RUNNER'S SPOTLIGHT: LEN WAYMEYER
Len Waymeyer is proof that there are no limits in trail running.
He started trail running less than a year ago, and is “crazy about it” now. But while he is new to trail running, Waymeyer is not exactly new to life.
He will turn 72 on Aug. 23, and is a soon-to-be great grandfather.
“I suppose you don’t see many people my age doing this,” he said. “But I feel like this is something I can do. I see all the young runners zip on by me, but I’m not trying to keep up with them. I’m pretty careful on the course, and I guess that’s why it takes me a little longer. At my age, I’m just thrilled to finish the race.”
Waymeyer , who resides in Atlanta, recently won a regional championship for his age group in the 2010 XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series. It doesn’t matter to him that he is the only runner in his age group. After all, runners in that genre are not exactly easy to find.
“I’d like to see more runners my age try it,” Waymeyer said. “The soft trails are easier on the body … it’s just a matter of getting out there.”
Georgia Series director Tim Schroer said Waymeyer is often one of the last runners to finish a race, but always receives the biggest applause.
“It’s really a pretty cool scene when Len approaches that finish line,” Schroer said. “As runners, they all appreciate what he’s doing and are insipired by him.”
In turn, Waymeyer credits Schroer and the other runners for inspiring him to keep entering the XTERRA races.
“I’ll come in last and feel so bad about it – making everybody wait,” Waymeyer said. “But they always make me feel good about finishing the race, regardless of my time.”
Waymeyer, who is retired, started working out at a gym in Atlanta several years ago as a way to stay in shape. When his trainer suggested the idea of trail runs, it stirred memories of his childhood.
“I never got into sports much when I was a kid,” said Waymeyer, who grew up in St. Louis, Mo. “I liked to play in the woods and build forts, just run around and hide back there all day.”
He said his introduction to trail running has been like a revisit to his youth. “It’s a wonderful feeling to be out there,” he said. “I only wish I had discovered it earlier.”
As a Georgia Series champion, Waymeyer received entry into the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship at Bend, Ore., on Sept. 18. He said he will take advantage of the opportunity.
“I thought about it for a minute and said ‘wait a minute, I may not be around to do it next year so I better go this year,’ ” Waymeyer said.
Waymeyer and his wife Erene have three sons and 10 grandchildren. Their first great-grandchild is expected by the end of August.
SOUTH CAROLINA SERIES COMPLETES 2010 SEASON
The 2010 XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series came to a close on Aug. 14 at the Paris Mountain Trails 7K Run at Greenville, S.C. The South Carolina Series featured four races in 2010, with an average of around 200 runners per race.
The Paris Mountain Trails 7K Run was the final event in the series, and 16 age-group champions were crowned after the race. All of the age-group champions are eligible to receive free entry to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Bend, Ore., on Sept. 18.
South Carolina is one of 10 regions in the XTERRA Trail Run Series.
Click Here for a list of the 2010 South Carolina Series Champions
XTERRA SOCAL SERIES OFFERING EARLY DISCOUNT
In celebration of National Trail Running Day, the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series is offering a $5 discount toward the registration fee for any race in the 2010-11 SoCal Series.
The 2010-11 SoCal Series will feature seven events, and each event will offer a 5-kilometer race for beginner athletes and a 15-kilometer (or longer) for more experienced athletes.
To register for a race in the SoCal Series, visit www.active.com. To receive the $5 discount, type in NatTrailRun as the coupon code.
The coupon expires on National Trail Running Day, which is Aug. 21, so don’t delay.
A sibling pair from Piedmont prevailed at the XTERRA Paris Mountain Trails 7K Run on Aug. 14 at Greenville, S.C.
Tom Ford, 19, was the first overall finisher, completing the 7-kilometer course in 28 minutes, 29.78 seconds. His older sister, Sunday Davis, 23, was the first female finisher with a time of 33:12.94. Both are from Piedmont, S.C.
Trent Humphreys of Williamston, S.C., placed second overall, finishing 28 seconds behind Ford. Geoff Aucoin, who is 49 and from Simpsonville, out-paced dozens of younger runners to place third overall with a time of 30:46.59.
Around 250 runners competed in the race, making it the largest race of the 2010 XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series, in terms of participation. For complete results visit www.xterratrailrun.com.
It will be a busy weekend, as four XTERRA trail runs are on the schedule:
- Aug. 21 – XTERRA Lake Placid Trail Run, Lake Placid, N.Y.
- Aug. 21 – XTERRA Oak Hill Trail Run, Peninsula, Ohio
- Aug. 21 – XTERRA Austin Trail Run, Austin, Texas
- Aug. 22 – XTERRA Colonel Francis Trail Run, Charlotte, N.C.
The Ohio race and Texas race will serve as season finales, so the age-group champions from both of those regions will be determined.
Entries for all four races are still being accepted. For more information on any of the races, visit www.xterratrailrun.com.
CONTACT THE XTERRA TRAIL RUN SERIES
Toll-free: 877-XTERRA-1 (877-983-7721)
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