KAPALUA TRAIL RUNS CAN BE AN ADDICTING EXPERIENCE
2012 winners Auerbach and Schefer will be back for more
Running in the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs can have a profound effect. Just ask Ben Auerbach and Willie Schefer.
Auerbach and Schefer ran in the event for the first time last year, and they each walked away with first-place medals - Auerbach for the Hula Grill XTERRA 5K and Schefer for the Duke's Beach House XTERRA 10K. Since then, they can't get enough of the trails.
"I ran cross country in college, but last year at Kapalua was my first actual trail race," said Schefer, who moved to Kihei, Maui, from New York in 2012. "Ever since that experience, I've become addicted to trail running. All my training is in the mountains now."
The course at Kapalua is one of the most unique trails in the world. It starts on the pristine lawn fronting the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua resort, then takes runners into a variety of sights and terrains along the West Maui Mountains. The course then ends with a run along the beach.
"Honestly, just running with all that scenery around you is like a complete distraction from the pain of running, because it actually is a tough course," Schefer said. "It's like you're immersed in nature up on those mountain trails, and then all of a sudden you pop out on the beach and have to run in the soft sand. It's like euphoria at the end when you think back to all that scenery."
Auerbach works as a trainer / fitness instructor at One Fitness in nearby Kaanapali, and after his race experience of last year, he started taking some of his clients to run on the trails at Kapalua.
"A lot of my clients are first-timers to the area, so when we get to the top and look at the views down at the ocean, you can't beat that," Auerbach said. "It's a nice reward for running to the top."
Gunstock Ranch Trail Run will be opening event
The XTERRA Gunstock Trail Run is set for October 19 at the beautiful Gunstock Ranch on the island of Oahu's North Shore. It will be the first of three races in the inaugural XTERRA Hawaii Trail Run Series.
The inaugural Hawaii Series will feature three events at three different locations (and two different islands). Each venue will offer visually spectacular and physically challenging trails unique to Hawaii.
The three events in the XTERRA Hawaii Trail Run Series:
- XTERRA Gunstock Ranch Trail Run, October 19 at Gunstock Ranch in Laie, Oahu. This event will feature two courses - a 21-kilometer half-marathon and a 5K short course. Gunstock Ranch is a privately-owned working ranch, so this is a rare opportunity for runners to experience the trails of a remote location near the North Shore of Oahu.
- XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs, October 26 at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui. This event will feature three courses - the Duke's Beach House XTERRA 10K, the Hula Grill XTERRA 5K, and the Kimo's Keiki XTERRA K. The 10K course will be the same trails used a day later by the world's greatest off-road triathletes in the XTERRA World Championship.
- XTERRA Freedom Fest, July 5, 2014, at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu. This event will feature a 10K and a 5K, and serves as an excellent preview of the trails that will also be used for the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship later in the year. Kualoa Ranch is a privately-owned working cattle ranch, and the trails are open to runners for only a few select events per year.
All three events in the Hawaii Series are open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from all states.
A FAST OPENING FOR THE GEORGIA SERIES
Haley wins in record time; Lynn takes women's race
The XTERRRA Georgia Trail Run Series got off to a fast and furious start last month.
A capacity field of 250 runners participated in the XTERRA Harbins Park Trail Run 10K at Dacula, Georgia. It was the first of seven races in the 2013-14 season for the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series.
Matt Haley from Buford, Georgia, took top overall honors, and he did it in record fashion. He completed the course in 35 minutes, 28 seconds, which was more than one minute faster than the previous course record at Harbins Park.
"It was pretty much full gas from the gun," said Haley, 29. "I've run the trail a few times in the past, and it seemed like it was always a slow run, but the wide trail and hard-packed surface made it much faster than I had anticipated. I ended up racing in road flats and I think that actually gave me a little bit of an advantage over some of the guys who wore burlier trail shoes."
TAKE TO THE WATER - XTERRA BOARDS 35% OFF
OLSEN, PEDRICK RUN TO CONVINCING WINS AT CHEAHA
Alabama Series has five races remaining this season
The XTERRA Cheaha Trail Run takes runners to the highest point in the state of Alabama at around 2,400 feet above sea level. By the end of the 10-kilometer race, David Olsen and Rebecca Pedrick took the highest spots on the podium.
Olsen was the overall winner of the Cheaha Trail Run, completing the course in 43 minutes, 48 seconds. Pedrick finished in 52:18 to take top female honors. Around 100 runners from five different states participated in the event on September 28 at Cheaha State Park Trails at Delta, Alabama.
"The weather conditions were fantastic at Cheaha," Olsen said. "The course itself, however, was much more difficult than I anticipated."
Olsen, however, is proving to be a fast learner as well as a fast runner in the XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series. The XTERRA Red Mountain Trail Run on September 14 was the first trail race of Olsen's career, and he ended up winning it. The Cheaha Trail Run was his second trail run, which makes him two-for-two in overall victories.
GEORGIA SERIES RACE WILL BENEFIT SARAZEN FAMILY
Fort Yargo Trail Run set for October 12 at Winder
Geoff Sarazen's name was associated with golf more than any other sport, but he also made an impact in trail running. In particular, Sarazen was a friend and supporter of the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series, and the upcoming XTERRA Fort Yargo Trail Run will serve as a benefit for his family.
Sarazen passed away unexpectedly due to a stroke two months ago at the age of 40. He is survived by a wife (Chalise) and three children (Britt, Bryce and Mary Landis).
Tim Schroer, race director of the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series, said he lived on the same street as the Sarazens for the past 10 years. Geoff Sarazen was a local golf professional in Dacula, and the grandson of Hall of Fame golfer Gene Sarazen.
"He was looked up to by everyone he came in contact with," Schroer said. "He was the kind of neighbor that would give you the shirt off his back … drop what he was doing and lend a hand with anything you needed."
The XTERRA Fort Yargo Trail Run is scheduled for October 12 at Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, Georgia, and it is expected to draw 300 runners. Among the entries are Chalise Sarazen and her three children.
Schroer said the Sarazen family will be recognized at the race, and all proceeds from the event will be donated to a fund for the family.
The Fort Yargo Trail Run is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, and ONLINE REGISTRATION is available until October 8.
There will be two courses available - an 8.5-mile long course, and a 3.5-mile short course. Runners can choose to run on either course.
To learn more about the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series, please visit www.dirtyspokes.com.
WASHINGTON AND SOCAL SERIES COMING UP
The starts for the XTERRA Washington Trail Run Series and the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series are coming up in October.
The XTERRA Harvest Trail Run is set for October 12 at St. Edward State Park in Kenmore, Washington, and it will serve as the season-opener for the Washington Series. The event will feature two courses - a 21K half-marathon and a 10K. Both courses are open to runners of all ages and skill levels.
Here is the course description: St. Edward State Park is a gem of the Washington State Park system, due to the natural beauty of its natural forest areas and undeveloped waterfront along Lake Washington, its proximity to the Eastside and Seattle population centers, and its well-maintained amenities, including historic buildings, convenient parking, pleasant picnic areas, a phenomenal children's play structure, and many miles of wonderful trails for hiking, biking and running.
To register for the race or learn more about the Washington Series, please visit www.nwtrailruns.com.
On October 13, the XTERRA Point Mugu Trail Run will be the first event of the 2013-14 season for the always-popular XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series. A capacity field of 500 runners is expected to participate in the event at Point Mugu State Park in Oxnard/Malibu, California.
The event will feature two courses - an 18K and an 11K. Both courses are open to runners of all ages and abilities.
Here is the latest note from the SoCal race officials: All participants get a high-end XTERRA Point Mugu technical race shirt, cool finisher medal, entry into the raffle of sponsor swag, and the satisfaction of completing one of the best races around! Don't forget your well-deserved hot egg breakfast, coffee, and the famous Beer Garden too.The event field is limited and filling up fast, so enter now!
To register for the race or learn more about the SoCal Series, please visit www.trailrace.com.
XTERRA T-SHIRTS BY SONADEI