TIPS FOR THE TRAIL - UTAHNS HAVE NATIONALS IN THEIR OWN BACKYARD
By Rachel Cieslewicz
This one is for the locals. Or, perhaps for all who will wish very deeply you could move to northern Utah - for at least the next two months - after reading this!
Late summer and fall is my absolute favorite time of the year in Utah. The skies are sunny and the air is warm. All of my favorite mountain trails are clear of snow and full of wild flowers - perfect for running and cycling for hours, every day of the week. And of course, we have an incredible wealth of world-class breweries delivering full strength ales to all seeking après recreation refreshment. If I couldn't imagine it getting any better, last year northern Utah became the envy of the nation.
XTERRA brought their Trail Run National Championship to my back yard. For 2012, they will be back to the Snowbasin Resort, September 22-23, for another fantastic round of both the XTERRA USA Championship off-road triathlon on September 22, and the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship on September 23. It is one weekend of the most fabulous fun you could ever have on a mountain.
If you are lucky enough to live in Utah, this means you have an incredible home advantage. Snowbasin is less than an hour from Salt Lake City and only 15 minutes from downtown Ogden. The award-winning site at Snowbasin offers sunny days, dry crisp air and light crowds (as compared to other mountain resorts), making for the best conditions ever for enjoying the outdoors!
Locals are fortunate to have XTERRA Trail Run Nationals so close. Travel is easy of course! You get to sleep in your own bed pre-race as well. Whether you are an elite or a beginner, this event gives Utahns a chance to stand on the same starting line as some of the top athletes in the nation. What other race in Utah can say that?
Even more exciting is there are no qualification standards to race. In other words, you are all invited! This can be a complete friends and family affair. If you have never raced in an XTERRA Trail Run before, this is a great opportunity to see what the buzz is about (there are 10K and 5K courses available in addition to the 21K course, so there's something for everybody). Perhaps you will run your way to a win and claim a national title in your home state! All I can say is it is completely worth it to make it a weekend in September with the XTERRA family.
NATIONALS CHAMPS WILL RECEIVE FREE ENTRY TO WORLDS
All age-group winners from the 21-kilometer half-marathon course of the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship will receive a free entry to the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship.
This year’s XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is scheduled for September 23 at the Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah, and it is open to runners of all ages. Last year, runners ranged in age from 13 to 79. The age divisions are based on five-year increments (10-14, 15-19, 20-24, etc.), so there are many opportunities to win a title.
Every age-group winner, male and female, from the Utah race will receive a free entry to the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, which is scheduled for December 2 at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii.
There are also 10K and 5K courses available at the Utah race, but only the 21K winners will receive the free entry to the Hawaii race.
It should also be noted that both the Hawaii and Utah races are open to all runners. Those who do not earn a free entry can still REGISTER HERE.
For more information on either championship race, please visit www.xterratrailrun.com.
COLORADO RUNNERS TAKE TOP HONORS AT BEAVER CREEK
J. Marshall Thomson, 33, and Stevie Kremer, 28, won the XTERRA Beaver Creek Trail Run half-marathon course on a beautiful summer morning at Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, CO, today.
Both are from Crested Butte, Colo., and both are experienced – and successful – trail runners. For Thomson, it’s his second XTERRA victory in as many chances having won the XTERRA Cheyenne 24K in Colorado Springs back in April. Today he led from start to finish and crossed the line more than two minutes ahead of runner-up Jacob Malcomb from Marietta, Ohio. Two-time Ironman World Champ Tim DeBoom finished third in 1:30:20.
Thomson, who set the course record at the Collegiate Peaks 50-miler in April, is all about the altitude and the climbs.
“I looked at the course map for this online and saw the 2,300-feet of climbing and said I’m in," said Thomson, who plans on taking on all-comers at the XTERRA National Championship at Snowbasin Resort in Utah on Sept. 23. "I like going uphill, and I like the altitude, so it was fun.”
In the women’s race, Stevie Kremer took the lead a quarter-mile into the course and never looked back. She finished fourth overall in 1:31:14 and took top honors among the women, just one week after qualifying for the U.S. Mountain Running Team at the Loon Mountain Race in New Hampshire.
ARRITOLA, KREMER ON U.S. MOUNTAIN RUNNING TEAM
Two runners with XTERRA ties have qualified to represent the United States women’s team at the 2012 World Mountain Running Championship this September in Italy.
Morgan Arritola, the 2011 women’s XTERRA National and World Trail Run Champion, won the U.S. Mountain Running Qualifier, which was held on July 8 at Loon Mountain, New Hampshire.
Arritola, a former Olympic cross-country skier who resides in Idaho, completed the 5-mile course in 46 minutes, 16 seconds, and finished nearly a minute ahead of the rest of the field. It was her first attempt at qualifying for the U.S. Mountain Running Team, and she is now the top qualifier.
Stevie Kremer of Crested Butte, Colorado, placed fourth and also qualified for the team (the top four women were named to the U.S. team). Kremer returned to her home in Colorado a week after the Loon Mountain race, then went out and won the XTERRA Beaver Creek Trail Run (see above).
The World Mountain Running Championship is scheduled for September 2.
NORTH CAROLINA SERIES UNDERWAY
The XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series got off to a fast start last weekend, with Kip Thompson and Kimberley Hefner leading the way.
Thompson was the overall winner and Hefner was the top female at the XTERRA Whitewater Trail Run, which was completed on Saturday, July 14, at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C. More than 300 runners ranging in age from 8 to 63 participated in the event. It was the opening race of the 2012 XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series.
Thompson was a somewhat surprising winner, as this was the first trail run race of his career. He is former collegiate wrestler and a successful road racer. He resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a member of the Atlanta Track Club. He entered the XTERRA Whitewater Trail Run because he happened to be in Charlotte visiting his girlfriend.
"I was looking for races I could do while I was in town," said Thompson, 24. "Not only was this my first XTERRA race, it was my first trail race ever. I am only a year out of college, so really starting to ramp up the training for my runs.
"I have won probably 15 or so road races in my life. Again, this being the first trail race and me getting the W in it, has already changed my thinking about training."
Thompson completed the 13-kilometer course in a record time of 52 minutes, 15 seconds. George Linney III from Durham, N.C., placed a close second in 52:22, and Matt Longworth of Charlotte was third in 53:24.
NO REST IN NORTH CAROLINA
The runners in the XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series won’t have much time to recover from the opening race last weekend. The next race in the North Carolina Series will be the XTERRA Beech Mountain Trail Run on July 28 at Beech Mountain, N.C.
The 15-kilometer long course is considered a challenging one, with several up-and-down sections throughout. The course will feature more than 1,500 feet of climbing, reaching a maximum height of approximately 5,200 feet above sea level.
It will be the second of three races in the 2012 XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series.
To register for the race or learn more about it, please visit www.dirtyspokes.com or www.xterratrailrun.com.
Photo courtesy www.greatactionportraits.com
CHARLOTTE RUNNERS DOMINATE SOUTH CAROLINA RACE
The XTERRA Harbison Trail Run featured quite a contrast in finishes last weekend. Ben Hovis was the overall winner, finishing nearly 10 minutes ahead of the rest of the field. Dalena Custer and Michelle Hazelton shared top honors in the women's division, crossing the finish line together.
The XTERRA Harbison Trail Run was completed on Sunday, July 8, at the Harbison State Forest in Columbia, South Carolina. The event drew more than 300 runners from 19 different states.
Interestingly enough, the three winners all train with the Charlotte Running Club in North Carolina. Hovis has won XTERRA Trail Run races in North Carolina, but this was his first time entering an XTERRA South Carolina event.
"I had never run these trails before, so it was fun to get on a new set of trails," said Hovis, 34. "The trails are technical with plenty of hills. However, there were also a few wider sections that provided some space to roll out a bit more."
(Ben Hovis pictured, courtesy www.strictlyrunning.com)
Hovis said he entered the Harbison Trail Run as a form of training for longer races he has coming up later this summer. "I went into the race with the intention of just chilling behind some other folks, for the most part," he said. "This had been my highest mileage week in some time, and my legs were a bit tired."
Hovis took the lead halfway through the course and then ran away from everyone else. He said he kept running hard because he had no idea where the other runners were. "I had no idea what the lead was, no idea where I was on the trails, no idea what was ahead of me, so I just kept myself under control," he said. "I honestly had no idea until the finish that I had won by such a large margin."
WIN A FREE 3-NIGHT STAY IN HAWAII
Congratulations to Tuan H. of San Leandro, CA winner of last month's free stay in Hawaii at the Outrigger Aina Nalu Resort on Maui.
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 Luana Waikiki on Oahu.
Entries must be received by July 31, 2012 and certificate is good for stays through January 01, 2014.
ENTER TO WIN TODAY
CONTACT THE XTERRA TRAIL RUN SERIES
Toll-free: 877-XTERRA-1 (877-983-7721)
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