TIPS FOR THE TRAIL - "LIVE MORE" AT BEAVER CREEK
One of the things I love about summer is the accessibility of running and racing in the high mountains with the snow finally melted off the trails. Even better is when the race happens to be included in an XTERRA Championship event weekend. For anyone who thought the high Colorado Mountains are just for winter skiing, you are about to learn the truth. The summers of Beaver Creek at 8,000 feet elevation exemplify magical wonder and charm. Trail running, mountain biking, cool summer nights, and the list goes on … magical is right.
When XTERRA comes to town, it gets that much better. The XTERRA Beaver Creek Trail Run is set for July 21 at the Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, Colorado, and it will feature 5K and 10K trail runs that are open to runners of every age. The weekend of racing begins on Saturday, July 20, with the XTERRA Mountain Championship triathlon events.
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Beaver Creek will be Season Finale
The XTERRA Beaver Creek Trail Run will be the fourth, and final, event of the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series.
The top 15 finishers in each age group for the 10K race at Beaver Creek will earn points toward the Colorado Series standings.
The chance to earn a title of “Colorado Series Champion” is within reach for numerous runners, as just about every age division in the series is still up for grabs.
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After the Beaver Creek race, the series points will be tallied and every age group champion will receive a free entry to represent Colorado at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at the Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah, on September 22.
It should be noted that the XTERRA Beaver Creek Trail Run is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, even runners who have not previously competed in a Colorado Series race.
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PUSH YOUR LIMITS - GET FUELED WITH REAL FRUIT
RUNNERS TREATED TO "PRETTY AWESOME" TRAILS AT TURKEY TRACK
Thomson and Young win marathon; Hofferber and Falcon win half-marathon
When an expert trail runner like J. Marshall Thomson describes a course as “pretty awesome,” it must be good.
Such was the case at the inaugural XTERRA Turkey Track Trail Run, which was completed on June 15 at Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Close to 200 runners from 10 different states participated in the event, which was the third of four races in the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series.
Thomson added to his list of XTERRA Trail Run victories by winning the full-marathon course in impressive fashion. He completed the 26.2-mile course in 3 hours, 1 minute, 43 seconds – nearly 27 minutes ahead of the rest of the field. It was his fourth overall XTERRA Trail Run victory in the past two years.
“This course was pretty awesome,” said Thomson, who is 34 and resides in Crested Butte, Colorado. “I always love a course that stays on trails. The course was 90 percent beautiful rolling, winding single track, with maybe a mile of dirt road to and from the start. The weather was awesome and everything was just about perfect.”
Thomson said he ran with the half-marathon leaders for the first half of the race, and then ran by himself for the second half of the full-marathon. His lead was so large that he even had time to “hit a wall.”
“Unfortunately, I fell apart at mile 21,” he said. “I just hit a wall … although my pace slowed drastically and I was starting to suffer, I was able to push through the last few miles and maintain my lead.”
Raul Manzanares from New Mexico placed second in 3:28:39.
Amber Young, also from New Mexico, placed third overall at 3:42:20, and was the first female. She also dominated her division, finishing nearly 25 minutes ahead of the other women.
Photo courtesy www.joingecko.org
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TEXAS SERIES HEATS UP AT GATOR BAIT TRAIL RUN
Owens and Akerhielm finish first in 15K
Runners overcame hot temperatures, sand pits and the threat of alligators at the XTERRA Gator Bait Trail Run last weekend.
Jonathan Owens from Beaumont, Texas, and Tracie Akerhielm from Denton, Texas, took top honors for the 15-kilometer course, which was completed on June 16 at Huntsville State Park in Huntsville, Texas.
Owens finished first overall, completing the course in 1 hour, 3 minutes, 11 seconds; Akerhielm was the top female, finishing with a time of 1:08:18.
“It was a little dry, so there were some sandy portions, but other than that, there were no issues,” Owens said. “The course has lots of roots, but pretty much zero rocks. It was hot and it was humid, but that’s what you get in Texas in June!”
Owens was up for the challenge, finishing more than a minute ahead of runner-up Christopher Chancey from Austin, Texas. “I stayed within sight of the leader the entire first half and finally passed him a little pass the halfway mark,” Owens said. “The top five or so finishers were all pretty spread out from the start, and even more so as the race went on, so it was a bit of a lonely race.”
Owens has competed in several races at Huntsville State Park in recent years, and he said his familiarity with the course and conditions played a key role in his victory.
“Being familiar with the trails is a huge plus,” he said. “When you can process the entire course in your mind, you know when the ups will come as well as the downs so that you know when you need to push and when you need to ease up over the entire distance. That way, you can manage energy and effort for the whole race.”
Akerhielm placed seventh overall with a time of 1:08:18, and continued her torrid pace in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series. She has entered five races in the Texas Series in 2013, and has placed either first or second in each of those races.
SAMBOLEC AND SHOKEY RUN AWAY AT MOCANAQUA
Experience plays a key role in the half-marathon race
A year of experience made a big difference in Eric Sambolec and Jaclyn Shokey racing to big wins at the XTERRA Earth Conservancy Trail Run at Mocanaqua, Pennsylvania.
Sambolec was the overall winner of the half-marathon (13.1 miles) trail race, and Shokey was the top female. The event – which was the fourth of five races in the 2013 XTERRA Pocono Trail Run Series – was completed on June 15 at the Earth Conservancy Land.
Sambolec completed the course in 1 hour, 27 minutes, 53 seconds, to win the event for the second consecutive year. He also won the race in 2012, and said the experience from a year ago played a key role in improving his time by nearly two minutes.
“It helped me to know where to push, and more importantly, where to ease up and save some energy,” he said. “Also, the top three finishers were the same as last year, so I had a sense of how the other guys would approach the race.”
Just like last year, Tony Korch (1:33:38) placed second and Grant Farrell (1:38:49) was third.
“I ran with Grant Farrell for the first four to five miles, and then I broke away on the flat sections at the top of the course,” Sambolec said. “I knew I was widening my lead after halfway, but wasn’t sure by how much so I worked pretty hard in the second half and tried to run a good time.”
Sambolec, 35, drove nearly three hours from Ithaca, New York, to enter the race. He said the challenging course at Mocanaqua has become a reason for him to make the trip every year.
“The course is tough with constant climbing over the first three miles, then it levels out at the top of the mountain and has some really tough descents in the last few miles,” he said.
Shokey placed 14th overall with a time of 1:49:24, and she finished more than 20 minutes ahead of the other women. She finished second in this same race a year ago, but said the experience led her to the convincing victory this year.
“I was more familiar with the course so I knew not to go out as hard in the beginning and to save myself for areas of the course where I could pick up the pace,” she said.
NORTH CAROLINA SERIES TO START ON JULY 13
Three races coming up this summer
While many of the XTERRA Trail Run Series are wrapping up over the next few weeks, there is one series that has yet to start. The XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series will begin its 2013 season on July 13 with the XTERRA Whitewater Trail Run at Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Whitewater Trail Run will be the first of three races in the North Carolina Series. The second race will be the XTERRA Beech Mountain Trail Run on July 27, and the season finale will be the XTERRA Fisher Farm Trail Run on August 31.
All three races in the series are open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from all states. Runners must compete in at least two races in the series to be eligible for an age-group series championship at the end of the season.
The course lengths range from 5 kilometers to 16 kilometers, and there will be a short course and long course at every event.
All runners will receive dri-fit event shirts at each race, and the top runners (overall and masters) will receive special medals and prizes.
To register for a race or to learn more about the series, please visit www.dirtyspokes.com.
SOUTH CAROLINA SERIES RESUMES ON JULY 7
The XTERRA Harbison Trail Run will take place on July 7 at Harbison State Forest in Columbia, South Carolina. It will be the second of three races in the 2013 XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series.
The event will feature two course options – a 21K half-marathon, and a 5K. Both courses are open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from all states.
The Harbison Trail Run is the most popular event in the South Carolina Series, drawing more than 300 runners from more than a dozen states every year.
To register for the race or learn more about it, please visit www.marathonmajic.com.
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