WELSCH SISTERS AND XTERRA ON PRIMETIME TV
Kaytlynn and Heather Welsch – the pre-teen running phenoms from Alvin, Texas – and the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship were featured on this morning's Today Show and will be the focus of another in-depth feature on primetime national television tomorrow, Feb. 8 at 10pm EST during Rock Center With Brian Williams on NBC.
A film crew for the show traveled to Kualoa Ranch on the island of Oahu to follow the Welsch sisters as they prepared for and competed in the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship on December 2.
Kaytlynn, 12, and Heather, 10, made national headlines throughout 2012 for their success in running races, and they were the youngest runners in the field for the 21-kilometer XTERRA Trail Run World Championship.
Kaytlynn was an impressive 15th overall among all females, and first in the 10-14 age division. Her time of 2:02:34 was faster than all the boys in that age group. Heather finished 39th overall among all females, and second to her sister in the 10-14 age division. She also made history by becoming the youngest runner ever to complete the 21K course at Kualoa Ranch.
The sisters created a buzz last summer when Kaytlynn placed first overall, and Heather placed third, at an XTERRA Trail Run Series regional race in Texas. They entered numerous other races throughout the year before heading to Hawaii with their parents for the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship.
They also competed in the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Ogden, Utah, in September of 2012, and a reporter from the New York Times traveled to the race to write a lengthy feature on the sisters.
The episode of Rock Center With Brian Williams is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. Eastern Time and 9 p.m. Central Time.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED FOR SHEARER AND BALDWIN
Patrick Baldwin and Maggie Shearer can now consider the XTERRA Mission Gorge Trail Run a mission accomplished. They took top honors at the 15-kilometer race held on Sunday, February 3, at San Diego, Calif.
Baldwin, who is a landscape architect from Encinitas, Calif., was the first overall finisher. He completed the course in 1 hour, 4 minutes, 13 seconds, which was more than five minutes faster than the other top runners.
"The trails were in good condition, a little slippery on the downhills from the rain the night before, but good running conditions," said Baldwin, 36. "I think the first hill is the toughest of all the climbs on the XTERRA SoCal Series - it's a wall!"
It was the second straight year that Baldwin won the race, and he said his experience from last year played a key role in his victory this year.
"I knew after climbing the steep initial climb that I'd have a long recover descent, followed by some beautiful rolling single track," he said. "So I pushed hard early so I could relax a bit later … knowing the course of any race is a key."
The Mission Gorge race is renowned for a steep climb known as "1,000 Steps" because it resembles a straight-up staircase. Baldwin had already built a significant lead by the time he reached the steep section, but said he still ran as hard as he could - and stumbled a few times - because he was not sure how far ahead he was.
"It's such a steep, rocky climb that it's easy to lose site of the steps, especially when working hard in a race," he said. "The legs and arms were a little bloody at the finish."
As he approached the finish line, Baldwin saw his family in the crowd and grabbed his infant daughter so that they could cross the winner's tape together.
Shearer placed 12th overall and was the first overall female. She finished with a time of 1:15:45, and improved on her placing from last year, when she took second place at this race.
Photo courtesy www.SuperSportsPhoto.com
PUERTO RICO SERIES CONTINUES TO MAKE STRIDES
Running in mile-high mountains is often regarded as a quality form of training for any conditions. Aaron Hogan proved that theory by winning the XTERRA Bayamon Trail Run in Puerto Rico last month.
Hogan grew up running in Colorado, but is now a graduate student at the University of Puerto Rico. He discovered the XTERRA Puerto Rico Trail Run Series last year, and plans to compete in all the races this year.
"I love running over here," he said. "I did one of the XTERRA races last year and really had a great time, so I signed up for all of them this year."
His 2013 race schedule got off to a great start with the runaway victory in the Bayamon Trail Run, which was completed on January 27 at Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Trail running is still a growing sport in Puerto Rico, but more than 200 runners participated at Bayamon.
"There are a lot of fast runners in Puerto Rico, but I don't think they've taken to the trails yet," Hogan said. "I really hope this thing keeps growing because there are some nice trails."
(Aaron Hogan pictured, courtesy www.xterrapr.com and Sports Photo Moments)
Hogan, 24, completed the 10-kilometer course in 53 minutes, 37 seconds - which was more than three minutes ahead of the other top runners in the field.
TRY YOUR LUCK AT XTERRA LAKE LAS VEGAS - APRIL 14
A strong run and a little bit of luck can go a long way in Las Vegas. On April 14, it could help runners in the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Run get to Hawaii.
Every age-group winner in the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas half-marathon will earn a free entry to the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii, in November.
The XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Runs will take place on a desert course just outside the Aston MonteLago Resort, which is 17 miles off the famous Las Vegas Strip. The event is open to runners of all ages and skill levels.
There are three courses to accommodate the various levels of runners – a 21-kilometer long course, as well as a 10K and 5K.
The 21K course at Lake Las Vegas has drawn positive reviews from past runners for its unique terrain and breathtaking views. Our very own "Tips from the Trail" contributor Rachel Cieslewicz said: “It is unique in that you literally feel as though you are running on Mars. Red sandy soil, crazy hills, and wild desert skies will inspire you to run fast and strong.”
Registration for all three distances of the event is open at http://www.xterraplanet.com/xduro/lakelasvegas.html.
The XTERRA Trail Run World Championship is scheduled for November 24 on the island of Oahu, and more than 2,000 runners from around the world are expected to participate. That event is also open to runners of all ages and skill levels. For more information, please visit http://www.xterraplanet.com/xduro/championship.html.
WIN A FREE 3-NIGHT STAY IN HAWAII
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