Farrell Chases Down a Victory in Pocono Series

Shokey takes women’s division again at Hickory Trail Run

Pocono SeriesGrant Farrell won the 11-kilometer XTERRA Hickory Trail Run on June 1, but the victory represented a much longer chase for the Lancaster, Pennsylvania, runner.

Farrell completed the course at Hickory Run State Park in 45 minutes, 10 seconds. It was his first overall victory in an XTERRA Trail Run race, following numerous top five finishes in both the XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series and XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series over the past two years.

“An overall win in this series is what I’ve been chasing since last season so it felt great,” said Farrell, 32. “I’ve had some good races and some not so good races, but the thing that keeps me coming back and hopeful for a podium finish is the number of unknowns involved in the sport.  Between the terrain, temperature, competition, trail markings, even the wildlife, a lot of things that are outside of our control dictate the race, so a first place overall finish is pretty special.”

Farrell described the course at Hickory Park as “the most challenging of the series, in my opinion,” although race-day conditions were ideal.

Farrell has been competing in both the Pocono and Atlantic Series this year as part of his training for triathlons. “I’m lucky to have two series so close to home,” he said. “Triathlon has been my primary sport which doesn’t leave me any time to train on trails.  So having a second series to compete in gives me the opportunity to get on trails that much more.  For anyone living in southeastern Pennsylvania, I would highly recommend both race series, the diversity in courses keeps the racing fresh and fun.”

While Farrell earned a breakthrough win among the men, Jaclyn Shokey continued her winning ways in the women’s division.

Shokey, 35, finished seventh overall with a time of 52:02. She has won all three races in the Pocono Series so far this season. Carolyn Popovic placed second in 53:14.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE RESULTS

The XTERRA Hickory Trail Run was the third of five races in the 2013 XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series. The next race in the series will be the XTERRA Earth Conservancy Half-Marathon Trail Run at Mocanaqua, Pennsylvania, on June 15. To register for a race or to learn more about it, please visit www.wilkesbarreracing.com.

Betts Completes Perfect First Season in Georgia Series

She is one of 20 runners to win age division title for 2013 season

The XTERRRA Georgia Trail Run Series can be addicting for anyone at any age. Danette Betts is the latest proof.

Danette BettsBetts, a 49-year-old mother of three from Alpharetta, Georgia, did her first XTERRA Trail Run last September and hasn’t stopped since. As a result, she is now the 2013 champion for the female 45-49 age division of the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series.

The season ended on June 1 at the XTERRA Deep South Trail Run in Jackson, Georgia, and as she has all season, Betts finished first in her age division.

“Yes, this was my first foray into trail running,” she said. “I was sidelined with some injuries in early 2012, so to get back the taste for running, I knew I needed to try something different. Trying to complete as many of the Series races as possible was a good way to stay motivated and always have something on the calendar to plan for.”

Betts finished the season with a perfect score of 600 for the Georgia Series. And she wasn’t just fast for her age, she was fast, period. Betts often placed in the top five overall among all females, and was the top “masters” female (ages 40 and older) at several of the races. She said the excitement of running on new courses inspired her to enjoy every race she entered.

“Looking back, I really enjoyed them all,” she said. “I loved that I had to and find these ‘new to me’ places. There are some great state parks with amazing trails around. I would have never gone to them otherwise.”

Such success does not come without experience, and Betts was a successful road runner for nearly a decade before embarking on her trail run season. She has completed 10 road marathons in her running career, and numerous other half-marathons and 10Ks.

For now, her first choice is the trails. “I really enjoyed the challenges of the trails and I love running outdoors anyway – being in the forests was a great escape from city roads,” she said.

The Georgia Series is one of the most popular on the XTERRA Trail Run national circuit, as more than 4,000 runners participated during the season.

As a Georgia Series champion, Betts earned a free entry to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Utah this September. She is looking into arrangements to hopefully make the trip.

Betts was one of three runners in the XTERRA Georgia Series to achieve a perfect score of 600. The others were Tara Gormley from Marietta, and Jhonny Garner from Oakwood. For Gormley, it was the fifth consecutive year that she won her age division in the Georgia Series.

The 2013-14 season schedule for the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series is already set, and it will start in September. The schedule will feature seven races, with courses ranging from 5K to 42K. All races are open to runners of all ages and skill levels. To register for a race or to learn more about the series, please visit www.dirtyspokes.com.

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

 

Age Group Name Age Hometown State
Female 20-24 Samantha Finch 24 Lawrenceville GA
Female 25-29 Jennifer (Sam) Wallace 26 Oxford GA
Female 30-34 Tara Gormley* 30 Marietta GA
Female 35-39 Kara Scroggs* 38 Gainesville GA
Female 40-44 Mary Deane Davis 44 Lilburn GA
Female 45-49 Danette Betts 49 Alpharetta GA
Female 50-54 Lori Brown* 54 Suwanee GA
Female 55-59 Andrea Morgan 56 Atlanta GA
Female 60-64 Linda Romero* 61 Snelville GA
Male 10-14 Korey Shively 13 Madison AL
Male 20-24 Kyle Wachenheim 23 Flowery Branch GA
Male 25-29 Matt Haley 29 Buford GA
Male 30-34 Robert Allen 30 Winder GA
Male 35-39 James Taylor 36 Roswell GA
Male 40-44 Carlos Resendiz* 41 Tucker GA
Male 45-49 Todd Wilson 49 Suwanee GA
Male 50-54 Jhonny Garner 50 Oakwood GA
Male 55-59 Dave Morgan 57 Atlanta GA
Male 60-64 Richard Stokes 60 Ball Ground GA
Male 65-69 Jim Merritt* 66 Buford GA
*Repeat champion from 2012

Winners Go a Long Way to Win at Muleshoe

Stewart and Akerhielm prevail for first time in XTERRA Texas Series

The XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series is all about discovering new adventures in new places, and Mitt Stewart and Tracie Akerhielm did just that at the latest race.

Texas StartStewart was the overall winner and Akerhielm was the top female at the XTERRA Muleshoe Trail Run, which was completed on May 18 at the Muleshoe Bend Recreation Area in Spicewood, Texas. It was the fourth of seven races in the 2013 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series.

“It was challenging,” Stewart said of the 16-kilometer course. “It was full of rocks and low branches, so you had to be very alert. No mental breaks or you’d go down.”

Stewart completed the course in 1 hour, 14 minutes, 57 seconds. He lives in Sandy, Utah, but happened to be in Texas on a business trip and decided to enter the race as a way to stay in shape. His main sport is mountain biking, and he often races in the professional division.

Dylan Johnson from Dripping Springs, Texas, had the lead for most of the race, but he took a wrong turn late in the course and it dropped him to second place. Stewart said he was unaware of Johnson until the very end of the race, when they both made a sprint to the finish line.

“To my surprise with about two miles to go I caught third place,” Stewart said. “I was stoked! I passed third place with strength and knew I was going to podium.  About a half-mile from the finish, I looked over my shoulder and saw someone that I hadn’t seen or passed all race. He was gaining fast! So fast, that I had to full-out sprint to hold him off. Turns out he was in the lead and had gone off course.”

Johnson finished three seconds behind Stewart, and displayed sportsmanship after the race.

“I got off course probably the last quarter-mile of the race,” he said. “I was running alone for quite a while when a volunteer told me that I had gone the wrong way … while trying to catch up to the leader I didn’t have to pass anyone, it was just me and him battling it out for the win. I have been running XTERRA races for many years now, and this little mistake will not stop me from racing XTERRA in the future. I love XTERRA!”

Akerhielm placed seventh overall with a time of 1:20:17, and her persistence paid off in more ways than one. She has entered all four races so far in the 2013 Texas Series, and she had finished second in the previous three.

“My goal for the race was to improve on pacing,” Akerhielm said. “It is still far from perfect, but headed in the right direction.  Prior to my other race performances in the series, I think I am improving in my endurance and my ability to pace appropriately with the various terrain.”

Akerhielm, a former track and cross country runner at Texas Tech University, said the course offered several unique Texas challenges.

“What the course lacked in vertical challenges, it made up for in the footing,” she said. “There were several areas with big loose rock beds and a section of the course that went entirely off-trail and you had to dodge cactus, rocks and branches for a place to put your foot.  But like every race so far in the series, it was absolutely beautiful and I loved the venue.”

Kaytlynn Welsch, the 12-year-old running phenom from Alvin, Texas, had won the previous three races in the Texas Series. She placed second to Akerhielm at the Muleshoe race by about four minutes.

“Kaytlynn is a fantastic runner and is no doubt headed for great things. I think it is an honor to get to race next to her,” Akerhielm said. “After the first couple of losses, I just settled in and tried to run my best race and to enjoy the trail as much as possible.”

Akerhielm is currently a doctoral candidate at Texas Woman’s University. She discovered trail running only this year, and is hooked on the XTERRA Texas Series. “The Muleshoe win is very encouraging to me,” she said. “I can feel my aerobic fitness beginning to return and hope to run even faster for the next events in the series.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE RESULTS

The next races in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series will be held on back-to-back weekends: the XTERRA Gator Bait Trail Run in Huntsville on June 16, and then the XTERRA Cameron Park Trail Run in Waco on June 22. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR A TEXAS SERIES RACE OR LEARN MORE ABOUT IT.

Virginia’s Jackson Still Running Strong at Age 57

He’ll defend 55-59 age group title at Richmond Trail Run on June 8

Clark Jackson remembers his first experience at the XTERRA Richmond Trail Run. It came in 2010, and it was his first attempt at an XTERRA Trail Run race. He sprained his ankle along the course and finished in seventh place in his age division.

Clark JacksonNeedless to say, it wasn’t the greatest race result for the 57-year-old insurance salesman from Charlottesville, Va. Still, Jackson credits that experience for getting him hooked on XTERRA Trail Run races.

“It’s the closest XTERRA race to where I live, but it’s also the first one I ever did,” he said. “I’ll be back to do it every year, as long as I can.”

This year’s XTERRA Richmond Trail Run is scheduled for June 8, and it is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. It will be part of an XTERRA weekend in Richmond, as the XTERRA East Championship off-road triathlon will take place on June 9. It is the 15th consecutive year that XTERRA has held an “urban adventure” event in Richmond.

Jackson used his initial experience in 2010 to improve on his trail running skills and by 2012, he won his age group at the XTERRA Richmond Trail Run, and also won his age division in the XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series. He has made even greater strides in 2013, finishing second overall among all runners at two different races in the XTERRA Virginia Trail Run Series.

“I just try to improve each week and work on weaknesses that I noticed I had in the last race,” said Jackson, who recently celebrated his 57th birthday. “I’m relatively new to trail racing so I’m still learning. I wish I had the nerves to run down the hills like those younger guys. I love the challenge of tough races so the tougher the better.”

Jackson can attest that the long course at the XTERRA Richmond Trail Run can be a tough one. The  21K course takes runners up, down, around and through numerous obstacles – both natural and man-made.

“Well, I haven’t run an XTERRA race that wasn’t challenging, but this one I find very difficult with all of the small climbs,” he said. “I mean, they really have a bunch of them.  The tight bridge walk I found especially challenging on the second lap, and you are totally exhausted.”

The 21K course is perhaps best known for “The Mayan Ruins,” which is a steep stair climb that requires all four limbs near the top.

“That is a challenge in itself, just to get up those stairs,” Jackson said. “If you are height-challenged, you will almost feel like you can’t make that last step because it is so high and steep.”

The course also includes crossings of the James River, single track paths in and out of lush forest area, and passes along historic buildings in Richmond. The contrast in sights is what earned the event the “urban adventure” description.

“Running through and along the James River is exciting and really gives you views you would never experience if it hadn’t been for trail running,” Jackson said.

As for his continued improvement on the trails at his age, Jackson credits, appropriately enough, a mature approach to competition.

“I get a lot of people asking me how do I keep running at this age, and my patent answer is ‘Not sure, I’ve never been this age before so I’m not sure how my body is supposed to react,’ ” Jackson said. “I revised my training through lots of reading, to be more age appropriate, and cross training to help eliminate injuries. I try to stick with my pace and not worry about the other guys. Just being able to run my best each race regardless of finish is reward enough.”

The top runners in every age group for the 21K race will receive a free entry to the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Hawaii this November. Numerous prizes will also be handed out to the top runners for both the 21K and 10K races.

To register for the XTERRA Richmond Trail Run or learn more about it, please visithttp://www.xterraplanet.com/xduro/richmond.html

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.