RACE RECAP: XTERRA TRAIL RUN WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
The 2011 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii, featured something old, something new, and a record number of runners on Sunday, December 4.
In keeping with an annual tradition, Max King from Bend, Oregon, dominated the 21.9-kilometer championship course. He won the event for the fourth consecutive year, finishing this year’s race with a time of 1 hour, 21 minutes, 27 seconds. The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship was created in 2008, and King is the only runner to win it.
Once again, no other runner came close. Petr Pechek of the Czech Republic was this year’s runner-up, finishing with a time of 1:22:56.
In what could be the start of a new tradition, Morgan Arritola of Ketchum, Idaho, took the women’s title. She finished with a time of 1:33:00, and was nearly five minutes ahead of the rest of the elite females.
Arritola entered her first two XTERRA Trail Run races in 2011, and it ended with her winning the XTERRA Trail Run National and World Championships. “I love it. I definitely want to come back,” she said. “This is such an awesome event, I felt honored just to be a part of it.”
For the immediate future, both King and Arritola will be focusing on other events. King will attempt to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in the marathon at the USA trials in January. Arritola, who represented the USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics, will now resume her training as a world-class cross country skier.
Sharing the spotlight this year was the record field more than 2,000 registered runners for the event at Kualoa Ranch.
For a complete recap of the 2011 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, CLICK HERE.
To see video highlights and find complete results from the 2011 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, CLICK HERE.
MEYERHOFF STILL MAKING A DIFFERENCE
The 2011 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship was dedicated to former XTERRA Trail Run world champion Sally Meyerhoff. For some runners, that had an especially deep meaning.
More than 2,000 runners from around the world participated in the event at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii, and all runners in the 21.9-kilometer championship course wore a special race bib with “Sally” in the background. Meyerhoff won the women’s division of the 2010 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, and then was tragically killed in a cycling accident three months later in her home state of Arizona.
“I basically came to Hawaii to do this race because of Sally,” said Megan Powers, who made the trip to Kualoa Ranch from Phoenix. “I know that most of the people there didn’t know Sally, but this really meant a lot to me. She wasn’t just an amazing runner, she was an amazing person.”
Powers and her boyfriend, Joe Galope, both ran in the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship for the first time this year in honor of Meyerhoff, and said it is a trip they will never forget.
TALES FROM THE TRAILS: KING AND THE COWS
When you’re leading a race all by yourself, you are basically charting the course for the rest of the field. Max King knows all about that.
King won the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch for the fourth consecutive year, and as this photo shows, he had to lead the way past a herd of cows along the trail.
Moments after this shot was taken, the herd started running behind King (you can see some of the cows already turning in his direction). They chased him for only a few seconds before backing off. Interestingly enough, the cows did not run after any of the other runners that followed.
“Hmm, nope didn't know that,” King said when told of the entire herd running behind him. “One was running beside me for a bit but only for 100 meters or so. I have had cows run with me for a half mile or so a couple of times before when I spook them. It's pretty funny since they don't look like they could run at all and they're just jogging along but keeping up with you pretty easily as you're trying to run hard. Since it's happened before I guess I didn’t really think about it. Almost seems pretty normal to me now, remember I'm from Oregon. Lots of cattle.”
TALES FROM THE TRAILS: TO THE LEFT, TO THE LEFT
One of the general rules of trail running is to keep your eyes and ears wide open. As you can see in this photo, all the runners are looking to their left. Why?
It turns out there were some cattle making loud grunting noises behind some trees and bushes as these runners passed. The animals were never seen by the runners.
“When I first heard it, I thought it was part of the race,” said Dena Cassel (No. 846 in the photo). “I read all this stuff about how Jurassic Park was filmed there, so I thought maybe it was supposed to be like a fake dinosaur noise or something.”
Cassel said she never broke stride and was glad that she did not find out the noises were genuine until after the race.
“I don’t know what I would have done if some cows came out of there,” she said.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: DECEMBER 02, 2012
The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship will return to Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii, on December 2, 2012. Mark your calendars and start thinking about your travel arrangements. It truly is a unique experience.
“Kualoa Ranch is a spectacular venue for the race,” said Nick Hirschfeld, who made the trip from New Zealand and won the men’s 35-39 age group. “It was a great experience to race the XTERRA Worlds, and winning my age group fulfilled a boyhood dream of being a 'world champion.’ ”
HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORE WINS SOCAL RACE
The Soto family worked up an appetite and discovered they had much to be thankful for before celebrating Thanksgiving.
Four members of the Soto family participated in the XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot Trail Run at Topanga, California, on Thanksgiving Day, November 24. A capacity field of more than 720 runners participated in the event.
The fastest of them all was Christian Soto, a 16-year-old sophomore at Riverside Prep School. He completed the 15-kilometer long course in 1 hour, 10 minutes, 30 seconds, to top a field that included several older elite runners.
"I was kind of surprised," Christian said. "I was running together with another gentleman and we caught a group in front of us. When we hit the fire roads at mile 4 or 5, I kind of took off. I knew the other guys were right behind me, but I was able to hold on."
(Photo of race start courtesy www.supersportsphoto.com)
Matthew Mejia of Manhattan Beach, California, placed second with a time of 1:10:49, and Arnulfo Bautista from Los Angeles was third in 1:11:02.
Christian said he recently completed his high school cross country season and was looking for a race to stay competitive during the winter.
"This was my first big race - my first 15K," he said. "I've done some 5Ks and won, but nothing like XTERRA. This is my biggest win."
MCCANN, MOONEY RUN AWAY WITH WINS IN GEORGIA
Cool conditions and fast runners took the spotlight at the XTERRA Victoria Bryant Trail Run last weekend.
More than 200 runners participated in the event, which was completed on Saturday, December 3, at Victoria Bryant State Park in Royston, Georgia.
Ian McCann and Tara Mooney raced to convincing victories on the 10-kilometer course.
McCann, who is from Atlanta, was the overall winner, completing the course in 41 minutes, 5 seconds. He took the lead early and finished more than two minutes ahead of his closest competition.
(McCann pictured, courtesy Sports In Motion Photography /www.simphotos.com)
"I was very happy with it," said McCann, 28. "I'm just coming off an injury, so it kind of hurt a lot, but I didn't let it slow me down."
McCann's foot got sliced when he stepped on a broken glass bottle back in August, and this was his first race since then. "I wasn't sure how I was going to do because this was my first race in a couple of months," he said. "But I love running trails, so if anything, I wanted to go out and have fun."
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XTERRA GEAR HOLIDAY SALE
Great items at great prices for your holiday shopping.
Tri tanks, shorts, tech tees and more. Check out the items in the clearance section for some great deals. We have Tri tanks as low as $25.00 and tees at $10.00.
As our way of wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday we will give you an additional 25% off any item in our XTERRA Gear store. Just enter the personal discount code HOLIDAY when you go to check out.
The sale runs through Dec 19th and we have lots of new products that are arriving daily. We will make them available as soon as we have recieved so check out whats in the store often.
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