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  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 or

Florida Series Champions for 2013

XTERRA Florida Trail Run SeriesThe XTERRA Florida Trail Run Series concluded its 2012-13 season on April 28. The series featured three races, with an average of more than 300 runners per event.

Three runners went undefeated in their respective age divisions for the season: Jessica Wagner (female 40-44), Eric Koenig (male 20-24) and Adam Smehyl (male 30-34).

Wagner and Koenig also went undefeated overall, as they were the top overall female and male, respectively, at each race in the series.

Every age group champion from the Florida Series will receive a free entry to the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah, in September.

Here is the list of 2013 XTERRA Florida Series champions:

Female 25-29 Sandra Batassa 29 Tampa FL
Female 30-34 Laura Kelly 32 Tampa FL
Female 35-39 Erin Volz 36 Orlando FL
Female 40-44 Jessica Wagner 41 Windermere FL
Female 45-49 Adriana Nieves 47 Seminole FL
Female 50-54 Peggy Brinkley* 52 Seminole FL

Male 20-24 Eric Koenig 24 Lutz FL
Male 25-29 Eric Law 25 Clearwater FL
Male 30-34 Adam Smehyl 34 Sebring FL
Male 35-39 Ray Smith* 36 St. Petersburg FL
Male 40-44 Greg Fann 43 Clearwater FL
Male 45-49 Zvanko Smlatic 49 Sarasota FL
Male 50-54 Mark Maxwell 50 Tampa FL
Male 55-59 Rance Blair 57 Tampa FL
Male 60-64 Thomas Hutson 61 Houston TX
Male 65-69 John Mitchell 65 Altamonte Springs FL

*Repeat champion from 2012

Pocono Series is Underway for 2013

The ever-growing XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series started its 2013 season last weekend with the XTERRA Big Pocono Trail Run at Tannersville, Pennsylvania.

Big Pocono It was the first of five races in the series, and the next four will come up quickly. All of the races in the Pocono Series are scheduled in the months of May and June. The next race in the series will be the XTERRA Seven Tubs Trail Run at Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on May 18.

To register for a race in the series, or learn more about it, please visit

Here is a recap of the Big Pocono Trail Run from race director Rich Pais:

The Wendy’s Pocono XTERRA  race series started with a record field of 57 runners from five states tackling 3.7 miles of rocky trails and steep inclines along the top of Camelback Mountain.  With a long winter and cold spring in the east, many runners still had some tender feet and ankles when they tackled the glaciated rocks atop the mountain.  James Ryan, the 2012 Big Pocono  and Pocono Series winner, pulled out of the race after two miles.  “My ankles took a pounding sprinting up and down those rocks” said Ryan. “I am saving myself for the Seven Tubs and the other races in the series.”

Because the course is “only” 3.7 miles, the speed and energy the runners carry is much greater than longer distance trail runs.  When you combine steep climbs, boulder fields, and open trails, the strategic challenges are significant.  However, the conditions were no problem for 44-year old trail run expert George Fair, who blistered the course in 24:12 beating Ryan’s 2012 time by almost 2:00 minutes.  “That’s a great course for me, I love the steeps and climbing,” Fair said.  Jackie Shokey was the first female across the tape in 31:01.  Jackie won last year’s race in 31:04 and also won the Pocono Series.

There were five rookie trail runners in the race including 43-year-old Jennifer Mayo.  “I had no idea what to expect.  And to tell the truth I was a little intimidated.  But this is sooo much fun I am definitely signing up for all the races in the series,” said Mayo.

“In fact,” said Rich Pais, Race Director for the Pocono Series,  “we have had seven people who raced today sign up for all five races in the series.”  The Pocono Series offers runners a chance to sign up for all five races for the discount price of $100.

The next race in the series is the Seven Tubs.  “The shortest and most challenging in the series” says Pais.  “Six stream crossings, two of the steepest climbs anywhere in the east and a thundering downhill along a roaring stream. This is the favorite course in the series for most local runners”

Familiar Faces Win Florida Finale

The 2013 XTERRA Florida Trail Run Series came to a close with a familiar finish last month. Eric Koenig and Jessica Wagner capped their perfect seasons by taking top honors at the XTERRA Claw Trail Run on April 28 at Lithia, Florida.

Claw TapeThe XTERRA Florida Trail Run Series featured three races during the season, and Koenig and Wagner were the first overall runners at each race.

“I think the key to my success in the Florida trail series has been running relatively high mileage weeks, doing long and frequent runs on local and regional trails throughout the year, training on or near the trails where the races took place, having a lot of race experience, and confidence,” Koenig said.

Wagner said of her success: “I think taking each run seriously by preparing my mind and body a few days before, running as hard as I could each day and I am very competitive!”

The Claw Trail Run featured more than 370 runners at Alafia State Park in Lithia, Florida. Koenig was the first overall finisher, completing the 10-mile course in 1 hour, 12 minutes, 3 seconds.

“We had great weather for the race – it was mid-60s to low-70s, crisp and sunny,” Koenig said. “The course, on the other hand, was tough! About four to five miles of the course wound off-trail. It was definitely the most challenging 10 mile race I’ve done.”

Koenig said the course offered several steep climbs and descents, and he fell on his chest during one of the steep downhills. Adding to the challenge, he said there were several sections of the course that traversed into overgrown brush, swamp forest, and fields of tall grass.

He took the lead after the first two miles of the course, and stayed in front the rest of the way. Todd Lytle took second with a time of 1:17:14, and Zvonko Smlatic was third in 1:18:32.

Wagner was the first overall female with a time of 1:25:55. No other women were even close, as Wagner  finished more than 12 minutes ahead of the other top females.

“The course was amazing, fun and not very forgiving to say the least.. what a challenge!” she said. “There was not a dull moment in the course, and it was a beautiful morning for a run in the woods.”

Just like Koenig, Wagner said she fell during the race and suffered cuts and bruises on her legs. She also finished the race with blisters on her feet.

“The stream crossing at the beginning felt great at the time, cooling me down,” she said. “However, having wet shoes, I developed blisters on my arches and was in severe pain from about mile 3 until the end.  I contemplated quitting several times, but I just had to finish and endure the pain since I had finished so well in the last two XTERRA races.”


Richmond Trail Run is Open to Runners of All Ages

June 8 race will feature adventurous 21K and 10K courses

The XTERRA Richmond Trail Run has long been considered one of the most popular races on the entire XTERRA Trail Run circuit, and with good reason.

Ryan MiddletonA fun and challenging course, a festive summer crowd, and the city of Richmond itself all add up to make for a unique experience for all runners in the event.

This year’s XTERRA Richmond Trail Run is scheduled for June 8, and as always, it is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from all states. The event will feature two courses – a 21-kilometer long course and a 10K course. Both courses start at Brown’s Island and weave through various landmarks, both man-made and natural, in and around the historic city of Richmond, Virginia.


“XTERRA is a great brand, and Richmond is fortunate to host such an event,” said Ryan Middleton, who won last year’s 21-kilometer long course. “Brown’s Island and Belle Isle are definitely popular places to be in Richmond during the summer. The location and timing of the event are perfect.”

Middleton said the 21K course is unique because it starts out on paved road, and then takes runners on a non-stop adventure that includes river crossings, boulder climbing, bridge crossings, and forest trails.

“The most memorable part of the course for me are the ‘Mayan Ruins’ stairway,” he said. “This is a brutal climb that is so steep that you are almost crawling to the top. The heart rate shoots through the roof at this point. It is definitely tough to recover from this portion.”

Middleton said the 21K course may be a bit tough for beginners, but the 10K course is doable for most runners. There is actually a section of the trail where the 21K and 10K courses overlap.

“The top 21K runners will be required to maneuver around some of the 10K runners,” he warned. “I would urge everyone to use common courtesy. Let a runner know that you are coming up behind them, and those that are asked to step aside should allow room to pass, and please do so quickly and politely.”

The top age-group runners from the 21K course will receive free entries to the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Hawaii in November.

The XTERRA Richmond Trail Run is held in conjunction with the XTERRA East Championship off-road triathlon, so many of the world’s best endurance athletes will be in the Richmond area for the weekend of June 8-9.

Beck, Kersey Take Top Honors at Fairy Stone

Breakthrough victories for both runners in Virginia Series

It was all about firsts at the inaugural XTERRA Fairy Stone Trail Run last weekend.

Bryn Beck and Jessica Kersey earned their first career victories at the event, which was completed on April 27 at Stuart, Virginia.

Beck, 34, completed the 8-mile course in 56 minutes, 39 seconds, to run away with the overall victory. Kersey, 20, finished in 1:07:55 to take top honors in the women’s division.

“This was my first overall win – such a great feeling!” Beck said.

Beck took the lead midway through the course, and stayed in front the rest of the way. “I was afraid that I had gone out too fast and that someone was closing the distance, but that fueled me to really push hard.”

Jessica KerseyBeck, who works at an outdoor gear and clothing company in Virginia, described the conditions as “a beautiful morning to be running in the forest.”

Clark Jackson, 56, placed second with a time of 1:00:16. He kept pace with Beck for the first half of the race, but lost ground after he struggled with one of the stream crossings. “One of my learning moments was to just run in the creek rather than try to avoid the water and falling,” Jackson said.

Kersey (pictured) placed fifth overall, and surprised herself by finishing first among the females. It was not only her first overall victory, but her first time entering a trail run.

“I finished second overall in a 10K last month, but this is the first trail run I have ever run,” she said. “I enjoyed it more than the road races.”

Kersey is a student at Virginia Tech, and she ran the entire course alongside her boyfriend, Brad Atkins. She was credited with finishing one second ahead of Atkins.

“We ran the course together, and since he lets me set the pace I must have ended up a step or two ahead of him,” she said.

The XTERRA Fairy Stone Trail Run also featured a 4.7-mile “short” course. Landon Nowlin and Anita Nemick were the overall winners for the short course.


The Fairy Stone Trail Run was the second of three races in the 2013 XTERRA Virginia Trail Run Series. The series finale will be the XTERRA Richmond Trail Run on June 8 at Richmond, Virginia. To learn more about it, please visit

Young Runners Lead the Way at Bluebonnet Trail Run

Woelfel, 17, and Welsch, 12, take top honors at 15K race

Youth was served at the XTERRA Bluebonnet Trail Run last weekend, as two minors scored major wins.

Kaytlynn Welsch Blue Bonnet Trail RunSeventeen-year-old Ryan Woelfel was the overall winner of the 15-kilometer race, and 12-year-old Kaytlynn Welsch was the top female. More than 100 runners participated in the event, which was completed on April 20 at Reveille Peak Ranch in Burnet, Texas.

“The conditions on race day were nothing to complain about,” Woelfel said. “It was cold in the morning before the race, but when it came time to race it reached perfect running weather with little wind and clear skies.”

Woelfel, who is a junior at Stony Point High in Round Rock, Texas, completed the course in 1 hour, 2 minutes, 51 seconds.  His godbrother, 14-year-old Nathan Rankin, placed second with a time of 1:05:29.

(Race photo courtesy Rodney Welsch)

“The other top leaders that I was going against at the beginning were my godfather and godbrother which played to my favor because I knew what who I was running against, but I always get nervous over the other runners at the start, because you can never tell who is gonna be able to run what,” Woelfel said. “I separated myself from the other runners a little bit after the first couple miles and was able to increase the led after about mile 5.”

Woelfel is a member of his school’s track and cross country teams, and he has won several races in recent years. However, he described this win as his favorite so far.

“This was one of my favorite overall wins because I really enjoy running ‘true’ distance races and also enjoy trail running more,” he said. “Putting the two together made it even more enjoyable.”

Christopher Chancey placed third overall, and Greg Rankin was fourth. Greg Rankin is Nathan’s father and Woelfel’s godfather.

Welsch was an impressive fifth overall with a time of 1:09:55, and continued her amazing run in the 2013 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series. Welsch, who is in the seventh grade at Alvin Junior High in Alvin, Texas, has entered three races in the XTERRA Texas Series in 2013, and has been the first overall female at all three races.

Welsch said she completed the entire race without drinking water at any of the aid stations along the course. “She had a good learning experience,” her father, Rodney, said. “She said there wasn’t anyone handing water out at the tables, so I explained it is a trail run and you have to fill your cup up yourself or bring your own water with you. She understands that now.”

Tracie Akerhielm was a close second in 1:10:14. She has placed second to Welsch at all three races in the Texas Series this year.

Heather Welsch, Kaytlynn’s younger sister, placed sixth among females. At 10 years old, Heather was the youngest runner in the event.


The next race in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series will be the XTERRA Muleshoe Trail Run at Spicewood, Texas, on May 18. To register for a race in the Texas Series or to learn more about it, please visit

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.