ALL RUNNERS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR XTERRA NATIONALS
Many of the XTERRA Trail Run Series have wrapped up for the season in recent weeks, and the respective age-group champions have been crowned. But they are not the only runners eligible to compete at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.
In fact, any runner from any state can enter the XTERRA Trail Run Nationals, which is scheduled for September 22 at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah. Even runners who have never competed in an XTERRA event prior to this are welcome.
There will be three courses to accommodate the various levels of runners – a 21-kilometer championship course, a 10K and a 5K.
The fastest runners on the 21K course will earn a share of the $5,000 prize purse, including $1,000 each to the first male and female. Every age-group winner for the 21K course will also be crowned an XTERRA Trail Run National Champion for 2013.
The 10K and 5K courses also provide unique challenges in the breathtaking setting at Snowbasin Resort.
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By Rachel Cieslewicz
I’ve run competitively since I was a teen. I enjoy the process of training. I like learning what my body is capable of when I put myself out there. I love traveling to places I might not otherwise ever go in the name of a race or a beautiful run. I embrace the thrill of adventure. I enjoy meeting other runners from all walks of life, of whom I am connected through trail running and our appreciation of nature.
In all of my running years, I have learned many hard lessons right along with the wonderful feelings of bliss while dancing through Nature’s playground. Ebb and flow, right?
Sometimes I wish I had someone to teach me about the ups and downs of running, rather than learn it by life’s fire. It is one of the reasons I write for XTERRA. I want to help you to have the best XTERRA running experiences ever. It always helps to receive advice from others who have already been where we want to go. Below please find some of the trail running lessons I’ve learned along my way.
PUSH YOUR LIMITS - GET FUELED WITH REAL FRUIT
HUTSON RUNS INTO XTERRA TRAIL RUN HISTORY
He is the first to win three regional titles in the same year
If you need inspiration to “Live More” in an XTERRA Trail Run Series, meet Thomas Hutson.
The 61-year-old from Houston, Texas, recently capped an amazing year on the XTERRA Trail Run circuit – and in his personal life. He made XTERRA Trail Run history by winning his age division in three different regions in the same year: Texas, Florida and South Carolina.
Several runners have won two regional titles in the same year, but Hutson raised the bar a notch with his extended travel to compete in three different regions.
“My wife (Lisa) and I both won our age groups in Texas in 2012, and we travel to Florida several times a year to visit friends and family,” Hutson said. “After winning Texas last year, I decided to try to win Florida and Texas in 2013.”
When it became apparent that he was going to clinch both the Florida and Texas age-group titles for 2013, he checked the XTERRA schedule and found that the South Carolina Series still had races available, so he decided to chase down that title as well. All told, he competed in 11 different races – six in Texas, three in Florida, and two in South Carolina.
His wife accompanied him to the various races, although she did not always compete due to injury.
“We love running trail runs in the different states and venues,” Hutson said. “They all offer different challenges. Florida races are surprisingly tough technically, and this last South Carolina race was the most technical race we have run so far, but the Texas Series is the best run and offers the most variety of all the series we have done so far.”
As amazing as his record run to three titles was, that was only part of his story, and perhaps not even the best part.
READ MORE AND VIEW S. CAROLINA SERIES CHAMPS
TABLE ROCK PROVIDES CHALLENGING FINISH FOR S. CAROLINA SERIES
Epley wins his age-group for third straight year
The XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series featured a grueling finish to its season, as the XTERRA Table Rock Trail Run lived up to its reputation as the toughest trail run in South Carolina.
“The Table Rock course is a very challenging mix of rocky and rooty single track trails with many water crossings,” said Carl Epley, who placed third overall. “After an initial 2-mile rolling start, there is a punishing trek to the top of the mountain of 3 miles and 2,000 feet, only to be sent then screaming back down on an even steeper decline.”
Close to 100 runners participated in the 15-kilometer long course, and only 13 of them were able to finish in less than two hours.
Jose Zavala was up for the challenge, completing the course in a winning time of 1 hour, 32 minutes, 47 seconds. He finished more than nine minutes ahead of the other top runners. Peter Ross was second in 1:42:11, and Epley was third in 1:43:24.
RECORD RUN AT PUERTO RICO SERIES FINALE
Close to 600 runners participate at Cerro Gordo
The XTERRA Puerto Rico Trail Run Series saved its best for last, as a record number of runners showed up to participate in the season finale.
The XTERRA Cerro Gordo Trail Run drew close to 600 runners, ranging in age from 10 to 68. It was the largest field ever for a Puerto Rico Trail Run Series event.
“We had a coupon offer for the 5K as an effort to get the message spread all over the island that XTERRA Trail Runs are here to stay and rock the running community,” said Efrain Cardona, director of the Puerto Rico Series.
The event featured a 10K long course and a 5K short course. The elite runners entered the 10K race, and Heriberto Hiraldo Flecha ran away with the victory. He completed the course in 55 minutes, 15 seconds, which was nearly two minutes ahead of the rest of the field.
Flecha, 42, is considered one of Puerto Rico’s top road runners and triathletes, and this was his first appearance in an XTERRA Trail Run race.
Aaron Hogan placed second in 57:01, and Erick Bernard was third in 57:29.
XTERRA Trail Run veteran Alberto Saldana placed fifth, and said of the course: “A very challenging course and one of the most difficult in the island with a lot of elevation changes. It’s like a roller coaster, so is very difficult to increase some speed. Is a very technical trail, and you need a lot of balance and coordination. The conditions were a little bit muddy, because it rained early in the morning. Other than that, everything was fine. This trail has a beautiful ocean view and extraordinary vegetation.”
Neysha Velez was the top female, finishing with a time of 1:05:57, and Sheila Soto was second in 1:08:27.
NORTH CAROLINA SERIES FINALE ON AUGUST 31
The XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series will host its season finale on August 31, when the XTERRA Fisher Farm Trail Run takes place at Davidson, N.C.
The event will feature two courses – a 16K long course and a 6K short course, and more than 200 runners are expected to participate. Both courses are open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from all states.
As the season finale, it will be the last chance for runners to earn points toward the overall standings for the North Carolina Series. To learn more about the race or the series, please visit www.dirtyspokes.com.
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