Dessy and Iglesias Prevail in Puerto Rico

Luigi Dessy and Alejandra Iglesias ran to impressive victories at the XTERRA Salinas Trail Run last weekend at Salinas, Puerto Rico.

Salinas Trail RunDessy was the overall winner, completing the 16-kilometer course in 1 hour, 16 minutes, 19 seconds. He finished more than a minute ahead of the other top runners, and it was his first overall victory of this season.

Melvin Rivera placed second, followed by Efrain Soto and Alberto Saldana.

“The course was really extraordinary – very competitive and a little bit technical,” Saldana said. “The terrain was varied, and there were some hills in the first few kilometers. The weather was hot, like 99 to 102 degrees, and the race was in the south part of the island, which is very dry.”

Iglesias placed 10th overall and dominated the women’s field. She finished with a time of 1:32:00, which was more than five minutes ahead of the other top females.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE RESULTS

The mayor of the city of Salinas came out to watch the race, and many of the participants stayed for the post-race awards party.

“It was fun and everybody really had a great time,” Saldana said. “It was XTERRA family day.”

The XTERRA Salinas Trail Run was the third of four races in the 2013 XTERRA Puerto Rico Trail Run Series. The final event in the series will be the XTERRA Vega Alta Trail Run on August 18. To learn more about the Puerto Rico Series, please visit www.xterrapr.com.

Campbell and Palmer Take Fast Trail to Victory

XTERRA Atlantic Series heading toward stretch run

What started out as training runs turned into race victories for Preston Campbell and Jackie Palmer at the XTERRA Lums Pond Trail Run.

Lums PondCampbell was the overall winner of the 10-kilometer trail race at Lums Pond State Park in Bear, Delaware. Palmer placed ninth overall and was the top female.

Campbell, a Navy helicopter pilot from Annapolis, Maryland, completed the course in 38 minutes, 18 seconds. It was his second consecutive overall victory in the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series (he also won the previous race at Seneca Creek, Maryland, last month).

“The race was really fantastic,” he said. “I race Columbia Tri the weekend before, so the flat course at Lums Pond felt amazing and the conditions could not have been better.”

Campbell’s main sport is triathlons, so he has been entering the XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series as a form of training.

He said he took the lead two miles into the course, and then gradually increased his lead the rest of the way. “I ran my race and enjoyed the trail,” he said.

Juan Pablo Prada from Newark, Delaware, placed second in 39:17, and Doug Bishop, also from Newark, was third in 39:58.

Palmer likes to enter ultra marathon races, so the Lums Pond 10K was a warm-up of sorts for her (she did a longer race the very next day).

“I have been to Lums Pond before, but not for trail running so was not familiar with the trail itself, but knew it was flat,” said Palmer, who is also from Newark. “The trails I usually train on are a little more hilly, so I think this helped my strength, even though there were not actually hills in the race.”

Palmer finished with a time of 46:26, which was 21 seconds ahead of Leonie Campbell – who is Preston Campbell’s wife. It was Palmer’s second victory in the 2013 Atlantic Series.

“I expected the beginning of the course to bottle neck at the trail head and I went out a little faster to try and avoid it so I think I was in the lead for the females from the start,” Palmer said. “There was at least one other woman following close behind me for the first half of the race, but she eventually dropped off. Then I was just racing with some boys to the finish.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE RESULTS

The XTERRA Lums Pond Trail Run was the third of four races in the 2013 XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series. The series finale will be the XTERRA Big Elk Trail Run at the Elkton, Maryland, on June 22. To register for a race in the series or to learn more about it, please visitwww.adventuregeekproductions.com.

Korch Relies on Experience to Top Field at Seven Tubs

Shokey finishes first in women’s division

Experience can count for a lot in an XTERRA trail race. Just ask Tony Korch. The 53-year-old beat several younger runners to take top overall honors at the XTERRA Seven Tubs Trail Run last weekend at Wilkes-Barre, Pennyslvania.

“Experience always helps, and I will always pre-run the course when ever possible,” said Korch, who works as a chemical applicator for a lawn care company in Nanticoke.

Korch completed the 5-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 6 seconds, which shattered the previous course record by more than a minute.

Tony Korch“The course is very technical, but conditions were ideal,” Korch said. “Dry trail with air temperature of around 60 degrees. I was about seventh going up the first climb, and moved into first about halfway through.  I take nothing for granted in a trail race and the competition was good.”

(Tony Korch in blue shirt is in second place during this hill climb early in the race; photo courtesywww.wilkesbarreracing.com)

The 5K course at Seven Tubs is the shortest of the five races in the XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series, but it is also regarded as one of the toughest. The course includes sections that pass near cascading waterfalls, and contains a mix of steep climbs, rolling and rocky single track trails, creek crossings and off-canter bedrock.

Korch’s success came as no surprise to the other runners in the Pocono Series. He has been a top 10 finisher at nearly every race he has entered, and won a different race in the series last year.

Chuck Thompson from Chalfont, Pa., placed second in 20:53, and Brian Hess from Mohnton, Pa., was third in 21:02. The top three finishers all beat the previous course record of 21:14.

Jaclyn Shokey from Jim Thorpe, Pa., placed 10th overall and was the first female finisher with a time of 23:51. She beat Carolyn Poporic from Philadelphia by two seconds in an exciting race to the finish.

“I could hear her breathing right behind me” said Shokey.  “I ran the last big quarter-mile downhill to the finish with everything I had.”

It was a familiar result for Shokey, as she has won six of the last seven races she has entered in the XTERRA Pocono Series.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE RESULTS

The XTERRA Seven Tubs Trail Run was the second of five races on the 2013 schedule for the XTERRA Pocono Series. The next race in the series will be the XTERRA Hickory Trail Run at White Haven, Pa., on June 1.

To register for a race in the series, or to learn more about it, please visitwww.wilkesbarreracing.com.

About the XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series
The XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. In the 2013 season, there are five 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 Pocono at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah. Pocono is one of 16 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Atlantic, Southern California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

Hodges and Pacheco Break Through in SoCal Series

The 40-somethings are two of 25 age-group champions for 2013

Diana Pacheco has been entering races in the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series since 2006, and she finally won an age-group championship this year. Adam Hodges moved to Southern California from Colorado less than a year ago, and he won an age-group championship in his first season with the XTERRA SoCal Series.

Both runners happen to be in the 40 to 44 age group, and are just two examples of what it takes to win a title in the ever-growing XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series.

The 2012-13 season for the SoCal Series came to a close last weekend with the XTERRA Malibu Creek Trail Run. There were nearly 4,000 entries spread over seven races during the 2012-13 season.

Adam HodgesNot surprisingly, both Hodges and Pacheco entered all seven races in the series.

“Consistency is key in a series like this that spans over seven months,” Hodges said. “Consistent attention to recovery between races allowed me to put in consistent training, which in turn led to fairly consistent race results.”

Indeed, Hodges finished either first or second in his age group in every race during the season. It helped that he came to Southern California from the high altitude of Boulder, Colorado, where he trained as an elite-level triathlete.

(Adam Hodges pictured, courtesy www.SuperSportsPhoto.com)

“The series has been a great way to explore many of the great trails in the area,” he said. “I was worried about leaving behind the trails of Colorado, but the trails of SoCal are beautiful and challenging in their own ways … like those amazing ocean views!”

Hodges made the move to La Crescenta, Calif., last June for family/business reasons, and now works as a multi-sport coach for individual triathletes and runners, as well as a coach for the La Canada High School track and cross country teams.

While Hodges is new to the SoCal Series, Pacheco is one of the most experienced runners in the entire series, in terms of competing in the XTERRA races. She entered her first XTERRA Trail Run in October of 2006. She has not missed a race in the series since 2010 – a streak of 22 consecutive races.

“I’ve been coming back every season for the phenomenally beautiful and challenging courses,” she said. “I also return because of the camaraderie among so many wonderful people I’ve met. Trail runners are truly selfless supportive athletes!”

Diana PachecoThis season proved to be the payoff for Pacheco, who works as a special education teacher for a middle school. For starters, she “aged up” to the 40-44 division for the first time, and it resulted in her first SoCal Series age-group championship. She had finished in second place in the 35-39 age group in each of the previous four years.

(Diana Pacheco pictured, courtesy Pacheco Family)

“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride was exactly how I felt after finishing second for the past four years, and always to a different amazing competitor!” she explained. “I find it surreal to finally move into age group first place! It’s very exciting, and I’m humbled by it. It’s great participating in such an exciting series, year after year, on some of the most beautiful  and challenging courses with such incredible and inspiring athletes!”

A total of 25 runners earned enough points to win an age-group championship. All 25 will receive a free entry to represent the SoCal Region at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at the Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah, on September 22.

Of special note, Amy Galbraith of Venice, Calif., won the female 70-74 age division. It is the sixth consecutive year that she has won an age-group title in the XTERRA SoCal Series.

Hodges and Pacheco said they are both trying to make travel arrangements to compete at the Nationals in Utah.

The 2013-14 XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series is scheduled to start in October, and online registration is already open. To register for a race or learn more about the series, please visitwww.trailrace.com.

Here is the complete list of 2013 XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series Champions:

 

Age Group Name Age Hometown State
Female 15-19 Elizabeth Ging 16 Newbury Park CA
Female 20-24 Emily Waters 22 Lake Forest CA
Female 25-29 Chelsea Alexander 25 Reseda CA
Female 30-34 Dara Ditsworth 33 La Jolla CA
Female 35-39 Maggie Shearer 36 Trabuco Canyon CA
Female 40-44 Diana Pacheco 40 Norwalk CA
Female 45-49 Katy McNamara 48 Woodland Hills CA
Female 50-54 Susan Duenas 50 Thousand Oaks CA
Female 55-59 Erin Fry* 58 Anaheim Hills CA
Female 60-64 Kathleen Rydgig* 61 Oxnard CA
Female 65-69 Cheri Uno 66 Los Angeles CA
Female 70-74 Amy Galbraith* 70 Venice CA
Male 15-19 Emmanuel Rubio 17 Calexico CA
Male 20-24 Ivan Zarate 23 Walnut CA
Male 25-29 William Caplenor 28 Reseda CA
Male 30-34 Bradford Smith 30 La Verne CA
Male 35-39 Joseph Beckerley 35 San Diego CA
Male 40-44 Adam Hodges 42 La Crescenta CA
Male 45-49 Jeffrey Dinkin 48 Pasadena CA
Male 50-54 Eric Rignot 52 La Crescenta CA
Male 55-59 Lou Bon 59 Santa Monica CA
Male 60-64 Harold Kennedy* 62 Apple Valley CA
Male 65-69 John Ganahl 69 Orange CA
Male 70-74 Hans Unger 71 Sylmar CA
Male 75-79 John Williams* 76 Culver City CA

*Repeat champion from 2012

Baldwin and Shearer Close SoCal Series on Win Streaks

More than 700 run at season finale at Malibu Creek

The XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series came to a close last weekend for the 2012-13 season, and at least two runners are wishing it could go on longer.

Patrick Baldwin and Maggie Shearer continued their impressive late-season runs in the SoCal Series by taking top overall honors at the XTERRA Malibu Creek Trail Run. The event was completed on May 18 at Malibu Creek State Park, and more than 700 runners participated.

Patrick BaldwinBaldwin took top overall honors, completing the 22-kilometer course in 1 hour, 39 minutes, 1 second. Baldwin won four of the seven races in the series, including the last three.

(Patrick Baldwin pictured, courtesywww.supersportsphotography.com)

“Most of all, I credit consistent training through the years, six days a week,” he said. “I’ve gotten to the point, as many of us do, that it is far harder to take a day off than to get a training session in!  I’ve also been running and racing for quite a few years now; experience is key.  I guess it also helps I live in a very hilly area, there are no easy runs!”

Baldwin works as a landscape architect in Encinitas, Calif. He said the Malibu Creek Trail Run was probably the toughest race of the seven in the series.

“The course contains the longest climb and descent, and it’s the longest race in the SoCal series so your legs definitely remember this one,” he said.  “I am still hobbling around two days after the race!”

A year ago at this same race, Baldwin got passed for the lead midway through the course and finished in second place. He relied on that experience this time and maintained his pace throughout to finish with a relatively comfortable victory. “I knew this year to keep the focus, not necessarily go harder, but stay on a consistent pace,” he said.

Nils Arend from Venice Beach placed second in 1:41:40, and Greg Abrams from Newbury Park was third in 1:44:52.

Maggie Shearer placed 14th overall and was the first female. Like Baldwin, she won four of the seven races in the SoCal Series, including the last three.

“That’s a tough course,” she said. “You really need to dig deep for the entire 14 miles.  I raced Malibu Creek last year, but I can’t say it was any easier the second time around. The climbs are unrelenting, but the view is breathtaking so it’s well worth the effort.”

Because of the numerous climbs and descents, and twists and turns, Shearer said she was never quite sure how far ahead she was of the other females. “I ran with the men from the start, but in this particular race there are so many climbs and descents that by mile 7 most racers are well spread out,” she said.

Shearer, who works as a pharmaceutical representative in Trabuco Canyon, Calif., finished with a time of 1:54:55. Anissa Faulkner was second in 1:58:07, and Joanne Dow was third in 2:00:45.

In addition to the 22K long course, there was also a 6K short course. Jonathan Toker and Amy Shertzer took top honors in the 6K.

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE RESULTS

The Malibu Creek Trail Run was the seventh, and final, event of the 2012-13 XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series. Next up for many of the SoCal Runners is the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, which is scheduled for September 22 at Ogden, Utah.

Baldwin and Shearer said they are both trying to arrange plans to enter the XTERRA Trail Run Nationals in Utah.

“My family and I have a busy summer/fall ahead, however, I am planning on racing in Utah for XTERRA Nationals,” Shearer said. “I’m looking forward to racing against some incredibly talented runners in Utah!”

The 2013-14 season for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series is scheduled to begin in October, and online registration is already open. To register for a race in the series, or to learn more about it, please visit www.trailrace.com.

About the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series
The XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. In the 2012-13 season, there are seven races available for runners, with the courses ranging in length from 5 kilometers to 22 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 Southern California at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah. SoCal is one of 16 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Atlantic, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

Alabama Series Champions are Crowned for 2012-13 Season

Age-group winners range in age from 13 to 73

The XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series truly was for runners of all ages during the 2012-13 season. A look at the list of age-group champions for the season is proof enough.

XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Run StartTwenty-one runners earned age-group championships for the XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series, and they ranged from 13-year-old Korey Shively from Madison, Alabama, to 73-year-old Bruce Greene from Anniston, Alabama.

Shively won the male 10-14 age division; Jase Bell, also from Madison, won the male 15-19 age division. They are both students at James Clemens High School, and members of the cross country and track teams.

The 2012-13 XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series featured six races, spread over eight months. The series concluded last weekend with nearly 600 runners participating in the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Runs at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama.

Nineteen of the 21 age-group champions for 2013 are from the state of Alabama. One is from Mississippi, and one is from Georgia.

Lynne Leonard from Lucedale, Mississippi, won the female 50-54 age division for the second consecutive season.

Rick Rantamaki from Dacula, Georgia, won the male 45-49 age division. Last year, he won an age-group championship in the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series. He competed in both the Alabama and Georgia Series this year.

Every age-group champion from the Alabama Series will receive a free entry to the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, which is scheduled for September 22 at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah.

The 2013-14 XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series is scheduled to begin in September. Runners of all ages and skill levels can enter the races. For more information, please visitwww.dirtyspokes.com or www.xterratrailrun.com.

Here is the list of 2012-13 XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series champions:

 

Age Group Name Age Hometown State
Female 20-24 Ali Edwards 22 Birmingham AL
Female 25-29 Elaina Pribyl 26 Gardendale AL
Female 30-34 Sasha Robertson 34 Anniston AL
Female 35-39 Kristie Northern 36 Trussville AL
Female 40-44 Sunny Workman 42 Pelham AL
Female 45-49 Cindy Jackson 48 Huntsville AL
Female 50-54 Lynne Leonard* 50 Lucedale MS
Female 60-64 Luvern Blackwood 62 Trafford AL
Male 10-14 Korey Shively 13 Madison AL
Male 15-19 Jase Bell 15 Madison AL
Male 20-24 Steven Romo 21 Dothan AL
Male 25-29 David Wall 26 Madison AL
Male 30-34 William Paulk 32 Birmingham AL
Male 35-39 Jay Crosby 39 Madison AL
Male 40-44 Matt Brown 41 Boaz AL
Male 45-49 Rick Rantamaki 46 Dacula GA
Male 50-54 Matt Holdbrooks 50 Trussville AL
Male 55-59 Mark Richey 57 Gadsden AL
Male 60-64 James Durant 64 Hoover AL
Male 65-69 Don Catchings 66 Oxford AL
Male 70-74 Bruce Greene 73 Anniston AL
*Repeat champion from 2012

Mader, Daily win XTERRA Oak Mtn Marathon

Complete Results / Photo Gallery

Brandon MaderOak Mountain State Park, Pelham, AL – Brandon Mader from Huntsville, Alabama and Ashley Daily of Tallahassee, Florida won the XTERRA Oak Mountain 43K trail run at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama in 3:01:34 and 3:53:28, respectively, whileJosiah Middaugh and Lesley Paterson took the half-marathon title’s less than 24 hours after winning yesterday’s XTERRA Southeast Championship triathlon race here at Oak Mountain.

In the men’s marathon race Mader took the lead half-mile in as soon as the course hit the trails and never looked back, posting 6:51 miles and finishing nearly 20 minutes ahead of runner-up Dink Taylor.

The win was a rejuvenating one for Mader, who separated the hamstring from his tendon in December and hadn’t started running again until late February. It was also his first-time back on a start line since running at the Boston Marathon a little over a month ago.

“The last couple of weeks of training I thought about Boston a lot, and I really made an effort to show that the tragedy shouldn’t change the way you live.  I was excited to get out here, get on the line and run, take a step away from the tragedy that happened out there,” said Mader, who ran nearly as fast on the trails today as he did in Boston where he clocked a 2:53.

The 28-year-old medical physicist is a veteran at Oak Mountain, where XTERRA has hosted a dozen runs over the past few years.

Ashley Daily“I love Oak Mountain. There’s a good balance to the trails with sections of rocks, roots, turns, and then other sections you can really relax and run fast, get in a rhythm and enjoy the trails.  Just a big mix of different terrains,” explained Mader.  “Today the trails were great, soft, good footing, and foggy on Double Oak trail section, kind of mystic.  It was humid though, so I am surprised I ran as fast as I did.  I’m happy.”

For Daily (pictured right) it’s her first-ever trail marathon, although the grad student at Florida State University has a few 50K trail races in her resume.

“It was fun. I loved it,” said Daily.  “I’m going to defend my dissertation in a month, and can tell you that dissertating is like running. It’s arduous, hard, and eventually it’s over.”

Middaugh, PatersonWhile Paterson ran away with the women’s 20K race, finishing nearly seven-minutes ahead of runner up Ali Edwards, the men’s race was close the whole way as former Olympian Roberto Mandje – the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas half-marathon champ, traded places with Josiah Middaugh from start-to-finish.

Mandje got the lead early but got tripped-up working through some of the 10K traffic and fell, then went down the wrong path briefly which cost him some precious seconds as the race was decided by just seven seconds.

“That’s racing.  Can’t take anything away from Josiah,” said the humble Mandje.  “Overall it was a beautiful course.  Well marked, not too rutty.  It was undulating but you could see where you were going.  The course definitely lived up to its notoriety.”

Middaugh used the same strengths that make him so lethal in triathlon, his climbing skills, to make just enough time on Mandje to take the win.“

“I tried to put a gap on the hills.  The hills were short, but there were enough little ups that I could sprint every little hill, kinda like mountain biking.  Basically did 30 sprints, was able to put maybe 10 seconds on him, but on the road he almost got me.”

Charlie Epperson from Guam and Lori Goldweber from Birmingham won the 10K, while Eric Johnson and Gwen Howard won the 5K.

More than 600 runners from across the nation took part in the XTERRA Oak Mountain trail runs on a beautiful, nice and cool morning at the park.

The 2013 XTERRA Southeast Championship was presented by Paul Mitchell and AVIA. Sponsors included Shelby County Tourism, Muscle Milk, XTERRA Wetsuits, PowerBar, Gatorade, XTERRA Fitness, Zorrel, Rudy Project, LifeProof, FootBalance, the Utah Sports Commission, Choice Hotels, Shelby County Reporter, and the Live More card.

Turkey Track Trail Run Now Part of XTERRA Colorado Series

Event will feature full-marathon and half-marathon courses

A new race is coming to the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series, and it will have runners gobbling for more.

Turkey TrackThe XTERRA Turkey Track Trail Run will make its debut on June 15 at the Turkey Springs Trail System in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The event will feature both a full-marathon course and a half-marathon course, and it is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from all states.

The trails at Turkey Springs offer spectacular views, as well as Colorado’s famous altitude. The course starts at 7,200 feet above sea level, and takes runners on rolling elevations up to 8,500 feet.

The event – and the trail system – is named such because of the abundance of wild turkeys in the area. Some can even be seen along the course.

The community of Pagosa Springs has already embraced the event, and several organizations will be providing volunteer services at the race – including an ATV club, a women’s roller derby team, and high school cross country teams.

The event will serve as a benefit for GECKO (Give Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors), so every runner who enters will be contributing to the development of youth activities in the area. Some of the children in the GECKO organization helped create the prize medals for the event.

The XTERRA Turkey Track Trail Run will be the third of five races in the 2013 XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series. The top age-group finishers in both the full-marathon and half-marathon courses will receive points toward the overall standings of the series.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for the race or please visit www.joingecko.org  to learn more about it.

Introducing the XTERRA Utah Trail Run Series

First two races coming up on June 1 and June 8

Runners in the Beehive State can start the buzz – the inaugural XTERRA Utah Trail Run Series is about to begin.

Utah Series RunnersUtah has been home to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship since 2011, but 2013 marks the first year that a complete series will be staged in Utah.

Three races are on the 2013 schedule, with the season-opener set for June 1. The XTERRA Jordanelle Trail Run will be the opening race, and it will take place at the picturesque Jordanelle State Park near Park City, Utah.

There will not be much time to rest and recover after the opener, as the second race in the series will take place on June 8 – the XTERRA Moab Trail Run at Moab, Utah.

The season finale will be the XTERRA Wolf Mountain Trail Run at Ogden, Utah, on July 13.

“The popularity of trail racing in Utah is increasing,” Utah Series director Mac McCluskey said. “I see the number increasing on the trails during my own training runs and participation in local events has been increasing.”

Utah is renowned for its breathtaking trails, and the races in the series are no exception. The first race will take runners to the picturesque Jordanelle State Park, which offers rolling terrain and scenic views – all at elevations above 6,000 feet.

The second race features a short, but memorable, course at Moab, Utah. The 5K trail is mostly single track, and takes runners to Faux Falls and along Ken’s Lake.

The third race will take place at Wolf Mountain ski resort in Ogden, so the climbs – and views – are sure to be epic.

Each race in the series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from Utah and other states.

The XTERRA Utah Trail Run Series should serve as a perfect warm-up for the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, which is held every September at the Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah.

“If anyone were training for Nationals, this would be the place to do it,” McCluskey said. “With the elevation change and hilly terrain that these events offer, it is a positive comparison to the course at Nationals. They could not be any more similar without actually being Snowbasin, and should provide excellent training opportunities for anyone considering that race in September.”

Points will be awarded to the top runners in each age group at every race in the Utah Series, and standings will be updated throughout the season. At the conclusion of the series, each age-group champion will receive a free entry to represent Utah at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.

To register for a race in the Utah Series, or to learn more about it, please visitwww.xterratrailrun.com or www.utahxterra.com.