DIVERSE FIELD AT XTERRA OAK MOUNTAIN TRAIL RUNS
More than 600 runners from 25 different states gathered at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama, on Sunday, May 20, for the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Runs.
The event is unique in that runners can choose to run on one of four courses – a 42-kilometer full marathon, a 20K half-marathon, a 10K or a 5K. It drew runners of all ages, ranging from an 8-year-old in the 5K, to a 75-year-old in the 10K.
READ RACE RECAPS
NAPIERS FINISH MARATHON TOGETHER
The youngest runner in the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Runs marathon was 15-year-old Harris Napier. Not only was he the youngest, he was also the most inexperienced as it was his first attempt at a marathon of any kind, let alone a trail marathon.
Joe Napier, Harris' father, is an experienced distance runner, so he did the marathon with his son.
"It was a great experience," Joe said. "We didn't go as fast as we would have liked, and the course was probably a little tougher than we expected, but to finish together like that made it all worth it."
The Napiers crossed the finish line together with a time of 5:30:29. It was enough to put Harris first in the 15-19 age division, while Joe took 10th in the 40-44 age division.
Harris actually got ahead of his father early in the race, but they found a similar pace in the middle of the course.
"We don't get to practice on that kind of mountain terrain in South Carolina, so I don't think I was ready for all of that," Harris said. "But I still feel like it was a nice accomplishment, and I'm really happy I did it."
Joe said: "He would get in front of me on the uphills, then I would catch up to him on the downhills. We were both getting tired there at the end, so it was good to have each other for encouragement."
The Napiers made the drive from Mount Pleasant, S.C., for the race. Harris is a freshman at Wando High School, so they drove back to Mount Pleasant shortly after the race so that he could attend classes on Monday.
"We got back home about 2 in the morning," Harris said. "I was tired, but I made it (to school)."
Photo courtesy Napier family
MORE FAMILY FUN AT OAK MOUNTAIN
The Butler family from Hoover, Alabama, turned the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Runs into a family weekend. All five members of the family competed in the race: Jay Butler, his wife Nina, their daughters Emalee and Erin, and son Ethan.
“My oldest daughter (Emalee - pictured) is a cross country runner at Hoover High, so she was the one who wanted to do the (20K),” Jay Butler said. “We knew there was also a 5K, so we thought it would be a good idea for the rest of us to do it together. It worked out great. We were all there and we had a good time.”
Emalee Butler, a junior at Hoover High, finished first in her age group for the 20K course with a time of 1:59:15. She ran the course together with teammate Sylvia Sontheimer, and they crossed the finish line together, so they technically tied for first.
The rest of the family ran at a casual pace in the 5K. “My youngest daughter (Erin) is 12 and this was her first race, so my wife stayed with her. My son and I ran together in front of them a little bit, then we waited for them near the end so that we could all finish together.”
The Butlers are now hoping to make it an annual tradition at Oak Mountain State Park.
“It’s a nice way to spend time together and at the same time get exercise as a family,” Jay said.
RYAN, SHOKEY WIN AGAIN IN POCONO SERIES
James Ryan and Jaclyn Shokey are off to fast starts in the 2012 XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series.
There have been two races in the series so far, and Ryan and Shokey have emerged victorious at each one. The latest race was the XTERRA Seven Tubs Trail Run, which was completed on Saturday, May 19, at the Seven Tubs Nature Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Ryan was the overall winner, completing the 5-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 35 seconds. He also won the season opener at Big Pocono two weeks earlier.
“This is so much fun,” said Ryan, who is 19 and plans to join the cross country team at the University of Maine-Farmington next season. “This course is like a roller-coaster ride in the woods.”
Tyler Angeli placed second in 21:55, and Luke Shillington was third in 22:25.
Shokey placed 12th overall and was the first female with a time of 25:46. She finished more than a minute ahead of the next female.
“This is one of my favorite courses,” said Shokey, who also won the Seven Tubs race last year.” Very fast, very steep and it ends before it kills you.”
CLICK HERE for complete race results.
The race was the second of five events in the 2012 XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series. The next race in the series will be the XTERRA Hickory Trail Run on June 2.
To enter a race in the series or to learn more about it, please visit www.wilkesbarreracing.com.
The Citizens Voice newspaper was there to cover the race. CLICK HERE to read the article.
And CLICK HERE to read a race review from Pocono runner Richard Costello’s blog.
PUERTO RICO SERIES RESUMES THIS WEEKEND
The inaugural XTERRA Puerto Rico Trail Run Series will be back in action this weekend with the XTERRA Salinas Trail Run on Sunday, May 27.
The event will feature an 8-kilometer course, and it is open to runners of all ages and skill levels.
CLICK HERE to view a preview video of the event.
It will be the second of four races in the Puerto Rico Series, which joined the XTERRA Trail Run circuit this year. For more information, please visit www.xterrapr.com.
POWERBAR CAN HELP YOU REACH YOUR PERSONAL BEST
PowerBar can help you reach your personal best in the XTERRA Event Series.
Visit PowerTrainer.com for a FREE Training plan (valued at $30), courtesy of PowerBar.
All participants are encouraged to visit powertrainer.com, browse a variety of training plan options, and get started today!
WIN A FREE 3-NIGHT STAY IN HAWAII WITH OUTRIGGER
Congratulations to Amanda C. of Buffalo, NY winner of last month's free stay in Hawaii at the Outrigger Luana Waikiki.
Here's another chance to win as our Outrigger Hawaii Sweepstakes returns for 2012. Each month through December we will be offering a free 3-night stay for you and a guest at one of Outrigger Hotels and Resort's Hawaiian properties. Sign up today for your chance to win a free 3-night stay in Hawaii at the Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort on Kauai.
Entries must be received by May 31, 2012 and certificate is good for stays through November 01, 2013.
ENTER TO WIN TODAY
CONTACT THE XTERRA TRAIL RUN SERIES
Toll-free: 877-XTERRA-1 (877-983-7721)
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