worth $100.

In addition, employees from T S Restaurants held a race within a race dubbed “The T S Restaurants XTERRA Challenge” in which each of the four restaurants fielded a team of 10 runners; and the team with the fastest cumulative time from their best five runners in the 5K take home the coveted TS Trophy.

This year Kimo’s captured the perpetual trophy for the third straight year and have it proudly displayed in their restaurant for all to see. The winning team members included Hailey and Koral Gill, Patrick Hannon, Cassie Jacinto, Jeremy Meis, Steve Pisacano, Megan Price, Megan Whitfield, and Victoria Zupancic.

Find more information, this year’s results, and photos visit http://www.xterrakapalua.com.

About T S Restaurants of Hawaii and California

Founded in 1977 by Rob Thibaut and Sandy Saxten, T S Restaurants owns and operates 13 restaurants in Hawaii and California, including 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; Duke’s Kauai and Keoki’s Paradise on Kauai; and Jake’s Del Mar, Sunnyside Restaurant and Lodge, Duke’s La Jolla, Duke’s Huntington Beach and Duke’s Malibu in California. For more information visit www.tsrestaurants.com.

The Off-Road to an XTERRA Regional Championship

Now that the 2017 XTERRA Trail Run Series is underway, it’s the perfect time to review how YOU can become an XTERRA Regional Champion and earn your free entry to the 2017 XTERRA Trail Running National Championship.

#1 – Visit us on our website to find an XTERRA race near year. Be sure to check out the Races By Region pages to make sure your race is part of a full 2017 season. We have a few amazing races that are stand alone events, but they offer their own unique perks and prizes. Any event that is part of a full regional series is eligible for points.

#2 – We award points for the longest distance of the day. Therefore if there is a 21K and a 10K, only the 21K will be awarded points. However, there is an exception. Any distance 21K and longer will receive points. For example, if there is a full marathon 42K, a half marathon 21K and a 5K, both the full 42K and half 21K will earn series points.

#3 – Remember that only the top 15 runners in each age group receive points. You can view the point breakdown by clicking on the link below.

#4 – Any regional series that hosts more than 3 events will allow runners to drop their lowest score for the season. Any race that you do not participate in will result in 0 points.

#5 – Have fun! The main goal for any XTERRA Trail Runner is to go out there and find an adventure. Come join us!

Read the Full Rules

Still have questions? Email series manager Emily McIlvaine at trailrun@xterraplanet.com.

Smyth, Stephen win Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Nationals

Photo Gallery

September 18, 2016 (Ogden, Utah) – Patrick Smyth of Santa Fe, New Mexico and Liz Stephen from Park City, Utah defended their Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship half-marathon titles on a picture-perfect day for running up and around Snowbasin Resort this morning.

Smyth clocked in at 1:14:48 (5:42 pace), nearly five minutes ahead of runner-up Anthony Costales of Salt Lake City.  Stephen ran it in 1:31:08, more than eight minutes ahead of Ogden’s Amber Schultz.

It’s the third national title for Smyth and the fourth for Stephen, who has now won three in a row.

“Winning three is great, I think Max King has five so I’m chasing that legacy and have a couple more to go,” said Smyth.  “I love it out here, and my legs were feeling pretty fresh this morning so I was able to get a good rhythm going on the climb and really fly on the downhills.   I always savor those here, certainly one of my favorite downhill stretches is Sardine Peak to the bottom.”

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Smyth had a 15-second lead on Costales and Noah Hoffman, a 2014 U.S. Olympic Ski Team member, at the one-mile mark then the course went vertical and he started pulling away and soon after he was running by himself.

“I like running alone, just me and my thoughts, no footsteps, nobody breathing hard behind me, that’s fine by me,” said Smyth.  “The trails are great; I say it every year.  It’s one of my favorite courses in the world.  The three miles from the top of Sardine to the bottom, I love that stretch.  As soon as you start descending the switchbacks you get in a special place mentally, your feet are landing in the right place, your moving quick, I think I was able to get down to some 4:50 miles.  It’s just fun and reminds you what running is all about, getting that high.”

Next up for Smyth is the New York City Marathon, where he has a goal of finishing in the top 10.  He was 8th at the Olympic trials this year, so you know it can be done.

For the women’s winner Stephen getting back on the trails by foot was a little bit of a shock to her system.

“It’s different muscles, I’m going to be sore,” said Stephen, a two-time Olympic cross country skier who returned from a three-week ski training camp in New Zealand on Thursday.

“It’s really nice to be back here in Utah, and this is such a beautiful venue, and wonderful course, it keeps me coming back.  And I really like getting the lei at the awards ceremony, I keep it in my room for weeks it smells so nice.”

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It’s the sixth time Stephen has run this course.

“I always look forward to getting up to Sardine Peak, it’s so beautiful, and you can take a quick glance down and see how far away the lodge is.  I just think trail running is great because you’re not in the road with cars, and you get to see these beautiful places.  It’s so pure.  Plus, the people here are all so relaxed and their having fun and they’re all so pumped on running.”

Stephen is chasing her third Winter Olympics (South Korea 2018) with the goal of medaling in the 4 x 5k relay, saying “It’s where all my focus is right now.”

Elite Runner Results:

Place Men Hometown Time Purse
1 Patrick Smyth Santa Fe, New Mexico 1:14:48 $1,000
2 Anthony Costales Salt Lake City, UT 1:19:30 $600
3 Ben Dickshinkski Salt Lake City, UT 1:20:25 $400
4 Travis Morrison South Salt Lake, UT 1:20:55 $300
5 David Kilgore New York, NY 1:21:05 $200
Place Women Hometown Time Purse
1 Liz Stephen Park City, UT 1:31:08 $1,000
2 Amber Schultz Ogden, UT 1:39:35 $600
3 Selina Sekulic Farmington, NM 1:40:37 $400
4 Sarah Graves Ballantine, MT 1:42:23 $300
5 Penelope Freedman Salt Lake City, UT 1:43:19 $200

Complete Results

UTAH’S TUCK WINS EIGHTH TITLE

Although the elite runners chase the overall crown at the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, the event remains an age-group race.

Twenty-five runners representing 10 different states took home age-group titles at the 2016 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Nationals.

The home-state Utah runners led the way with 10 champions, not including Kevin Tuck (formerly from Salt Lake City but now living in Phoenix, AZ).  Tuck, 60, was an impressive 21st overall, and this was his unprecedented eighth Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship age-group win.

Bob Evers (men 65-69) from Park City, Utah won his sixth straight XTERRA National title.  It was the fourth national crown for Stephen (25-29), Hans Unger (70-74) and Tamara Tabeek (55-59), who also won the XTERRA Pan America Championship off-road triathlon championship yesterday.  Donnie Gray (45-49), Patrick Smyth (30-34), and Adrian Wolford (75-79) won their third crowns, while Andy Lee (40-44) and Micala Schultz won their second.

All of the age-group champions received a free entry to participate in the 2016 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, which is scheduled for December 4 at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii.

Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Champs
   
Division Name Hometown Time
10 – 14 Joseph Schultz Fort Collins, CO 3:15:20
20 – 24 Ben Dickshinkski Salt Lake City, UT 1:20:25
25 – 29 Anthony Costales Salt Lake City, UT 1:19:30
30 – 34 Patrick Smyth* (3) Santa Fe, NM 1:14:48
35 – 39 Joshua Merrick Tabernash, CO 1:31:38
40 – 44 Andy Lee (2) Lakeway, TX 1:32:02
45 – 49 Donnie Gray (3) Layton, UT 1:36:27
50 – 54 Blake Sacha Gilbert, AZ 1:46:08
55 – 59 Michael Fussell Grapevine, TX 1:47:03
60 – 64 Kevin Tuck (8) Tucson, AZ 1:37:23
65 – 69 Bob Evers (6) Park City, UT 1:54:35
70 – 74 Hans Unger (4) Sylmar, CA 2:43:44
75 – 79 Adrian Wolford (3) Mustang, OK 3:17:35
Women
   
Division Name Hometown Time
10 – 14 Hannah Lutzker Park City, UT 2:18:06
15 – 19 Micala Schultz (2) Fort Collins, CO 2:54:26
20 – 24 Molly Metivier New York, NY 1:56:28
25 – 29 Liz Stephen* (4) Park City, UT 1:31:08
30 – 34 Selina Sekulic Farmington, NM 1:40:37
35 – 39 Sarah Graves Ballantine, MT 1:42:23
40 – 44 Lizzie Brenkus Park City, UT 1:53:49
45 – 49 Anne Bonkowsky Salt Lake City, UT 2:01:49
50 – 54 Lina Haggard Salt Lake City, UT 2:21:18
55 – 59 Tamara Tabeek (4) Ramona, CA 2:12:45
60 – 64 Nicky Humphrey Reno, NV 3:19:39
65 – 69 Deborah Wagner Park City, UT 2:37:00
* TOP AMATEURS

The 2016 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship  is presented the Utah Sports Commission and XTERRA TV at Amazon Video.  Sponsors include PowerBar, Muscle Milk, Outrigger Resorts, the GOAL Foundation, Gatorade Endurance, Utah Media Group, the U.S. Forest Service, Snowbasin Resort, XTERRA Fitness, Optic Nerve Sunglasses, XTERRA Travel, Greenlayer, Hub 801, and XTERRA Boards.