Paul Mitchell

Paul Mitchell Named Title Sponsor of XTERRA U.S. Trail Run Series

Honolulu, HI – John Paul Mitchell Systems, the world’s largest privately owned professional salon hair care company, will extend their partnership with XTERRA – producers of the world’s premier off-road triathlon and trail running series – by becoming the Title Sponsor of the nationwide XTERRA U.S. Trail Run Series.

The 2014-2015 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Series will feature more than 80 runs in 20+ states across the U.S. ranging from 5 kilometers to 50 kilometers.

“We have really enjoyed seeing the number of events and participants in XTERRA’s trail run series grow through the years and are happy to support its continued expansion and vision of perpetuating the healthy, active, outdoors lifestyle,” said Julie Solwold, the Vice President of Global Sports and Events for John Paul Mitchell Systems. “We have great synergy with the XTERRA team, participants, and community. It’s really a commitment to caring for people and the planet.”

Paul Mitchell is the longest-tenured sponsor in the history of XTERRA, with the relationship dating back 20 years. They will also be a presenting sponsor of the 2015 XTERRA America Tour and the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race in New South Wales, Australia.

“XTERRA is really based on relationships, with each other and our environment, and by far our relationship with the Paul Mitchell team has been the longest and strongest,” said XTERRA CEO Tom Kiely. “We are most appreciative to John Paul DeJoria, Julie Solwold and the entire Paul Mitchell family for helping us share the ‘Live More’ lifestyle far and wide.”

Runners in the 2014-2015 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Series have more than 18 regional series to run in. Each regional series produces anywhere from three to seven races where runners accumulate points towards winning series championships. Age-group results are tabulated after each race, and the cumulative results at the end of the season determine the final series points. Series champions are then awarded free entry into the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship – an off-road half-marathon held each September.

At the end of the year, runners from all over the world unite at Kualoa Ranch on the majestic island of Oahu for the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in December.

About John Paul Mitchell Systems

Founded in 1980 by John Paul DeJoria and Paul Mitchell, John Paul Mitchell Systems produces more than 100 professional salon products—from award-winning styling and care products to cutting-edge heat styling tools and professional hair color—and is available in over 80 countries worldwide. Learn more at

Topanga Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving Day Trail Run in SoCal

If you want to run in the XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot at Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park on Thanksgiving Day, you better get to the registration site soon at

The field is nearly at capacity for the race on November 27. It will feature three courses – a 15K, 10K and 5K. All three courses are open to runners of all ages and skill levels.

The race starts at 8 a.m., and the course closes at 11 a.m. so that everyone can make it home in time for a Thanksgiving meal, but not until you indulge in the race’s traditional hot egg breakfast with coffee and all the fixin’s. (It also features their famous XTERRA Beer Garden).

The runs are the third of eight races in the 2014-15 season for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series. To learn more about it, please visit

Allie McLaughlin

Best in the U.S. Headed to Hawaii

Last week defending XTERRA Trail Run World Champ Patrick Smyth confirmed he’ll be back at Kualoa Ranch to defend his title and this week we learned several of his all-star teammates from the U.S. Mountain Running team will be joining him.

Allie McLaughlin (Colorado Springs, CO), and David and Megan Roche (Sunnyvale, CA) have all been added to the start list for the adventurous half-marathon scheduled for December 7th in Kaaawa, Hawaii.

McLaughlin, who won the World Mountain Running Association Long Distance Challenge in August and was the top American and bronze medalist at the World Mountain Running Championships in Italy in September, could be considered America’s fastest trail runner right now…

“That I don’t think I can say, but definitely work towards it every day!” said McLaughlin, who will be making her first appearance at XTERRA Trail Run Worlds. “I mean there are so many trail races and so many different lengths. I am probably most competitive in the half marathon and under but there are a lot of women I haven’t raced yet. I am definitely up for the challenge to be considered the fastest though!”

The recently turned 24-year-old showed signs of being great after posting a remarkable freshman year running for the University of Colorado cross country team back in 2009, but was subsequently plagued with injures for years.

“A sacrum, heel, and fibula stress fractures,” she explains. “I definitely learned a lot those years though and could not have had better coaches to support me through such a devastating time. After forgoing my fifth year and taking a year off, I not only got a job outside of running in country radio which excites me in a whole other way, I also found my strength again back home in the springs and on the trails! I think I’ve finally made it through the rebound phase and can now move forward confidently and have never enjoyed running more! As painful as it was, I thank God for the broken road that led me here!”

She also said she was thankful for the opportunity to run in Hawaii, in a race she had long dreamed of competing at.

“To be honest, I remember seeing ads in running magazines about it when I was in high school and always thought in the back of my mind how awesome it would be to go,’ said McLaughlin. “There never was an ideal time to do it during those seasons, however, and I don’t think my parents would have seen it necessary. Now all of a sudden it just feels right to come and my parents are meeting there as well so it’s going to be special no matter how the race goes.”

The event will also be special for the newlyweds David and Megan Roche (see recent article in Competitor Magazine).

“We are so excited to race Worlds to experience the beauty of the course firsthand,” said David Roche, “We have heard incredible things about the trails, the views, and the area. Plus, XTERRA always puts on fun events, mixing a low-key vibe with stellar competition and challenging courses. Basically, Worlds represents just about everything that makes trail running awesome!”

Roche, who won his second US 10k trail national championship in two years at Lauren, NC with time of 42:42 this year, is quite familiar with the XTERRA scene.

He won the XTERRA Earth Conservancy half-marathon in Mocanaqua, PA back in June. In that same race, Megan – a two-time USATF National Champion this year with trail 10k and 50k titles – ran away with the women’s title.

XTERRA’s own trail correspondent DJ Quinn caught up with the couple after that race and brings us this great insight into the pair (SEE;

The event, which traverses one of the most pristine stretches of Oahu’s countryside on the northeast coast, boasts a $10,000 prize purse and is filmed for a feature segment in XTERRA’s national syndicated television programming.

Learn more at

Lota Ward

XTERRA Kid with Big Heart Needs Help

One of the coolest tales from the trails we told this year revolved around the Ward kids from Layton, Utah – who at just 7, 9, and 10-years-old had taken to running half-marathons with their mom and dad.

The trio cleaned house at the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship 21K in September as Lota (7), Taimane (9), and Leilani (10) each went home with a National Championship crown.  In addition, Lota became the youngest runner to complete the grueling 21K course at Snowbasin.

What made the story truly special, however, was the insight on Lota.  He didn’t just want to run, he wanted to run to help raise money and awareness for two little boys in his neighborhood that have Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  In that effort he was a champion as well, raising nearly $2,000 to help purchase a much-needed new wheelchair for the boys.

“Lota is an incredible kid! At only 7-years-old he ran a half marathon to raise money to help with the medical needs of my boys and to raise awareness for SMA. I was so touched by his desire to serve our family. I have been so impressed by how he not only wanted to do this very cool act of service but by how kind he is to my boys every time he is around them. He has a maturity and kindness that seem well beyond his years. He is sincerely such a good kid and I am grateful that my kids have such an amazing boy to be friends with,” said Esther Jensen, the boy’s mom.

In a heartbreaking twist to the story, now it’s Lota that needs the help.  A month after XTERRA Nationals he was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor known as Teratoma, and underwent his second brain surgery just yesterday (November 12, 2014).  A family friend said the surgery went well and Lota is doing good, and even better – the tumor looks benign.

Now, the friends and family he just helped are helping him, and rallying one-and-all to “Give it Forward.”

With Thanksgiving just around the corner let us be thankful for kids with big hearts, and get Lota back to the trails he loves to run…

David Roche and Megan Deakins

Unstructured Training Leads to Adventure and Results

By DJ Quinn

David Roche has a unique approach to running: “Some days I run 10 miles at a 5:20 pace, other days its 10 miles at a 9:20 pace”(which still sounds pretty fast to me!).  This unstructured  philosophy has led to a string of impressive results: the lung-busting Hyner View 25k, and the Rothrock 30k Trail Challenge, both of which David won by 17+ minutes; and 5th place in the Montana Don’t Fence Me In race against a loaded field of competitors; and have him sitting in 5th place in this year’s Mountain Cup standings.

Of course this is not surprising for the 2012 USA track & field 10k trail champion.  David credits his fiance and unofficial coach, Megan Deakins, for much of his success.  “I used to have a general plan, with track workouts and everything, until I met Megan and saw her approach.  She just runs.”  In fact, while she doesn’t have the national championship to match David, he says Megan is actually the faster runner and the results speak for themselves.  She put nearly 18 minutes into her nearest competitor at last weekends Earth Conservancy Half in Pennsylvania, quite impressive considering the number of elite challengers.  Even more, she also raced the Montana Don’t Fence Me In alongside David, and finished 1st overall among women setting a course record along the way, to go with a growing number of course records, as well as a road half-marathon PR of 1:16.

Although they currently live on opposite sides of the country (David lives in Washington D.C; Megan in California), they still manage to run together several times a week when they can, oftentimes staying together for the warm-up and cool-down, while going their own ways for the runs themselves.  When asked how they manage workouts, David says, “I think the key for couples is to leave ego at the door.  Relationships and training runs are not competitions and its all about no-strings-attached support.”  Megan agrees, “When you are perfectly happy to run through 90+ minutes with just mutual stomach gurgle, that’s when you know you have found true love.”

While neither David nor Megan like to set concrete goals when it comes to racing, they both are high in the standings in the Mountain Cup series, and have just accomplished one major goal of qualifying for the U.S Mountain Running Team.  Which means, they will be traveling to Italy later this summer to represent Team USA.

Meanwhile, both were impressed by XTERRA Mocanaqua (Earth Conservancy Half), their most recent race.  David says, “XTERRA is amazing! Both Megan and I loved the venue, the people, and the vibe. We are hoping to compete at XTERRA Nationals, and possibly even Worlds this year!” Megan adds, “ XTERRA Poconos was my first XTERRA race. It was incredible! From the incredible volunteers, to the precise trail markings, to the combination of technical climbs mixed with runnable, flat sections, I enjoyed everything about the race.” There is some evidence however, that David and Megan may be almost human despite their near-superhuman race results.  When asked about her goals, Megan says, “I’ve decided that for myself, formal running goals are stupid.  In January, I had laid out a whole bunch of running goals complete with track PRs and the hopes of running a road marathon for an Olympic Trials Qualifier.  A week later, at 7PM, when it came time to hit 6 x 1 mile on the track after waking up at 5AM and standing in the anatomy lab all day, I instead went home, ate a pint of ice cream and crossed off every goal on the list.  I am not good enough, and my medical career and family life are too important to justify running for anything other than fun. Now my running goals are the following: adventure, go up, love the experience, celebrate with ice cream and beer. Hopefully, those informal goals will take me to some pretty amazing places.”

That, of course, is the true beauty of the unstructured running philosophy: It’s all about running for fun, and enjoying the journey.  So how do we normal humans accomplish this same goal of fun mixed with our own awesome results? David sums up his mentality: “Trail racing isn’t about competition with other people so much as it’s about competition with yourself and the terrain. XTERRA and some of the other races provide this extremely exciting opportunity for self-exploration, and exploration of amazing places.  Also, it provides an exciting opportunity for beer with friends. Which is what I’d say is what trail racing is all about.  In conclusion, my goal is to have beer with friends in really cool places!”  Sounds like more XTERRA races are in their future.

XTERRA Announces Alliance with W Partners

XTERRA Announces Alliance with W Partners

Honolulu, HI - TEAM Unlimited, owners of the XTERRA World Tour, announced a strategic and exclusive partnership with Chicago-based W Partners, to manage their sales and marketing efforts to secure a new title sponsor and other high level corporate partnerships for XTERRA.

The alliance with XTERRA grows the W Partners platform into the world of endurance sports and a $575B outdoor recreation industry.

Tom Kiely, TEAM Unlimited CEO, said “I have known, and respected, Wally Hayward for many years and it has long been my wish that we would be working together. Now that W Partners is expanding beyond their initial client with the Chicago Cubs & Hickory Street Capital, they have accepted XTERRA as the next building block of their company. By virtue of this new alliance with Wally and the W Partners team, the XTERRA star will shine brighter and we could not be happier.”

Wally Hayward, W Partner CEO, said “I have been fortunate to experience many XTERRA Championships on Maui and it’s very impressive to see the global growth of XTERRA over the last 10 years with now over 300 events in 25 countries.  We believe the XTERRA community is a great demographic for brands trying to connect and engage with lifestyle enthusiasts in the United States and around the world.  We believe W Partners can help fuel XTERRA’s growth and create winning partnerships by aligning with brands that share a similar vision and mission.”

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2014 produced more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 25 countries worldwide.  In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990.  View samples at, and learn more at and

About W Partners

W Partners is a Chicago-based sales and marketing company focused in the world of sports and entertainment.  Founded in 2013 as a joint-venture with the Ricketts family, W Partners has negotiated some of the leading partnerships in the marketplace.  W Partners clients include Broadway in Chicago, Chicago Cubs, Choose Chicago, Hickory Street Capital, Entertainment Cruises and the James Beard Foundation Awards.  Sam Coghill and Wally Hayward were formerly with the Chicago Cubs as Head of Corporate Partnerships and the Chief Sales & Marketing Officer respectively, before leaving to create W Partners. To request more information on W Partners or any of its clients please contact

Kualoa Rope Trail

Another Hawaiian-Style XTERRA on Horizon

Since January, thousands of runners have taken part in the worldwide XTERRA Trail Run Series and through the trials of these 100+ races some of the world’s top trail runners have emerged and are headed to Oahu to race in the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship.

The main event is an adventurous half-marathon (13.1-mile/21km) that starts at the base of Kaaawa Valley at Kualoa Ranch.

Established in 1850, Kualoa Ranch is a family owned and      operated 4,000 acre working cattle ranch, spread from the steep mountain cliffs to the sparkling sea. Located on the northeastern side of Oahu in the Hawaiian countryside, it is less than an hour from Honolulu.

The ranch terrain varies from dense rainforest to broad open valleys and from beautiful white sand beaches to awesome verdant cliff faces. It is truly a paradise for outdoor recreation with many places accessible only by horseback, on an all terrain vehicle or by hiking.

There are two major areas of the ranch: the northern half of the ranch including Ka’a’awa Valley which contains most of the movie locations sites, and the southern half that includes Hakipu`u Valley, the 800 year-old Moli’i fishpond, and Secret Island.

If the ranch’s views look  familiar, that’s because Kualoa Ranch has been the site of many television shows and Hollywood films such as Jurassic park, Windtalkers, Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, Tears of the Sun and 50 First Dates. TV shows include  Hawaii Five-O, Magnun P.I. and the hit show LOST.

Kualoa Ranch will be further exposed by the race itself, which is being filmed and edited into a segment for a 2015 XTERRA Adventures TV series that will be seen by millions of viewers across the country via national syndication starting in May and online at XTERRA.TV.

You can check out the promo piece for worlds at www.XTERRA.TV.

Patrick Smyth

Patrick Smyth will Return to the Ranch, Defend XTERRA Trail Run World Title

Patrick Smyth will return to Kualoa Ranch to defend his XTERRA World Championship half-marathon trail run title on Dec. 7.

“The course at Kualoa Ranch is amongst the most memorable, beautiful I’ve ever run on,” said Smyth, who hails from Salt Lake City, Utah. “That played a big role in my decision to come back, but more than anything I want to repeat as World Champ!”

Since focusing his running efforts on trail races last year Smyth has quickly made a name for himself as one of – if not the best – trail runners in the U.S.

Last year he won the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship in his first-ever trail race, then backed it up with a win at XTERRA Worlds (upsetting 5x champ Max King in the process).

This year Smyth won the U.S. Trail Half-Marathon Championships in Bellingham, Washington and was the top American (10th overall) at the World Mountain Running Championships held in Cassete de Massa, Italy in September.

“Those two races have been pretty huge for me,” said Smyth, who was a 7-time All-American across cross-country, indoor and outdoor track at Notre Dame. “The international field in Italy was incredibly deep and competitive, so I was thrilled to come away with a top-American, top-10 finish.”

Smyth is also thrilled to return to Hawaii, saying XTERRA Trail Run Worlds “is the culmination of my 2014 season. I’ve been gearing all my recent training towards this race. Afterwards I’ll turn my focus towards the U.S Cross Country Championships in Boulder, CO in February.”

Smyth said what he remembers most about last year’s race was “the beautiful setting, sweating profusely, and the crazy jungle descent at around 9-miles.” And his best advice for newcomers is to “try to take advantage of the few two-track open sections. They’re good opportunities to open up the stride and run fast over what is otherwise a very technical course… But more than anything take in the views and enjoy the experience!”

Learn more from Smyth about the course and running in general at the free XTERRA University trail running clinic to be held at 2pm during registration and packet pickup on Saturday, December 6 at the Waikiki Beach Walk.

Kapalua Trail Run

Kapalua Trail Runs Draw More than 1,000 Runners


Fittingly, a Duke won the women’s title at the Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10-kilometer trail run today.

Dimity-Lee Duke from Roelands, Australia; and Kelly Guest from Victoria, B.C., Canada captured the Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K; Reid Hunter from Lahaina and Kalii Caldwell from Ogden, Utah captured the Hula Grill 5K titles; and hundreds of kids took part in the Kimo’s Keiki K trail runs on a beautiful morning at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.

Both Guest and Duke are elite XTERRA triathletes, but only Duke will double up and race in tomorrow’s XTERRA World Championship.

Guest, who took the lead somewhere after the first mile, posted a winning time of 40:55 that was nearly a minute faster than that of Rod Baybayan of Waipahu, HI.

“I love it here, the atmosphere is just awesome,” said Guest, who has participated at XTERRA in Maui several times.  This year he’s in Maui primarily to be part of his friend’s wedding.  Still, he said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get out on the trails.

“The conditions were great out there for running.  There was really just one stretch of the downhill up by the lake that was slippery, the rest of it was nice hard-packed dirt, and soft sand. Trademark grueling XTERRA stuff,” said Guest.

For Duke, the run was a great way to preview the run course for tomorrow’s triathlon, which uses the exact same course.

“I hadn’t run that course before so it was an opportunity to see what it was all about,” said Duke, who finished 18 seconds ahead of runner-up Emilie Menuet from France with a winning time of 44:12. “Not too bad, a little slippery on the downhill sections but it dried out pretty good.  I’m really enjoying my XTERRA experiences this year. I have had the opportunity to race XTERRA Philippines and the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship races; and now the opportunity to have a look at it from the World Championship perspective. The friendliness and atmosphere is second to none.”

T S Restaurants awards winners

Seven runners received gift certificates from T S Restaurants for their winning performances on Saturday.

Guest and Duke won $100 gift certificates to Duke’s Beach House for being the top overall finishers in the 10K while Chris Pierre and Angie Wideman-Powell earned $100 Duke’s certificates for being the top Maui finishers in the 10K

Hunter (who is from Maui) and Caldwell won $100 gift certificates to Hula Grill for being the fastest overall in the 5K; and Leigh Galarita earned $100 from Hula Grill for being the fastest in the 5k from Maui.

XTERRA Hawaii Series

The Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K was the second of four events in 2014-15 XTERRA Hawaii Trail Run Series. The top finishers in each age group received points toward the overall standings of the series. At the conclusion of the series, each age-group champion from the Hawaii Series will receive a free entry to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, which is held every September in Utah.

The four events in the XTERRA Hawaii Trail Run Series:
– XTERRA Gunstock Ranch Trail Run in October at Gunstock Ranch in Laie, Oahu.
– XTERRA Kapalua 5k/10k Trail Runs in Kapalua (happened today)
– XTERRA Freedom Fest 5k/10K in July at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu
– The XTERRA Adventure Fest 5K and 10K in August in Kapalua, Maui

The upcoming XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu December 7 is not part of the Hawaii Series, but is open to runners of all ages and abilities, from around the world. To register or learn more about it, please visit