CHAMPIONSHIP STORIES FROM TEXAS
Chris Chancey and Claudia Spooner received all of the attention at the inaugural XTERRA Bluff Creek Trail Run last weekend at Warda, Texas.
That they ran away from the competition to win the men’s and women’s title, respectively, was only part of the story.
Chancey, who celebrated his 30th birthday this week, was the overall champion, completing the 24-kilometer course in 1 hour, 50 minutes, 39 seconds. He basically ran by himself for the entire course, as the runner-up came in almost four minutes later.
The most impressive part was his footwear – or lack thereof. Chancey ran the entire course in huaraches, which are barefoot sandals.
“I haven’t run in a running shoe in almost two years,” he said. “It has changed the way my foot strikes the ground. In shoes, I was a heel-striker and running barefoot or in sandals makes me a fore-foot or mid-foot striker, which I believe has also reduced my injuries.”
Race director Mike Carter said much of the buzz at the awards ceremony focused on “Sandal Man.”
“I had so many people come up to me after the race saying, ‘Who’s that Sandal Man? He’s fast,’ ” Carter said. “It was pretty amazing. That thing looked like it was tied together with string.”
Spooner’s finish was equally amazing. Not only was she the first female, she was second overall – finishing with a time of 1:54:25.
The most impressive part for her was that she crossed the finish line with a broken hand and severe bruising on her thigh due to a hard fall along the course.
“I was at mile 9.4 coming down a descent into an ascent when I think I tripped over a root,” Spooner said. “I went airborne and landed flat out and it knocked the air out of me. I must have hit my quad on a huge rock -- I have a bruise almost the entire right quad. I got up and had to get my head together.”
Spooner, 40, said she saw the next runner (Matty Weston) fast approaching behind her, so she tried to block the pain out of her mind and kept going.
“Having Matty behind me really helped me push through the pain,” she said. “His quote was ‘even when you fall down and get hurt, you won't let me pass you.’ I laughed and told him he was the reason I pushed through.”
Weston came in 13 seconds behind Spooner to place third overall and second among the men.
After the race, Spooner had to make a stop at the hospital to have her broken hand placed in a cast. However, she is refusing to let it affect her training or racing. She plans to enter the Half-Ironman World Championship triathlon in Florida on Nov. 13.
The XTERRA Bluff Creek Trail Run was the first of four races in the 2010-11 season for the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series.
The next race in the Texas Series will be the Muleshoe Trail Run at Spicewood, Texas, on April 16, 2011. For more information on the XTERRA Texas Series visit www.racerevolutions.com.
RACE DIRECTOR HAS QUITE A STORY, TOO
It would seem difficult enough to serve as a race director of a trail run. Try doing it less than a week after completing a grueling off-road triathlon and then flying more than 3,500 miles.
That’s what Mike Carter did. “Maybe I am crazy, I don’t know,” he said with a laugh.
On Oct. 25, Carter competed in the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon at Makena, Maui. He placed 16th out of 59 competitors in his age group (45 to 49) with a time of 3 hours, 29 minutes.
A day later, he was on a flight to Texas to organize the Bluff Creek Trail Run, which took place just six days after the triathlon.
“Surprisingly, I felt pretty good,” he said. “But maybe I will have to look into some better scheduling next year.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP A MONTH AWAY
The cast and crew for the hit television series LOST may have cleared out of Kualoa Ranch in 2010, but the cast and crew for the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship will be back.
More than 1,000 runners from around the world will gather at picturesque Kualoa Ranch on Oahu’s Windward Coast for the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship on Dec. 5.
The race serves as the finale of the 2010 XTERRA Trail Run Series, and some of the world’s best trail-runners will compete in the 21-kilometer race for a $10,000 prize purse. International runners from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan and New Zealand are entered. In addition, more than 30 states across America are expected to be represented with runners on the starting line.
The race is also one of the most popular events for home-state runners, with hundreds from Hawaii competing every year.
A big reason for the popularity of the race is the location. Kualoa Ranch offers challenging trails, with spectacular views. The course starts in an open valley, then traverses into rainforest-like conditions with stream crosses, and a mix of flat valley trails and steep mountain climbs and descents, all overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The backdrop of Kualoa Ranch was enticing enough to serve as a filming location for LOST, as well as the hit movies Godzilla, Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, Pearl Harbor, and several others.
What’s more, even novice runners can compete on the pristine Kualoa Ranch trails on Dec. 5. The world championship contenders race on a half-marathon 21-kilometer course, but there will also be a separate 10-kilometer race and a 5-kilometer race on that day.
Entry fees range from $25 for the 5km race to $45 for the 21km race. Entry forms and online registration are available at http://www.xterraplanet.com/xduro/championship.html.
A portion of every entry for the 5km, 10km, and 21km runs will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation - Hawaii Chapter (JDRFhawaii.org) to help in their ongoing efforts to find a cure.
BATTLE AT BIG CREEK SOLD OUT
The XTERRA Battle at Big Creek Trail Run on Saturday, Nov. 6, at Roswell, Georgia, has reached its capacity of 350 runners, so there will be no race-day registration.
The race will be the third of six events in the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series for the 2010-11 season.
“This is one of our more popular events because it’s easy for people to get to, and it’s a really nice course,” Georgia Series director Tim Schroer said.
FLORIDA SERIES DEBUTS THIS WEEKEND
After months of anticipation, the XTERRA Florida Trail Run Series will make its debut this weekend at Sydney, Fla.
The inaugural XTERRA Wildhorse Trail Run is set for Sunday, Nov. 7, at Keith Waller Park. It will be the first of three events in the 2010-11 XTERRA Florida Series.
The Wildhorse will feature four separate courses for runners to choose from: 13.1 miles (half-marathon), 10 miles, 6.2 miles, or 4 miles. Each course will traverse through rugged off-road trails, including uphill and downhill sections, and even a stream crossing.
“This being our first race, we wanted to make sure there’s a course for everyone,” race director Jim Hartnett said.
More than 300 runners of all ages and skill levels are expected to participate.
Entries will be accepted online through Friday at www.xterratrailrun.com or www.runwildhorse.com. In-person registration will be open on race day, from 6:45 to 7:45 a.m.
All registered runners will be treated to a pancake breakfast at the post-race awards at Keith Waller Park.
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12/5 - XTERRA Trail Running World Championship - 5/10/21km - Oahu, HI
Full 2010 XTERRA Trail Run Schedule
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