BEAVER CREEK TRAIL RUN THIS SUNDAY
Runners from at least a dozen different states will be on the starting line at the XTERRA Beaver Creek Trail Run this Sunday at the Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, Colorado.
The event will feature 10-kilometer and 5-kilometer races, and the 10K course will take runners on 1,300 feet of elevation gain on the picturesque mountain trails surrounding the Beaver Creek Resort.
Several elite runners are in the field for the 10K, including former Olympian Roberto Mandje from Boulder, Colorado. Mandje has already won two XTERRA Trail Run events this year (Lake Las Vegas and Cheyenne Mountain), and also placed a close second at the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Run 21K in May.
The Welsch sisters from Alvin, Texas, have made their way to Colorado and will enter the Beaver Creek 10K for the first time. Kaytlynn Welsch, 13, recently completed a successful run in the 2013 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series with three top overall female victories. Heather Welsch, 11, is returning to action after a foot injury earlier in the year. She is the youngest runner in the Beaver Creek 10K as of today.
At the other end of the age spectrum, Steve Parker from Denver will be seeking a third consecutive age-group title at the Beaver Creek Trail Run. He won the men’s 60-64 division in both 2011 and 2012.
The XTERRA Beaver Creek Trail Run will be the fourth, and final, event of the 2013 XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series. As such, the age-group championships for the season standings are at stake, and will be determined after this race. Every age-group champ from the final standings of the Colorado Series will receive a free entry to the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah, on September 22.
Online registration for the Beaver Creek Trail Run is closed, but in-person registration will be available at the Beaver Creek Village (McCoy’s Pavilion) on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on race day Sunday from 7 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE BEAVER CREEK TRAIL RUN
By Rachel Cieslewicz
Although summer is in full force with heat and sunshine highlighting many amazing adventures, fall will soon be on its way. Now is the time to start looking ahead to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, which will once again be held at the breathtaking Snowbasin Resort in northern Utah on September 22.
XTERRA’s major events are not to be missed, especially a National Championship! Snowbasin Resort is a prize jewel of Utah. Winters at Snowbasin boast some of the best skiing in the country. Remarkably when the snow is gone, unveiled is an incredible vast network of trails that will keep you happily dancing on trails for days. The resort itself is a Sun Valley masterpiece complete with spectacular lodges nestled amongst inspirationally gorgeous mountain terrain. A gifted bonus to racers coming out to enjoy the National scene is the fall colors should be just setting in right in time for your race!
Success in the XTERRA trail running world is a lot about getting out there and running your favorite trails in order to bring your best race to the finish line when it counts. Preparation for Nationals takes a bit more. Goal setting and day–to-day progression will make the process a much more enjoyable journey.
I created a list of tips that when executed will bring you to the start line confident, healthy and ready to run your best race ever.
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TUCK, MINNECI TAKE TOP HONORS AT WOLF MOUNTAIN
At 57 years young, Kevin Tuck is still going strong in trail running. His latest victory for the ages came at the XTERRA Wolf Mountain Trail Run, which was completed on July 13 at the Wolf Mountain Ski Resort in Eden, Utah.
Tuck, who resides in Salt Lake City, finished first overall for the 10-kilometer course. His time of 49:30 was more than three minutes ahead of the other top runners in the field.
"I guess I was the leader of the 10K, so I didn't have anyone to follow, and made all the right turns," he said. "I thought the course overall was a little overgrown in places, long grass in areas prevented you from seeing the trail, but this is a trail race and I think it should be rough."
(Kevin Tuck leading the way, photo courtesy Jared Lashinsky Photography / www.utahxterra.com)
Tuck is no stranger to success in trail running, as he is a four-time age-group champ at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.
Robert Kunz from Eden, Utah, placed second in 53:01, and his wife, Sylvia was fourth overall in 57:57.
Susan Minneci from Park City, Utah, was third overall and took top female honors. She finished with a time of 54:37.
Richard Burgunder of Boulder, Colorado, was in second place for the first half of the race, but he and several other runners took a wrong turn late in the course. He finished fifth overall in 58:38.
"The Wolf Mountain race was a blast and also very challenging!" Burgunder said. "The initial climb featured a gain of over 1,000 feet in the first mile! It was insanely difficult. Overall, a great course and some awesome athletes."
BURGUNDER ADDS UTAH TO HIS LIST OF REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
A new region on the XTERRA Trail Run national circuit meant a new challenge for Richard Burgunder. As a result, he has another regional title to add to his record list.
The XTERRA Utah Trail Run Series joined the circuit in 2013, and the final race of the series took place last weekend: the XTERRA Wolf Mountain Trail Run at Wolf Mountain Ski Resort in Eden, Utah. Burgunder placed fifth overall and first in the men's 30-34 age division.
That performance earned Burgunder enough points to win the men's 30-34 division for the season. The Utah Trail Run Series featured three races at three different locations, and Burgunder scored 265 out of a possible 300 points for the season.
Burgunder, 33, recently moved to Boulder, Colorado, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition to his new Utah championship, he previously won age-group titles in New England (2009), Northern Ohio (2011), and Pocono (2011 and 2012). He is now the only runner in XTERRA Trail Run Series history to earn titles in four different regions.
He planned to challenge for yet another title in the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series this year, but a foot injury earlier in the year took him out of several of those races.
(Richard Burgunder pictured, courtesy Jared Lashinsky Photography)
"I'm happy with accomplishing half of my initial goal this year, despite being told that my competitive season would be over, following my late January injury," Burgunder said. "I wanted to win Colorado, and claim six titles, but it just didn't work out that way."
READ MORE AND SEE LIST OF SERIES CHAMPIONS
SMITH, AKERHIELM TAKE TEXAS FINALE
Season finales are supposed to be about drama, and the XTERRA Magnolia Hill Trail Run did not disappoint.
More than 200 runners participated in the event, which was completed on July 13 at Magnolia Hill Ranch at Navasota, Texas. It was the season finale for the 2013 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series.
Robert Smith and Tracie Akerhielm took top overall honors for the 21-kilometer race, and both had interesting tales from the trails to tell.
Smith finished first overall with a time of 1 hour, 38 minutes, 39 seconds. Although it was his first XTERRA Trail Run experience, he was willing to call it a victory "by mistake" because two other runners took a wrong turn on the course.
"I got to the last aid station before the finish and asked what place I was in. They said first. I told them I should be in third," Smith said. "I continued and when I finished I told them that there should have been two high school kids in front of me. I assume they went the wrong way."
Indeed, Collin Carter and Blake Devoll were inadvertently directed in the wrong direction, and they wound up running an extra three miles. They were ahead of Smith by at least a minute when they took the wrong turn. Carter and Devoll are members of the Giddings High School cross country team, and their coach was understanding of the situation.
"They were both frustrated, but sometimes these things happen on trail races," said Shaun Carter, head coach of the Giddings team. "Nature of the beast."
NORTH CAROLINA SERIES GETS OFF TO FAST START
The XTERRA Whitewater Trail Run proved to be a fast opening act for the XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series.
Close to 350 runners from 12 different states participated in the XTERRA Whitewater Trail Run, which was completed on July 13 at the U.S. Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C.
Charlotte runners Matthew Longworth and Stacy Mercer took top overall honors, and they did it in record fashion.
Longworth, 33, completed the 13-kilometer course in 51 minutes, 28 seconds, which was 47 seconds faster than the previous course record. Longworth placed third at this event last year, but took nearly two minutes off his time to earn the victory this year.
Cole Whitaker from Carrboro, N.C., was the only runner to stay within striking distance of the lead. He finished second with a time of 51:44. Tyler Turnbull from Charlotte was third in 54:17.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE RACE VIDEO
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