Costello Transforms for Trail Run World Championship

Pennsylvania runner has dropped 47 pounds while training for event

Remember Richard Costello, the “Shave It or Save It” bearded guy from the 2010 XTERRA World Championship triathlon?

You may not recognize him now, and it’s not just because he shaved off his massive beard on Maui two years ago. Costello has lost nearly 50 pounds in the past year while training for the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship.

Rich Costello and Richard BurgunderCostello, who resides in Warminster, Pennsylvania, said he weighed 247 pounds when he competed in the 2011 XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon on Maui. The excess weight took its toll, as he finished near the back of the pack for the race.

(Richard Costello, middle, and Richard Burgunder at right; courtesy Richard Burgunder / www.powerbar.com)

“Athletically, I was feeling overweight and sluggish,” said Costello, 45. “My nutrition was in the toilet. My performance in all three (swim, bike, run) suffered that day, but it was clearly an ongoing frustration with my inability to put together a decent run in these races that had bothered me the most.”

For 2012, Costello decided to focus his efforts entirely on trail running, leaving triathlons aside for the time being. He entered races in the XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series, and also did the XTERRA Richmond Trail Run 10K. He now weighs 200 pounds, and will compete in the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship for the first time. This year’s race is scheduled for December 2 at Kualoa Ranch on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

To prepare for the race, he sought coaching help from Richard Burgunder, a fellow Pennsylvanian and a longtime successful XTERRA Trail Run competitor. “His inspiration and input was and has been huge for me throughout in building my confidence,” Costello said of Burgunder.

Burgunder said he knew of Costello through XTERRA triathlon races and the LONGTRAILHEAD blog, and was surprised when Costello first called for assistance.

“I was surprised and extremely honored due to how prolific of a figure Richard is in the XTERRA and adventure sports community,” Burgunder said. “I knew who Richard was, but I had never met him personally prior to the Pocono Trail Run Series. We first met at the Mount Pocono Trail Run in early May, which was the first race of the 2012 XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series. I was absolutely enamored by Richard and ecstatic about finally meeting the mighty beard guy!”

Costello famously shaved his beard on stage at the awards ceremony for the 2010 XTERRA World Championship as part of a fundraiser for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Burgunder said he prescribed a weekly workout schedule for Costello that mostly featured hill climbs and other training techniques on technical terrain. As an example, Costello said he would run for 15 to 20 minutes, then stop and do a set of bodyweight squats, then start running again, and repeat the process over and over.

Rich Costello Utah“I found these to not only be a great exercise in stressing all the muscles in my lower limbs, but also a great way to mimic the expected muscle fatigue I will encounter and have to overcome during the race,” Costello said.

(Richard Costello pictured, before shaving his beard and losing the weight, courtesy XTERRA Photos)

His background in triathlons also allowed him to cross-train with swim and bike sessions. Overall, he said he has been training four to five days a week for the entire year.

Still, he has no delusions of grandeur when it comes to the race. For starters, the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship will be the first 21-kilometer race of his career. All his previous running races were 11K or shorter.

“My personal goals set for the impending 21K world championship race are to simply complete the entire distance, and to feel as though I have put my best effort into accomplishing it performance wise,” Costello said. “Looking at pictures taken from previous years’ events tells me that this race will also be incredibly fun to take part in. Truthfully, I’m pretty stoked! The Kaaawa Valley venue looks absolutely amazing, beautifully challenging, and XTERRA tough for sure. I can’t wait to see and experience it all first-hand!”

There will also be the long travel from Pennsylvania to Hawaii, not to mention the drastic weather change. Temperartures were in the 50s in Pennsylvania this week, and in the 80s in Hawaii.

“Clearly I know it is going to be challenging for me, there is no disputing that,” Costello said. “The nature of the course, and the expected demands overall of which I will face, are all part of what lures me to such athletic opportunities offered. As for the heat, I say bring it on! Right now, I’d rather be sweating in Hawaii than shivering in Pennsylvania.”

Burgunder, who will also run at Kualoa Ranch on December 2, said: “I think that it’s absolutely phenomenal what Richard has done with his transformation. He’s an incredibly inspirational individual and athlete. Richard is the ideal role model and active lifestyle ambassador that everyone should look up to for motivation to better their lives. Through immense determination, persistence, and immaculate focus, Richard has shown the world how to overcome extreme adversity.”

The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from anywhere in the world. Online registration is available at www.xterratrailrun.com.

XTERRA TRAIL RUN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
When: Sunday, December 2, 9 a.m. start
Where: Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii
Who: Open to runners of all ages and skill levels
Courses: 21K (championship course), 10K, 5K or “Adventure Walk”
Entry fees: $60 for 21K, $45 for 10K, $35 for 5K, $30 for Adventure Walk
Registration information: www.xterratrailrun.com

Schefer from Maui, Schleifer from Germany win XTERRA 10K

More than 900 from around the world run at XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs

PHOTO GALLERY | 10KM RESULTS | 5KM RESULTS

Kapalua, Maui, HI – Willie Schefer made a great first impression at the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs, while Christine Schleifer made a successful return.

Schefer, who moved to Maui from New York just this month, placed first overall in the Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K. The picturesque course started at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua hotel and took the runners up into the West Maui mountains before heading down to D.T. Fleming Beach, and then back to the Ritz-Carlton.

Willie ScheferMore than 900 runners from around the world participated in the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs, which consisted of the Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K, the Hula Grill XTERRA 5K, and the Kimo’s Keiki K.

(Willie Schefer pictured, courtesy XTERRA Photos)

“Seeing the views and looking at the water, that was awesome,” Schefer said. “Definitely takes away from the pain of the race.”

Hot and humid weather – not to mention more than 1,000 feet of uphills – made for challenging conditions. “It was hot out there, not too much wind,” Schefer said.

Schefer is a former track and cross country runner at the University of Miami. He moved to Kihei, Maui, earlier this month. The Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K was the first trail run of his racing career, and he finished the course in 37 minutes, 4 seconds.

“I didn’t have that many expectations because it was my first time doing it,” he said. “I just wanted to have a fun time and give it my best. I went out really quick, and I tried staying with the lead guy Nick (Walker). I felt really good on the half-way point so I took off and it worked out for me.”

Walker, who is from Victoria, B.C., Canada, was the three-time defending champion of the 10K. He placed second this year with a time of 37:59. Derick Williamson from Austin, Texas, was third in 39:07.

Christine SchleiferSchleifer placed sixth overall and was the first female with a time of 41:46. The last time she entered the 10K race was two years ago, when the event was held in Makena, Maui. She also won that race in 2010.

“The old course was a long uphill section and then a long downhill,” she said. “I think that suits me a bit better than this course here. Here, it’s a lot of curves and up and down and up and down. You can’t relax. I think this one is tougher.”

(Christine Schleifer pictured, courtesy XTERRA Photos)

But Schleifer was up for the challenge, taking the lead midway through the course and running away with the win. Flo Dannah from England was second in 43:54, and Azucena Lara from Spain was third in 47:01.

Just like in 2010, Schleifer is in Maui to support her boyfriend, Sebastian Kienle. He is considered a top contender for the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon, which is scheduled for Sunday, October 28, at Kapalua, Maui. Schleifer and Kienle are from Germany, so the first-place prize of 120,000 travel miles from Hawaiian Airlines will come in handy. “We’ll definitely come back because we like Maui … it’s a nice place to make a vacation.”

CLICK HERE for complete results. Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/xterrarun to view video interviews with the winners and a photo gallery from the race.

The XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs are a benefit for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui organization.

The event is also held every year in conjunction with the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon. This year’s triathlon will also start and finish at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. For more information please visit www.xterramaui.com.

 

Duke’s Beach House 10K
Men Hometown Time
1, Willie Schefer Kihei, Maui :37:04
2, Nick Walker Victoria, B.C., Canada :37:59
3, Derick Williamson Austin, Texas :39:07
4, Pablo Ureta Huerta Grande, Argentina :40:13
5, Matt Holton Kula, Maui :40:42
Women
1, Christine Schleifer Muehlacker, Germany :41:46
2, Flo Dannah Bristol, England :43:54
3, Azucena Lara Tarragona, Spain :47:01
4, Ruth Brito Kailua-Kona, Hawaii :48:12
5, Natacha Lacorde Laplanck, France :50:54

Maui runners dominate Hula Grill 5K

Ben Auerbach from nearby Kaanapali and teen running sensation Dakota Grossman took the spotlight earlier in the day during the Hula Grill XTERRA 5K.

Benjamin Auerbach and Dakota GrossmanAuerbach was the overall winner, completing the course in 19:40. He recently moved to Maui to start a career as a personal trainer/fitness instructor at One Fitness.

(Ben Auerbach and Dakota Grossman, courtesy XTERRA Photos)

Auerbach took the lead from the start and slowly pulled away from the rest of the field. Jake Jacobs, a sophomore at King Kekaulike High School, placed second with a time of 20:42.

In the female division, Dakota Grossman capped an amazing 24 hour stretch that brought her two significant victories on two different islands. She finished fourth overall at the Hula Grill 5K and was the top female with a time of 21:43.

The previous day, Grossman was on the Big Island, capturing her third consecutive Hawaii High School Athletic Association state cross country championship. She is a junior at Seabury Hall on Maui.

It was also Grossman’s third Hula Grill 5K win. She also won it in 2007 (when she was 11) and 2008. CLICK HERE to see complete results.

 

Hula Grill 5K
Men Hometown Time
1, Benjamin Auerbach Lahaina, Maui :19:40
2, Jake Jacobs Maui :20:42
3, Kai Iinuma-Nakaaki Makawao, Maui :21:27
4, Kekoa Hunt Haiku, Maui :22:06
5, Alexander Fahland Makawao, Maui :22:11
Women
1, Dakota Grossman Haiku, Maui :21:43
2, Ava Shipman Makawao, Maui :24:40
3, La Kelly Sedona, Arizona :24:41
4, Elizabeth Campos Kahului, Maui :25:06
5, Megan Forbes Boulder, Colorado :25:15

A Race Within the Race at XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs

Four T S Restaurants on Maui are the title sponsors for the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs, and employees from those restaurants plan to make the most of the event.

Shaughn HelliarThe XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs will feature three separate courses – the Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K, the Hula Grill 5K, and the Kimo’s Keiki K – and the event is scheduled for Saturday, October 27, with the start and finish at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua.

The “T S Restaurants Challenge” is a race within the race. Four T S Restaurants on Maui (Duke’s Beach House, Hula Grill, Kimo’s and Leilani’s On The Beach) will enter employees in the 10K race. The restaurant with the fastest cumulative times from its top five runners will win a trophy that it can display in its restaurant for the year.

Duke’s Beach House won the trophy last year, led by general manager Shaughn Helliar. He said the competition was started “as part of a company-wide wellness program to get more employees out exercising and to increase overall health and fitness of T S Restaurants employees.”

He said the perpetual trophy is prominently displayed near the front of Duke’s Beach House, and several guests have inquired about it. The trophy also serves as a subliminal reminder for the employees to train for the race.

“The anticipation has increased as the race is soon upon us, and a bunch of employees have been training for the race as it has been the buzz around the restaurant for a few weeks now,” Helliar said. “Within our restaurant it is a great bonding experience.”

Helliar is an avid road marathon runner, but said his experience at last year’s XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs has taught him to appreciate off-road running.

“The course itself is fun and challenging, and during the race, the crowd is awesome,” he said. “I am now hooked.”

Helliar said there is much pride on the line between the restaurants, and he is confident that Duke’s Beach House will be able to defend its title. “We will smash them,” he said with a laugh.

In addition to serving as the title sponsors of the event and encouraging its employees to participate, T S Restaurants is also supporting the local community. T S Restaurants paid the entry fees for 15 school teachers from King Kamehameha III Elementary School in Lahaina to participate in the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs.

It should be noted that the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, and in-person registration is available on October 24 (9 a.m.-2 p.m.), October 25 (9 a.m.-2 p.m.) and October 26 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua hotel.

For more information on the event, please visit www.xterramaui.com.

Wall, Edwards Prevail at Red Mountain

XTERRA Alabama Series will go to Oak Mountain next

David Wall and Ali Edwards raced to impressive wins at the inaugural XTERRA Red Mountain Trail Run last weekend.

Red Mountain Trail RunThe event, which was part of the 2012-13 XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series, was completed on Saturday, October 20, at Red Mountain Park Trails in Birmingham, Alabama.

Wall was the overall winner, completing the 9-mile long course in 1 hour, 11 seconds. “I have never been to Red Mountain before,” said Wall, who is 25 and resides in Madison, Alabama. “I was very impressed with how nice the trails are and I plan on going back to explore some of the other trails.”

Wall took the lead in the first mile and stayed in front the rest of the course. There have been two races in the XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series so far in the 2012-13 season, and Wall has won both.

Jame Gardner of Birmingham placed second in 1:06:24, followed by Rhett Russenberger from Madison in 1:10:33.

Edwards actually placed third overall and was the first female with a time of 1:07:37. Unlike the overall winner Wall, Edwards said she had run on the trails at Red Mountain prior to the race.

“I’m familiar with the trails because I regularly attend the Alabama Outdoors group runs there,” she said. “In my opinion, the race didn’t really begin until mile 6, which was when we hit the technical single track section. That was a challenge!”

Edwards, 21, is currently a senior at Samford University. She has won several trail races in recent years, but this was her first XTERRA Trail Run victory.

Edwards said she knew she was close to the top male runners, but had no idea how far ahead of the other females she was. “I knew there weren’t many people in front of me because no one passed me after the first mile,” she said. “But I didn’t see any other runners on the course during the second loop, so I had no idea how close the other men and women were.”

Kristina Vaughn of Birmingham was the second female in 1:12:30, and Moira Pribyl was third in 1:21:05.

CLICK HERE to view complete results.

The XTERRA Red Mountain Trail Run was the second of six events on the 2012-13 schedule for the XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series. The next event in the series will be the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Run on November 11 at Pelham, Alabama. To register for a race or learn more about the series, please visit www.dirtyspokes.com.

About the XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series
The XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. In the 2012-13 season, there will be six 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 Alabama at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. Alabama is one of 13 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Arizona, Northern California, Southern California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pacific Northwest, Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Texas.

SoCal Trail Run Series is Underway for 2012-13 Season

Veterans Clark and Faulkner win opener at Point Mugu

Jon Clark and Anissa Faulkner are not just fast for their age. They are fast, period.

They proved it last weekend by winning the XTERRA Point Mugu Trail Run at Point Mugu State Park in Oxnard/Malibu, California. The race, which was the opening event of the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series, was completed on Sunday, October 14.

Clark, 39, was the overall winner, completing the 18-kilometer long course in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 41 seconds. He has been an elite runner in the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series for several years, although this was his first victory since the 2010-11 season.

“When I was driving up the coast line to get to the race itself, I remember thinking how lucky I was just to be a part of this event because it was such a great day,” said Clark, who is from Rancho Santa Margarita. “I knew there was going to be great competition, so I had no thoughts of winning going into this race.”

But Clark took the lead in the first mile and stayed in front the rest of the course. James “JJ” Timphony, who won this race last year, placed second with a time of 1:12:14.

“I was running scared the whole time,” Clark said. “It was kind of stressful, to be honest, to have him behind me the whole time because I know how fast he is.”

Clark works as a fitness trainer, and his conditioning helped him late in the race, when the runners faced a strong headwind. “It was a pretty demanding race,” he said. “It was a little warm, but that continuous headwind out there was what made it really tough.”

Owen Kiely was third in 1:13:49, and Dominic Grossman was fourth in 1:14:01.

Faulkner, 40, was the first overall female with a time of 1:24:16. Like Clark, she has been an elite runner in the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series for several years.

“I’m happy anytime I can win a race,” said Faulkner, who resides in Ojai, Calif. “What’s funny is I actually had a faster time last year, when I got second”

Faulkner said she took the lead midway through the course and ultimately finished around two minutes ahead of the other female runners. Maggie Shearer was second in 1:26:08, and Kate Freeman was third in 1:30:47.

CLICK HERE to see the complete results. There was also a separate 11-kilometer course.  Jeffrey Dinkin was the overall winner of the 11K, and Nita Davanzo was the top female.

Close to 500 runners ranging in age from 13 to 76 participated in the event, which was the first of seven races in the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series.

The next races in the SoCal Series will be XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot on November 22. To enter 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 will be 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 13 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Northern California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pacific Northwest, Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Texas.

XTERRRA Hall of Famer Returns for a Cause

A year ago at this time, Scott Schumaker was a retired triathlete who was about to be inducted into the XTERRA Hall of Fame.

Scott SchumakerFast forward to today, and Schumaker is about to make a return to competition at the XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui. This time, he’s bringing friends with him, and they’ll be competing collectively for a greater cause.

Schumaker, an XTERRA professional in the late 1990s and early 2000s, is now the chief operating officer of Bright Antenna Records. He will compete as an amateur racer in the men’s 40-44 age group at the XTERRA World Championship, which is scheduled for October 28. Five other employees of Bright Antenna will compete in the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs, which will take place on October 27, also at Kapalua, Maui.

Each of the six employees is racing to raise money for The Road Recovery Foundation.

“We’ve been involved with Road Recovery for a long time on a personal level, longer than we’ve had the record label,” Schumaker said. “We’ve watched the organization grow. We’ve seen the amazing positive, sometime life-saving effects their music-based programs have on teens and young adults working to overcome addiction and other life challenges. As passionate music lovers, and from having witnessed firsthand how well their programs work, it’s been a no-brainer from day one.”

Schumaker’s return to the XTERRA Worlds on Maui actually started last year. His wife, Tiffanie, kept the Hall of Fame induction a secret, somehow getting him to believe that a trip to Maui would be a great vacation. After his surprise at the Hall of Fame dinner, he raced on the championship course at Kapalua the next day, despite not being in top shape. “That, uh, sucked,” he said with a grin.

He vowed to train for a year so that he could compete again at Maui in 2012. “Resolving to do the race this year led to using it as a fundraiser,” he said.

Schumaker participated in the very first XTERRA championship event in 1996 – then known as AquaTerra – and helped promote the sport as a feature writer for various magazines. He “retired” from competition in 2003 to focus on his career in the music industry.

To view the Bright Antenna team’s fundraising page and make a donation, please visit:
http://www.crowdrise.com/TeamBA4TeamRoadRecovery

Kapalua Trail Runs will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui

Ups and downs, twists and turns, challenging … but lots of fun. Those words have often been used to describe XTERRA Trail Runs, and it is also an apt description for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui CountyThe 2012 XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs is a benefit race for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui. The event features a 10-kilometer course, a 5-kilometer course, and a free children’s race. It is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, and every entry helps the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui organization.

Several members of the program will race in the event on Saturday, October 27, including three siblings from Kihei, Maui: Tehilla, Penina and Yaakov Ben Gershom. Tehilla, 16, has been involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program for more than a decade; 11-year-old twins Penina and Yaakov signed up this year.

“I think it’s an awesome program,” Tehilla said. “I started when I was 5, so I don’t remember much from back then, but it’s a big part of my life now.”

Rebecca Zeuch has been Tehilla’s “big” with the program for the past 10 years. When Zeuch first volunteered for the program in 2002, she was single. She is now married with two children of her own, and Tehilla has grown into “the greatest aunty ever” for the kids.

“We’ve basically grown up with each other,” Zeuch said. “We started with the Big Brothers Big Sisters and we’re still a part of that, but it’s gone beyond that. We really are family to each other now. I think it shows how tremendous this program can be and what a difference it can make – not just for the ‘littles’ but the ‘bigs’ like myself.”

On October 27, Zeuch and Tehilla will participate in the Hula Grill 5K course of the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs. It will be their first race together.

“We’ve been running together a little bit to get ready,” Zeuch said. “But we’re doing it for fun and to support Big Brothers Big Sisters.”

Tehilla’s twin siblings will also run in the 5K race for the first time. “They have a lot of energy, so I’m sure they’re both going to try and beat me,” Tehilla said with a laugh.

Laura Wake, who is the “big” for Penina, joined the program this year and has enjoyed every minute. “It’s volunteering, but you don’t feel like you’re volunteering because you really get to know the person you are matched with,” Wake said. “It’s been awesome.”

Wake said the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs will be her first race. If anything, she said she is hoping it helps draw more attention to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui.

“You can make such an impact in the lives of these kids,” Wake said. “It really is a great opportunity to do something good, not just for the kids, but for yourself as well.”

For more information on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui program, please visitwww.bigsofmaui.org.

To learn more about the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs or to register online, please visitwww.xterramaui.com.

Haley, Gormley win Fall Fitness 5K in Georgia

A new winner and a familiar one took top honors at the XTERRA Fall Fitness Trail Run last weekend at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center in Buford, Georgia.

Matt Haley was the overall winner, completing the 5-kilometer course in 18 minutes, 48 seconds. It was the first XTERRA Trail Run victory of his career.

Matt HaleyClose to 200 runners ranging in age from 10 to 71 participated in the race, which was completed on October 13.

“Going into the race my goal was to finish in the top three, so it was really cool to win,” said Haley, 28. “I have been fortunate enough to win a few races during my career … any time I am fortunate enough to win, it’s special. I always try to enjoy it and have fun with each race I run, no matter the result.”

Haley resides in Buford and often trains at the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center. “The course was a tough one,” he said. “It featured a lot of short steep climbs and drops that really took a lot out of your legs and made it difficult to get into a good rhythm. Fortunately for me, I live right were the race was held, so I’ve run on the trails a bunch.”

Haley also credited his recent training with the Saucony Hurricanes team for getting him in shape, as he is preparing to run his first marathon later this year.

Haley said he took the lead midway through the course and then held off a late charge by Calvin Cofield to take the victory. Cofield, who is from McDonald, Tennessee, placed second in 19:04. David Bell from Atlanta was third in 20:01.

“I thought I had it won when I pulled away just before two miles, but it ended up coming down to the wire, which was definitely fun,” Haley said.

In the women’s division, Tara Gormley of Marietta, Georgia, added yet another victory to her record collection of XTERRA Georgia Series wins. She completed the course in 22:28 for her 17th victory in the past five years of the Georgia Series.

“The course is a challenging one!” she said. “A few technical sections, but mostly hills. There are many challenging climbs along the way. I know to not expect a usual 5K time. My time was around three minutes slower on this trail than it was on a road 5K the week before.”

Gormley, 28, said she ran with some of the top men for most of the course, and was never aware of how far in front of the other women she was until she crossed the finish line.

Shannon Millikin, a senior at Stockbridge High School, in Stockbridge, Georgia, placed second in 24:04. Crissy Ivey from Pendergrass, Georgia, was third in 24:32.

CLICK HERE to view complete results.

Gormley said she competed in another trail race the next day after her win and broke a finger during a fall. However, she said it should not prevent her from entering more races in the XTERRA Georgia Series.

The XTERRA Fall Fitness Trail Run was the second of seven races in the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series. The next event will be the XTERRA Battle at Big Creek Trail Run on November 3 at Roswell, Georgia.

To register for a race in the Georgia Series or to learn more about it, please visitwww.dirtyspokes.com.

XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series is Underway for 2012-13 Season

Thomson, Meredith win marathon; Ackison, Baugh win half-marathon

The new season for the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series started last weekend with a familiar face taking top honors.

J. Marshall Thomson won the marathon course of the XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races on Saturday, October 6, at Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs, Colo. He completed the 26.2-mile course in 3 hours, 5 minutes, 12 seconds.

He actually took more time (nearly four hours) to drive from his home in Crested Butte, Colo., to get to the race site. What’s more, Thomson worked a late shift the night before the race and got about four hours of sleep before starting his long drive.

“It’s worth it,” said Thomson, 33. “It’s what I love to do.”

J. Marshall ThomsonThomson has now won three XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series races in 2012. He also placed second overall at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship last month in Utah.

(J. Marshall Thomson pictured, courtesywww.pikespeaksports.us)

He dominated this latest race, finishing  more than 18 minutes ahead of the next runner. “The course was awesome. If I lived around here, I’d probably run it every day.”

Lars Kjerengtroen placed second in 3:23:58, and Seth Jenny was third in 3:36:38.

Shannon Meredith from Colorado Springs placed sixth overall and was the first overall female. She said her goal was to complete the course in less than four hours and she accomplished that, finishing in 3:56:53.

Meredith said she normally competes in ultra marathons, so this was actually a form of training for longer races in the future.

The XTERRA Marathon of Trail Runs also featured a half-marathon (21 kilometers) course at the same site. Chad Ackison and Kim Baugh – both from Colorado Springs – took top honors.

Ackison was first overall in the 21K course with a time of 1:28:38. Dan Vega was second in 1:35:04, and Eric Hislop was third in 1:37:21.

Baugh was the top female for the 21K with a time of 1:47:54. She normally competes in XTERRA triathlons, so she was unsure of how she would fare on the longer run course. “I kind of led the whole race, and just had to keep a steady pace,” she said.

More than 250 runners ranging in age from 17 to 64 participated  in the event. CLICK HERE to view complete results.

Please visit www.pikespeaksports.us to see more race coverage, including photos and video highlights and interviews.

The XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races was the first of five races in the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series. The next four races will be staged in 2013, with the second race in the series scheduled for April.

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

About the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series
The XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. In the 2012-13 season, there will be four 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 Colorado at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah. Colorado is one of 13 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Northern California Southern California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pacific Northwest, Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Texas.