A DECEMBER TO REMEMBER
Three of XTERRA’s best trail runners completed the year with style … and stamina.
Rachel Cieslewicz of Utah, Candes Meijide Gentry of Hawaii and Brandon Mader of Alabama were all money winners (meaning they placed among the top seven) at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch of Dec. 5.
As has been noted previously, the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship featured a grueling course – several monster hill climbs combined with humid conditions.
But Cieslewicz, Gentry and Mader stayed true to the XTERRA motto of “Live More” with impressive marathon performances just seven days after completing the Kualoa Ranch run.
She is the epitome of perseverance. Cieslewicz placed fifth overall among the females at the XTERRA Worlds, then was an astonishing eighth overall among the females at the Honolulu Marathon a week later.
There were around 10,000 females in the marathon field, and the seven females who finished ahead of her in the marathon were all professionals – and none of them had to complete a grueling trail run the week before.
Making it more impressive, Cieslewicz has been battling a hip injury all year, and said she was able to train “at 60 percent” of what she normally would.
Cieslewicz is an XTERRA Trail Run veteran, but this was her first entry in the Honolulu Marathon. She said one of her goals for 2011 will be to complete the “Hawaii double” again, with perhaps even better results.
“Within about 20 minutes of completing the Honolulu Marathon, the wheels were already spinning as to what I am going to do for 2011,” she said. “Next year is definitely on. I hope more people join me for the double. Trust me, if you are tough enough for the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, you are tough enough to fly through the Honolulu Marathon.”
Cieslewicz completed the Kualoa Ranch course in 1 hour, 40 minutes, 26 seconds, then finished the marathon in under three hours with a time of 2:59:21.
If possible, she would like to get to Hawaii earlier next year to adapt to the weather. When she left Salt Lake City, there was snowfall and temperatures were in the 30s. Less than 48 hours later, she was running at Kualoa Ranch.
During the week between the XTERRA Worlds and the Honolulu Marathon, Cieslewicz got to stay with a host family – Bo Wheeler and Marcy Fleming – which allowed her to relax and get in some short training runs away from the bustle of Waikiki.
Perhaps best of all, Cieslewicz had her young son, Canyon, along for the trip. They spent some beach time together, and Cieslewicz also celebrated her 31st birthday in Hawaii on Dec. 12.
“The memories will be bright and full of joy for a long time,” she said.
CANDES MEIJIDE GENTRY
She did the double on a whim, and wound up as the top local female in both races.
Gentry, who was Miss Hawaii in 1999, placed seventh overall among the females at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship. At the Honolulu Marathon, she placed fourth in the 30 to 34 age group, and won the “Kama’aina” Award as the first Hawaii resident among the females.
“I am always up for a challenge, and I truly believe that the only thing that holds us back is ourselves, so why not go out there and have fun,” Gentry said. “Most of endurance racing is mental anyway, so my motto is: as long as you can believe it, you can achieve it.”
She speaks from experience. In 2005, Gentry completed the Ironman World Championship Triathlon and the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon in back-to-back weekends.
This one, however, wasn’t planned. Gentry said her goal was to finish the year strong at Kualoa Ranch, which she did.
In the days leading to the Honolulu Marathon, she saw all the tents being set up at Kapiolani Park and decided to register the day before the race. “I got caught up in the excitement,” she explained.
Gentry completed the XTERRA Trail Run in 1:41:20, and then the Honolulu Marathon in 3:21:06. Although she is a Honolulu resident, Gentry said the sights and sounds of both races still captivate her.
“Both races are breathtaking,” she said. “One of the treats of running the XTERRA Worlds is that you get to traverse a valley of Kualoa Ranch which most never get to explore … the serenity of running in the raw, untouched nature is the gift of living in Hawaii.
“One of the major draws for me about the Honolulu Marathon, and what gets me out of bed at 3 a.m. for a 5 a.m. start is not only the excitement of being able to run in a sea of people, but the energy that you feel when the gun goes off and you see the fireworks bursting in the morning sky over Ala Moana Beach Park.”
Gentry said she would like to run the Hawaii double again, but next time with a little more focus on distance training. Because she did not plan to run in the Honolulu Marathon, she said most of her training was on trails – and at half-marathon distances.
In addition to the XTERRA Worlds and Honolulu Marathon, Gentry would like to try one more significant race in 2011 – the New York City Marathon.
He also completed a marathon the week after the XTERRA Worlds, only his marathon took place thousands of miles away from Kualoa Ranch.
After finishing fourth overall at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, Mader flew back home to Alabama, then ran in the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Ala. He placed 14th overall in the marathon with a time of 2:44:00, despite feeling the after-effects of the cramping he suffered at Kualoa Ranch, not to mention the long flight.
What’s more, Mader said he did a training run with XTERRA Trail Run World Champion Max King in Honolulu the day after the Kualoa Ranch race.
“He said it was going to be an easy run, so I went and did it with him,” Mader said. “We ended up going 14 or 15 (miles). That was rough. I probably shouldn’t have.”
As if that weren’t enough, Mader’s marathon performance becomes more impressive when considering it was his first try on a 26.2-mile course. “My first full (marathon),” he said. “So I’m pretty happy with it.”
SOCAL SERIES GOING STRONG
The XTERRA Trail Run SoCal Series will have the distinction of closing 2010 and opening 2011.
The XTERRA Crystal Cove Trail Run was completed on Dec. 12 at Laguna Beach, Calif. James Walsh of Encinitas was the first overall finisher, completing the 17-kilometer course in 1 hour, 10 minutes, 23 seconds.
Michelle Barton of Laguna Niguel was an impressive third overall and the first female with a time of 1:15:09.
More than 430 runners participated in the race, ranging in age from 13 to 69. It was the third of seven races in the XTERRA Trail Run SoCal Series 2010-11 season.
The next event in the series is the XTERRA Boney Mountain Xduro Trail Run at Newbury Park, Calif. Runners can choose to enter one of two courses, a 21-kilometer for experienced runners or a 6-kilometer course for less-experienced runners.
For entry information visit www.xterratrailrun.com or www.trailrace.com
ARIZONA SERIES SET TO CONTINUE
The XTERRA White Tanks Trail Run is scheduled for Jan. 9 at Waddell, Arizona. It will be the second race in the inaugural XTERRA Arizona Trail Run Series.
The first event in the series was completed in October.
The White Tanks race will offer two courses for runners – a challenging 19-kilometer course with more than 1,500 feet of climbing, or a milder 4-mile course.
For entry information visit www.xterratrailrun.com or www.aztrailrace.com.
More than 60 XTERRA Trail Run races are scheduled to take place across America in 2011. For the complete schedule visit www.xterratrailrun.com.
THE XTERRA PLANET MAGAZINE
The fourth issue of The XTERRA Planet magazine looks back at the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon and trail running races in Hawaii, showcases some incredible photography from the last few months of racing, highlights Team X-T.R.E.M.E. and their efforts to raise awareness and money for Wounded Warriors, and previews the XTERRA-inspired Team USA squad headed to Spain for the ITU Cross Tri Worlds in April.
In this quarterly issue you’ll also discover a few good reasons to head to South Africa this winter, find out whatever happened to XTERRA Pro Lorraine Barrows, hear what cardiologist and XTERRA racer Dr. Brian Keeffe has to say about your heart, and read-up on XTERRA’s newest alliance with www.XTERRAVitality.com.
Preview the issue for free, and purchase a copy for $5 until Jan. 1.
You can also download it free for your iPad: Get the MagCloud App for iPad
CONTACT THE XTERRA TRAIL RUN SERIES
Toll-free: 877-XTERRA-1 (877-983-7721)
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