XTERRA Atlantic Series Continues to Impress

The XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series continued to impress, as the second race in the series once again received rave reviews from runners.

Seneca CreekThe XTERRA Seneca Creek Trail Run drew close to 200 runners from eight different states to Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Preston Campbell from Annapolis, Maryland, was the overall winner, completing the 10-kilometer course in 38 minutes flat. He is a Navy helicopter pilot who entered the event as part of his training as a triathlete.

“I pulled away from the leaders on the first hill and continued to widen the gap on every hill from there on,” he said. “I had no idea I was that far ahead, but I sure am grateful for all of the hill training I did in the off season.”

Campbell’s wife, Leonie, also entered the race, and she placed second overall in the women’s field. She is also a triathlete – a member of the Marine Corps triathlon team.

“Leonie and I had a great time at the race,” Preston said. “We really enjoyed the friendly atmosphere at the race and the unique awards.”

Lauren Rhatigan from Ship Bottom, New Jersey, was the top overall female, finishing with a time of 47:32. Leonie Campbell was a close second at 47:45.

Grant Farrell from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, placed second overall among the men, finishing with a time of 39:21. He entered several races in the XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series last year, and was glad to see the creation of the Atlantic Series to add to his race schedule.

Farrell said he drove two hours from his home to get to the race. “That’s actually the same, or closer, for me than some of the races in the Pocono Series, and the races have been well worth the drive,” he said.


The age-group winners received hand-carved wood trophies, as well as commemorative drink glasses.

The XTERRA Seneca Creek Trail Run was the second of four races in the 2013 season for the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series. The next race in the series will be the XTERRA Lums Pond Trail Run in Bear, Delaware, on May 25. To register for a race in the series or to learn more about it, please visit www.adventuregeekproductions.com.

Vinecki Adds XTERRA Weekend to Ambitious 2013 Schedule

Winter Vinecki may be the most ambitious person you could ever meet. She also happens to be an extraordinary endurance athlete who will be making her XTERRA debut this weekend.

Winter VineckiWinter is only 14, but is already an established name in the sports of triathlon, distance running, and aerial skiing. In keeping with her enterprising year-round schedule, her XTERRA debut will cover two days of competition. Winter will compete in both the XTERRA West Championship off-road triathlon on Saturday, April 13, and the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run 21-kilometer race on Sunday, April 14.

“The one great thing about being young is our remarkable ability to recover quickly,” Winter said. “I’ve done numerous triathlons back-to-back, such as youth draft legal or spring tri one day and Olympic distance triathlon the next. I’ve also combined triathlons and running events on the same weekend. I run five days a week for my marathon training and will use the XTERRA Trail Run as training for my next marathon on the Inca Trail in June. I will see how I feel on Sunday and determine at that time how hard I will push the pace on the 21K. This is my very first race with XTERRA so it will be a learning weekend for me.”

It might be a learning weekend for Winter, but everyone could use a lesson from her as well. This XTERRA weekend is the latest in her journey around the world to raise awareness for prostate cancer.

In 2009, Michael Vinecki – Winter’s father – died less than a year after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Shortly after, Winter and her mother started the non-profit Team Winter to bring attention prostate cancer awareness.

“Since I’m racing for a cause, my non-profit Team Winter, I find myself always trying to do my very best and setting big goals and dreams,” she said. “I race not for myself, but in memory of my dad and the 1 in 6 men affected by prostate cancer. My goal this season is to qualify for XTERRA World Championships either through a qualifying race like Vegas or through points. I never look at my age as a barrier.”

Because of her busy schedule, Winter completes her school work online through EPGY (Educational Program for Gifted Youth), run by Stanford University. She is originally from Michigan, but now resides in Park City, Utah, so she can train year-round in her various sports.

Her most ambitious project for 2013 involves “seven marathons on seven continents.” Winter has already completed marathons in North America (Oregon), Africa (Kenya) and Antarctica. Later this year, she plans to run marathons in South America (Peru), Asia (Mongolia), New Zealand and Europe (Greece).

The Antarctica event was just last week, and she became the youngest runner ever to complete a marathon on that continent.

“Running a marathon in Antarctica cannot really be explained,” she said. “It is one of those things you just need to experience first-hand. The marathon to me was not just the day of the race. Ninety percent of the marathon was just traveling to and from Antarctica and all the obstacles you face along the way. The marathon was about falling in love with a continent and the beauty and secrets it holds.”

Winter has been competing in triathlons since she was 5, and is a two-time IronKids National Champion. This weekend, however, will be her first major off-road events, including her first competition on a mountain bike (the XTERRA West Championship triathlon consists of a 1.5-kilometer swim, a 30K mountain bike, and a 10K trail run).

If Winter places first in her age group during Saturday’s triathlon, she will qualify for the 2013 XTERRA World Championship on Maui later this year. It won’t be easy though, as her age division includes the reigning XTERRA amateur world champ, Hannah Rae Finchamp.

“It will give me a chance to gain experience amongst some of the best triathletes in this off-road series,” Winter said. “Achieving my goal of qualifying for Worlds will mean more awareness for prostate cancer and more people knowing my story. I know I have my work cut out for me, but I’m always up for a challenge, and as I always tell others, Never Give In!”

Oak Mountain Trail Runs Set for May 19

The XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Runs is truly a race for anyone. It is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, and it offers a choice of four different courses – a 42-kilometer full-marathon course, a 20K, a 10K and a 5K.

Brandon MaderThis year’s XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Runs is set for May 19, and it will once again take place on the award-winning trails at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama.


Brandon Mader, an elite runner from Huntsville, Alabama, said he always tries to enter the race at Oak Mountain because each year offers a unique challenge.

“The popularity of the trails at Oak Mountain stems from their diversity of surface, terrain, and scenery,” Mader said. “With 50-plus miles of well-maintained – but not necessarily tame – trails around the lake, traversing the valley, and splitting the ridges, you nearly feel like you’ve run through three or four different parks in one event.”

Over the past few years, Mader has competed on the 42K, 20K and 10K courses at Oak Mountain, and here are his thoughts on each: “The 10k is a great challenge for beginner or intermediate runners. You won’t be alone and won’t need prior trail running experience to enjoy the race. The longer events however do require some experience. The weather becomes a major factor, as any good Southerner will quickly point out to you.  You’ll encounter more technical terrain as you wind through longer loops of the park but still be greeted with the same frequency of on-course aide. The 20K is a great challenge for any level of runner and should really be your goal event if you’ve never run at Oak Mountain before; or if you like to get the global experience, jump in and hold on tight for a 42K tour of one of America’s top trails on the Double Oak.”

Mader noted that the weather in mid-May is typically sunny and humid near Oak Mountain State Park, with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to low-80s.

Oak Mountain is the largest state park in Alabama, and it covers nearly 10,000 acres of land. As such, there are numerous opportunities to turn the race into a weekend of fun.

“I have rode my mountain bike around Oak Mountain on several occasions, and the experience is spectacular,” Mader said. “Take advantage of the camping available in the park and make a family weekend out of your race. With swimming, canoeing, horseback riding, golf and paddleboarding also available in the park, the race doesn’t have to be your only adventure of the weekend.”

The XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Run is the season finale for the XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series, and the top runners in both the 42K and 20K races will earn points toward the series standings.

Each age-group champion from the 42K and 20K courses of this year’s race will receive a free entry to the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Hawaii on November 24.

Koenig and Wagner Win Again in Florida Series

Even after a four-month break between races, the latest race in the XTERRA Florida Trail Run Series had a familiar finish last weekend.

Eric Koenig and Jessica Wagner were the overall winners of the XTERRA Trout Creek Trail Run at Thonotassa, Florida, on Sunday, March 24. They were also the winners of the previous race back in November.

Koenig, 23, completed the 15-kilometer course in 59 minutes, 51 seconds, and he was the only runner to beat the one hour mark.

“I took the lead a couple hundred meters into the singletrack, before or at about the half-mile mark from the start,” he said. “I kept up the pace, trying to hit low six-minute miles throughout the race and wasn’t keeping track of how far ahead I was.”

Koenig is originally from Colorado, but now resides in Lutz, Florida, as a graduate student at the University of South Florida. He said he has been training for the races by running in the Trout Creek Wilderness area, and that got him used to the varied terrain, humidity, and windy conditions that occurred on race day.

Pedro Meraz from Wesley Chapel, Florida, was second in 1:01:57, and Hector Guzman from Bradenton, Florida, was third in 1:02:21.

Jessica Wagner finished with a time of 1:13:26, and she was the first overall female.

“Incredible day; perfect weather in the 60’s and slightly overcast,” she said. “With the exception of the steep berm at the get-go, the course was a fairly consistent flat trail run, but with nice slalom-like turns so great for a new trail runner and allowed the seasoned to test their speed.”

Wagner, who works as a Senior Membership Director for the YMCA of Central Florida, has won the past two XTERRA Florida Trail Run events by convincing margins.

“I was sure I was in the lead when the wonderful volunteers cheered and told me so,” she said. “As for the gap? I had no idea until I read the results.”

Christina Chabrier from Wesley Chapel was second in 1:17:00, and Cindy Hazel from Tampa was third in 1:18:06. The top three females are all in the 40-44 age group.


The XTERRA Trout Creek Trail Run featured close to 300 runners, ranging in age from 7 to 67.

It was the second of three events in the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA Florida Trail Run Series. The final event in the series will be the XTERRA Claw Trail Run at Alafia, Florida, on April 28. To register for a race in the series or learn more about it, please visitwww.tamparaces.com.

Kaytlynn Welsch wins Another Race in Texas Series

The 2013 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series is fast becoming a showcase for Kaytlynn Welsch. The 12-year-old running phenom won yet another race in the series, placing first overall among all females in the XTERRA Camp Eagle Trail Run.

Kaytlynn WelschThe event was completed on March 23 at Camp Eagle in Rocksprings, Texas.

Christopher Chancey from Austin was the overall winner, completing the 21-kilometer (13.1 miles) course in 1 hour, 27 minutes, 5 seconds.

“I thought the course was great,” said Chancey, 32. “Plenty of rocks, roots, ups and downs with nice scenery. Weather was great as well – low 60s for the start.”

Chancey took the lead 10 minutes into the race, and then ran away from the rest of the field. He finished more than four minutes ahead of the other runners. “It was a small field, but it was also a good group of runners,” said Chancey, who works as a massage therapist. “I love racing no matter how large the field.”

Adrian Slusher from League City, Texas, was second in 1:31:11, and Jeffrey Rosser from Houston was third in 1:37:03.

Welsch placed fourth overall with a time of 1:39:30. It was her second overall female win in as many races in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series this year.

“The course was amazing, the scenery was beautiful, and when we went on top of the mountain on the jeep trail, the sight was breathtaking,” said Welsch, who is a seventh grade student at Alvin Junior High School in Alvin, Texas.

If a 12-year-old winning a 21-kilometer trail race was not impressive enough, Welsch rallied to this victory after falling in the first mile of the course. She ran the final 12 miles with cuts and scrapes on her left knee and thigh.

Her father, Rodney, was taking photos along the course, but he did not see her fall. “After she lost her footing, and went down, I am sure there was a struggle dealing with that, after all she is just a little 12 year old girl who had another 12 miles of trail in front of her to run,” he said. “Somehow she didn’t give up,  she found the heart and drive to go on. Regardless of the outcome of the race, she showed me that she’s a winner, and that she is a trail runner.”

The Welsch family made a six-hour drive to get to the race site from their home in Alvin, so Kaytlynn’s performance made the trip worthwhile.

Tracie Akerhielm from Denton, Texas, placed second in 1:43:00, and Jessica Scott from Webster, Texas, was third in 1:47:28.

Kaytlynn’s younger sister, Heather, did not race due to a toe injury. Heather, 10, placed third overall at a couple of Texas races last year.

The XTERRA Camp Eagle Trail Run was the second of seven races in the 2013 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series. The next event will be XTERRA Bluebonnet Trail Run at Burnet, Texas, on April 20. To register for a race in the Texas Series, or to learn more about it, please visitwww.terrafirmaracing.com or www.xterratrailrun.com.

Arizona Series Closes Season With a Fast Finish

Nick Coury and Rachael Cuellar both had reason to celebrate at the XTERRA Black Canyon Trail Run last weekend.

Nick CouryCoury capped an impressive season in the XTERRA Arizona Trail Run Series with his third consecutive victory, and Cuellar celebrated her 31st birthday on the day of the race (March 24) by dominating the women’s division.

Coury, 25, completed the 21-kilometer course in 1 hour, 31 minutes, 49 seconds, which was more than four minutes ahead of the other top runners.

“The course was in great shape,” said Coury, who resides in Phoenix. “The desert is extremely green at this time of the year, and the flowers are just starting to come out, creating a relief from the light browns we’re so accustomed to. The temperature was just edging on warm, but a breeze kept the air cool enough for a good race.”

Coury got in front after the first mile, and then gradually increased his lead over the remainder of the course. Coury is an experienced distance runner with the Aravaipa Running team in Arizona, but he said he rarely gets to run at Black Canyon. The only other time he ran on those trails was at the 2012 XTERRA Black Canyon Trail Run, when he placed second overall.

“Last year was my first and only time on this section of the Black Canyon Trail, but it helped me know what to anticipate,” he said. “The trail is constantly changing.  Last year, the twists and turns left me unsure how to pace for what was ahead.  This year I expected the roller coaster and ran accordingly.”

Coury skipped the first race in the 2012-13 XTERRA Arizona Series, but entered the last three races and placed first overall at all three.

Nathan Rath from Chandler, Arizona, placed second in 1:35:53, and Dan Kuch from Lake Havasu City, Arizona, was third in 1:36:11.

Cuellar was an impressive fourth overall with a time of 1:38:58 – which was nearly 12 minutes faster than the other top females.

Cuellar, her boyfriend Cornelius Puiulet, and their 4-month-old daughter made an eight-hour drive from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to get to the race and visit friends in Arizona. Puiulet placed second overall in the 9-kilometer short course race earlier in the day.

“Everything worked out perfectly,” Cuellar said. “There was a lot of climbing, more than 2,600 feet according to my Garmin watch.  The trail was rocky for most of the course and at the first river crossing we had to run through a bed of river rocks and some sandy sections.  There were a lot of switchbacks going up and down hill.  The scenery was picturesque and worth looking at if you dared to take your eyes off the trail.”

Cuellar said she was not aware of the other females behind her because she was focused on the tricky sections of the trail.

“From the start, I found myself running with the top males,” she said. “I could hear some ladies chatting behind me, but I was too focused on the rocky trail and keeping up with the guys in front of me that I slowly forgot about everyone else. It was nice running with some of the guys; they kept me motivated.”

This was Cuellar’s first time racing in an XTERRA Arizona Series event, although she is no stranger to XTERRA Trail Run success. She placed third overall at the 2011 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.

Scottsdale runners Paulette Zilmer and Terri Antonio placed second and third, respectively. In the 9K short course, Arthur Lopez and Bree Bielenberg were the top male and female finishers. Bielenberg won all four short course races in the Arizona Series.


The entire field of more than 500 runners actually had reason to celebrate also, as it was the finale of a successful 2012-13 Arizona Series. The top runners in each age group from the overall series standings received a free entry to represent Arizona at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Ogden, Utah, in September.

Here is a list of the 2013 XTERRA Arizona Series champions:


Female 15-19 Sierra Robinett Phoenix, AZ
Female 25-29 Angela Axmann Phoenix, AZ
Female 30-34 Kristi Johnson Phoenix, AZ
Female 35-39 Terri Twarkins Paradise Valley, AZ
Female 40-44 Terri Antonio Scottsdale, AZ
Female 45-49 Dawn McKenzie Oro Valley, AZ
Female 50-54 Kelly O’Halloran Waddell, AZ
Female 55-59 Leigh Garvie Spruce Grove, CANADA
Male 15-19 David Buehler Peoria, AZ
Male 20-24 Foster Kleinstiver Goodyear, AZ
Male 25-29 Nick Coury Phoenix, AZ
Male 30-34 Nathan Rath Chandler, AZ
Male 35-39 Dan Kuch Lake Havasu City, AZ
Male 40-44 Jason Ford Gilbert, AZ
Male 45-49 Rob Decot Flagstaff, AZ
Male 50-54 Bob Platt Surprise, AZ
Male 55-59 Bruce Bornhurst La Canada, CA
Male 60-64 Steve Averill Glendale, AZ
Male 65-69 Ron Harding Jr. Chandler, AZ

Burgunder Sets Sights on Another Adventurous XTERRA Season

Richard Burgunder has never met an XTERRA Trail Run he didn’t like. His race resume is proof enough.

Rich BurgunderBurgunder, 32, has already competed in XTERRA Trail Run races in Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Japan over the past five years. He has no intention of slowing down in 2013.

“I plan on racing XTERRA Lake Las Vegas, the XTERRA Colorado Series, the XTERRA Utah Series, Nationals and Worlds,” he said. “I might also try to make a couple races in the XTERRA Pocono Series, and the XTERRA Richmond.”

If all goes well, he could run in more than a dozen XTERRA Trail Run events in 2013, spanning from Hawaii to Pennsylvania.

“What I like most about traveling to all of these different races is how they always bring new adventures and unique experiences into my life,” he said. “I love seeing new things and meeting new people along the way. It’s both an exhilarating and fun journey to be part of.”

Burgunder is one of the most decorated runners in XTERRA Trail Run history. He has previously won age-group regional championships in New England (2009), Northern Ohio (2011) and Pocono (2011 and 2012). He entered his first XTERRA Trail Run in his then-home state of Pennsylvania in July of 2008 and said he “instantly became hooked.”

He was raised in Pittsburgh, but moved to Boulder, Colorado, last year for business reasons.

“I’m an adventurer at heart and couldn’t think of a better place than Colorado to further pursue my passion for extreme sports and outdoor recreation,” he said. “Moving to Boulder was also a strategic move for both growing my sports management business and advancing my athletic career. Boulder seemed very fitting as it’s considered a mecca for the lifestyle sports industry.”

The move to Colorado will allow Burgunder to test his running skills in the thin air of Colorado and Utah. He plans to chase age-group titles in both the XTERRA Colorado and XTERRA Utah Series.

“My season goal is to become the first runner in XTERRA Trail Run history to win titles in four different regions, and six overall,” Burgunder said.

Burgunder will actually have double-duties at the XTERRA races, as he also works as a Field Marketing Associate for PowerBar. “The PowerBar program is focused on supporting endurance athletes and grassroots events by donating samples and providing resources where necessary,” he explained. “It is the role of the FMA to be the face of this initiative to the endurance community and to ensure that the brand is represented properly.”

Burgunder’s daunting 2013 schedule will begin on April 14 at the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run. It is an event he is familiar with, and said other runners should take the opportunity to experience the unique trails of Lake Las Vegas.

“The race course consists of very rugged and colorful desert terrain, surrounded by beautiful mountains,” he said. “You don’t have the opportunity to race in such a uniquely challenging location too often. Also, the immediate Las Vegas metro area provides an electrifying atmosphere and is a very cool place to explore.”

Burgunder has been hampered by a broken foot in recent months, but he said it will not prevent him from embarking on another adventurous XTERRA year in 2013.

“I’ve seen too many people get caught up in the same routine on a yearly basis,” he said. “There’s so much out there in this world to see and explore. You only live once and it’s better to live on the edge than not to live at all. Attending a destination race can be a very exciting and suspenseful experience.  I would advise to plan in advance and scope out the area for fun things to do and cool places to explore.”

XTERRA Texas Series is Underway for 2013

12-year-old Kaytlynn Welsch tops the women’s field

After an amazing year of running in 2012, Kaytlynn Welsch is off to another great start in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series in 2013.

Welsch, who garnered national attention for her precocious running success last year, was the top overall female at the XTERRA Eco Lonestar Trail Run last weekend. Welsch, 12, was the youngest runner in the field, and she placed third overall – topped only by two elite men.

Kaytlynn Welsch“The course was muddy,” she said. “I like the mud, but my shoe came off in the mud on the second lap. The weather was cold and the wind was strong on some of the more open parts of the course.”

(Kaytlynn Welsch pictured, courtesy Welsch family)

Jason Razo of Arlington, Texas, was the overall winner, completing the 15-kilometer course in 1 hour, 58 seconds. Greg Rankin from Parker, Texas, was second overall in 1:04:30. Razo is 28 and Rankin is 46.

Welsch, who is in the seventh grade at Alvin Junior High School in Alvin, Texas, chased the two leaders the entire course. She finished in 1:06:19, which was well ahead of the next female – 30-year-old Tracie Akerhielm of Denton, Texas, finished in 1:08:49.

Around 100 runners participated in the event, which was held at Cedar Hill State Park in Cedar Hill, Texas, on Sunday, March 10. The XTERRA Eco Lonestar Trail Run was the first of seven races in the 2013 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series.


Kaytlynn and her 10-year-old sister, Heather, made national headlines a year ago when they placed first and third, respectively, at another race in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series. Kaytlynn went on to win her age group at both the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship and 2012 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship (with Heather placing second to Kaytlynn at both events).

Their success – and passion for running – was featured on NBC’s Rock Center With Brian Williams in February.

Rodney Welsch, the father of the girls, said: “A runner came up to me and said he saw their story on TV and came out to race. Hopefully they are helping the sport to grow here in Texas.”

Heather did not race last weekend because of an injured toe. Both girls plan to race in at least five of the upcoming races in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series.

The next race in the Texas Series will be the XTERRA Camp Eagle Trail Run at Rocksprings, Texas, on March 23. To register for the race, or learn more about the Texas Series, please visit www.xterratrailrun.com.

About the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series
The XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. In the 2012-13 season, there will be seven races available for runners, with the courses ranging in length from 5 kilometers to 21 kilometers. The top runners in every age group will receive points after each race that will count toward the overall series standings. At the conclusion of the series, each age-group champion will receive a free entry to represent Texas  at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. Texas is one of 17 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Atlantic, Southern California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon,  Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

Daigeaun and Palmer win Inaugural Race at Brandywine Creek

As the saying goes, you never forget your first, and the XTERRA Brandywine Creek Trail Run was indeed memorable for Michael Daigeaun and Jackie Palmer.

The Brandywine Creek Trail Run was the very first event for the new XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series, and Daigeaun and Palmer were the overall winners.

Brandywine CreekMore than 120 runners from seven different states participated in the inaugural race at Brandywine Creek State Park in Wilmington, Delaware. It was the first of four races in the 2013 XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series.

Daigeaun came over from Philadelphia to participate in the race, and he ran away from the competition. He completed the 12-kilometer course in 48 minutes, 32 seconds, which was more than two minutes faster than the other top runners.

“For the most part, I got out front pretty early in the race,” he said. “Once we hit some flat double-track after the downhill at the start, I moved to the front and slowly pulled away.”

Daigeaun, who is an experienced road racer, described the course as “a nice mix of varied terrain.”

“You had nice run-able single-track with enough technical sections and hills to keep you on your toes,” he added. “When you got to the last two-and-a-half miles, you were on rolling wide open fields. If you had speed and gas left in the tank, this is where you could really open it up.”

Mike Monagle from Wilmington placed second in 50:44, and Derek Schultz from Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, was third in 51:14.

Daigeaun and Schultz were two of the more than 50 runners who came over from Pennyslvania to participate in the race. They were both runners in the former XTERRA Philly Trail Run Series, which went on hiatus in 2011.

“I was surprised to see so many fast guys and returning XTERRA runners, as I only heard about this race two days prior from Don Morrison (former director of the XTERRA Philly Series),” Schultz said. “Seeing other Philly runners like Dan Dix there made it feel more like the family reunions they used to be.”

Schultz said he enjoyed this race so much that he plans to enter the remaining three races in the 2013 XTERRA Atlantic Series. “Hopefully pull together some more of the old crew and car pool,” he said. “I do like that these races are a tad longer than the previous series. I now primarily focus on ultra distances, so the longer the better.”

Palmer was the top female, finishing with a time of 1:01:12. She also dominated the field, finishing nearly four minutes ahead of the other top women.

“This course was could definitely play to a lot of strengths,” said Palmer, who is from Newark, Delaware. “There were some steep hills where good climbers could really excel, as well as a couple miles of flat section along the creek where strong road runners could pick up speed. I really like hybrid courses like this. The trail conditions were dry but there was a lot of wind that you could really feel when you hit the open field sections. The last mile and a half was especially tough just getting blasted by head wind on the way to the finish!”

Palmer said she entered the race as part of her training for upcoming ultra marathons, and did not realize how big of a gap she had on the other women.

“Most of the women seemed to take the rocky downhill pretty conservatively, while I barreled down, so I think this is where I started my gap,” she explained. “Downhill trail running is my favorite! I didn’t really know how far ahead I was; I was just running my race.”


The next race in the Atlantic Trail Run Series will be the XTERRA Seneca Creek Trail Run on April 6 at Gaithersburg, Maryland. All races in the series are open to runners of all ages and skill levels. For more information, please visit www.adventuregeekproductions.com.

About the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series
The XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. In the 2012-13 season, there will be seven races available for runners, with the courses ranging in length from 5 kilometers to 42 kilometers. The top runners in every age group will receive points after each race that will count toward the overall series standings. At the conclusion of the series, each age-group champion will receive a free entry to represent the Atlantic at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. Atlantic is one of 17 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Southern California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon,  Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington. To learn more about the Atlantic Series, please visitwww.adventuregeekproductions.com.