NATIONALS ARE RIGHT AROUND BEND
Picturesque trails are once again beckoning the nation’s top trail runners to Bend, Ore.
Hundreds of participants from around the country are expected in Bend on Sept. 18 for the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship.
Early Bird registration for the race is in effect until Aug. 18.
Among the elite runners, Max King of Oregon is set to defend his overall title. Regional champions from XTERRA’s 10 regions (Alabama, Georgia, Long Island, NorCal, North Carolina, Ohio, Philly, SoCal, South Carolina and Texas) have also been invited to participate.
This year’s overall champions (male and female) will each receive $1,000 and a roundtrip airfare between the West Coast and Hawaii that can be used for the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii, on Dec. 5.
This year, XTERRA is also teaming up with the Big Foot 10K, which is Bend’s oldest 10-kilometer road race. The Big Foot 10K is scheduled for Sept. 19 (the day after XTERRA nationals), and any runners interested in participating in both races can receive a discounted entry rate.
More information on the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship.
XTERRA BLAZING NEW TRAILS IN ARIZONA
Ready for a new trail?
The XTERRA Arizona Trail Run Series is set to make its debut on Oct. 3, and the races will offer a unique opportunity for runners.
“We don’t really have your typical mountain trails here, so it’ll be in the desert,” Arizona Series director Shannon Lindner said. “They do a lot of mountain bike races out here, so our first race will actually be on a mountain bike loop.”
The XTERRA Estrella Mountain Trail Run will serve as the first of three races in the Arizona Series. The next races in the series are the XTERRA White Tanks Trail Run on Jan. 9, and then the McDowell Mountain Trail Run on Feb. 6.
Temperatures normally soar well above 100 degrees during the summers in Arizona, so the series will try to avoid those months.
“We’ll try to do races when it’s not so hot,” Lindner said. “It’ll still be a little warm and dusty … and of course, you have to watch out for the cactus.”
As an XTERRA-sanctioned series, the Arizona Series will offer points for the top runners at each race. At the end of the series, each age-group champion will be considered an XTERRA Regional Champion, and will earn an invitation to the 2011 XTERRA Trail Running National Championship.
Arizona is the latest region to join the trail running craze. Other XTERRA regions previously established are Alabama, Georgia, Long Island, NorCal, North Carolina, Ohio, Philly, SoCal, South Carolina and Texas.
Entries for all three Arizona races can be found online at www.aztrailrace.com.
RUNNER’S SPOTLIGHT: AMY GALBRAITH
If you need training inspiration, look no further than Amy Galbraith.
At 67, Galbraith is going strong. She has two XTERRA Trail Running National Championships to prove it, and will be seeking her third next month at Bend, Ore.
“When you get to be my age, things start sagging and you’re not as fast as you once were,” she said. “But you can still be competitive with yourself and in your age group, so that’s what I try to do.”
The results have been staggering. Galbraith won the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series 2010 Regional Championship after winning four of the five races she entered in the 65 to 69 age division.
Galbraith, who works full-time as an accounts receivable manager for a medical corporation, also competes in road running races and triathlons, but said trail runs have become her favorite.
“All the good things you hear about it from everybody else are true,” said Galbraith, who resides in Venice Beach, Calif., with her husband John. “You’re outside, so it’s more of an adventure. And it’s more of a challenge with all the terrain.”
Galbraith is the two-time defending national champion in the women’s 65 to 69 age division of the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship. That she was even able to compete in last year’s race at Bend is impressive enough.
While most of the other competitors were resting in Bend the day before the race, Galbraith was in Malibu, Calif., competing in a triathlon. She won her age division, completing the Olympic-distance course in 3 hours, 40 minutes.
Shortly after completing the triathlon, she rushed to the airport to make her flight to Oregon. After a quick night of sleep, she completed the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship course in 2 hours, 44 minutes.
“I was hoping for a better time,” she said, refusing to use her hectic schedule as an excuse.
Galbraith, who has two children and four grandchildren, will try a similar schedule this year, but with more rest and recovery time. She plans to compete in the Malibu Triathlon on Sept. 11, and then will have a week to get to Bend for the XTERRA Nationals.
In the past year, Galbraith said she has competed in 31 races, including trail runs, road runs and triathlons. She incorporates swimming, road running, trail running and bicycling in her weekly training routine.
“I don’t train specifically for events,” she said. “I kind of just go out there and do what I feel like doing.”
It is something she wishes more people her age would try.
“Just go for it,” she offered as advice. “People think ‘oh, I’m too old or I’m too slow.’ Of course you’re not going to be as fast as the younger runners, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try it.”
Jason Bryant of North Carolina and Anne Wheatley of Georgia ran away with top honors at the inaugural XTERRA Tsali Trail Run last Saturday at Robbinsville, N.C.
Bryant completed the 18-kilometer (11-mile) course in 1 hour, 12 minutes, 54.5 seconds, to win the overall men's title. The 38-year-old from Elkin, N.C., finished 54 seconds ahead of runner-up Sean Dunlap of Sugar Grove, N.C.
Wheatley, who is 25 and from Decatur, Ga., was first to finish in the women's division with a time of 1:28:19.7. Second-place Kristin Morgan of Atlanta finished in 1:29:57.4. Third-place Marissa Cooper of Taylorsville was the first North Carolina resident to finish in the women's division.
For more on the Tsali Trail Run, including complete results, visit www.xterratrailrun.com.
The XTERRA STOAKED Trail Run is scheduled for Saturday at Hanover, N.H. The 16-kilometer race offers numerous uphill and downhill sections, including 2,000 feet in climbs and descents. It is expected to draw more than 100 runners.
Entries will still be accepted on race day (registration is from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.), and the fee is $20.
The STOAKED Trail Run is part of an XTERRA weekend in New Hampshire. On Sunday, the XTERRA STOAKED Triathlon will take place at the same site.
For more information on the XTERRA STOAKED events, visit www.wnhtrs.com.
Three XTERRA regional series – Ohio, South Carolina and Texas – will hold season finales in August.
The XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series will stage its final race of the season on Aug. 14 with the XTERRA Paris Mountain 7K Trail Run at Greenville, S.C.
The XTERRA Ohio Trail Run Series will hold its final race of the season on Aug. 21 with the XTERRA Oak Hill Trail Run at Peninsula, Ohio.
The XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series will also hold its final race of the season on Aug. 21 with the XTERRA Austin Trail Run at Austin, Texas.
As season finales, it will serve as the final chance for runners to earn a coveted regional championship and the invitation to the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship that comes with the title.
The XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series has two events remaining – Aug. 22 at Charlotte, N.C., and then Sept. 5 at Davidson, N.C.
For a full schedule of all XTERRA trail run races, visit www.xterratrailrun.com.
TRAIL RUNNING CLINIC IN UTAH
Rachel Cieslewicz, an XTERRA national age-group champion, will be the lead instructor at a six-week clinic for trail runners.
The clinics are scheduled to meet every Thursday (6:30 to 8 p.m.) from Aug. 12 to Sept. 16 at a different trail each week along the Wasatch Front in Utah.
Among the topics are general off-road running technique, trail etiquette, proper warm-up and cool-down, injury prevention and race strategy.
Cieslewicz won the women’s 30-34 age division at last year’s XTERRA Trail Running National Championship.
Participants can use the clinic as a form of preparation for the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship at Bend, Ore., on Sept. 18, or for the XTERRA Wheeler Canyon Xduro at Ogden, Utah, on Sept. 25.
Entry fee is $189, and will be limited to 20 runners. For information visit www.newageathlete.com or www.transform-you.com/clinics or contact Rachel Cieslewicz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAIT 'TIL NEXT YEAR
Instead of running in Bend next month, Lon Neumann will be on the mend.
Neumann, a regional champion from the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series, will not be competing at the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship at Bend, Ore., next month due to an injured left leg.
Shortly after clinching the regional championship for the men’s 60 to 64 age division in the XTERRA SoCal Series in May, Neumann got injured in a bicycle accident. He was on a casual ride to the grocery store when the chain on the bike snapped, causing his lower left leg to crash through the pedal and drag on the road. He suffered tendon and ligament damage, and was in a cast for nine weeks.
He recently started physical therapy and said he would like to resume his trail running soon.
Still, he said the pain from his accident pales in comparison to the hurt of missing what would have been his initial appearance at the XTERRA Nationals.
“I would love nothing more than to be participating in the race this year and would surely be there if it were not for this pesky injury,” he said. “Oh well. There’s always next year.”
CONTACT THE XTERRA TRAIL RUN SERIES
Toll-free: 877-XTERRA-1 (877-983-7721)
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