RECAP: XTERRA TRAIL RUN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Patrick Smyth made quite the first impression on Snowbasin Resort and the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.
Although he lives in Salt Lake City - about 40 miles away from Snowbasin – Smyth had never been to the picturesque trails at Snowbasin until Sunday. All he did in his first XTERRA Trail Run was win the overall National Championship.
“I’ve never actually been to Snowbasin, but always wanted to, so this was a good excuse to get up here and get on the trail system here,” said Smyth, 27.
Lindsey Anderson, who made her first visit to Snowbasin last year and ran away with the title, successfully defended her women’s XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. She is the second female runner to win back-to-back XTERRA National titles, following Lauren Fleshman (2009 and 2010).
CLICK HERE TO READ THE COMPLETE RECAP
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A PHOTO GALLERY
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE HIGHLIGHT VIDEO
The Reno Running Company in Reno, Nevada, is advertised as "a specialty running shop," and the owners are certainly qualified to call it such.
Matt and Aimee Balzer own the Reno Running Company, and they took the weekend off last week to win a couple of national championships. Matt was the overall top amateur at the XTERRA USA Championship off-road triathlon on Saturday; the next day, his wife Aimee won the women's 30-34 division at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. Both events were staged at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah.
Matt has been on the XTERRA triathlon circuit for several years, and once held professional status in the sport. However, this was his first USA Championship win for his age-group, let alone as the top overall amateur.
Aimee's win was perhaps more surprising, as this was her first time entering the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. She placed ninth overall among all females in the race.
"He has been training very hard this season and deserved the win," Aimee said of Matt's performance. "I was really anxious for him. It makes a difference in the race when we have each other there, so I wanted to do well."
Aimee's victory is even more impressive when considering she gave birth to their second child just five months prior to this race.
"Indeed, we have a 5-month-old little baby and an 8-year-old little girl," Aimee said. "I think taking some time off from training during pregnancy and adjusting focus away was refreshing and made me really motivated to get back to running. It's also the only time in the day that is just for me, so I cherish it. It really changes your world having kids and especially an infant. They are my motivation!"
CHAMPIONS RANGE FROM 9 TO 75
Proving itself as a race for everyone, the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship crowned champions ranging in age from 9 to 75.
On the young end of the spectrum, 9-year-old Jake Mackleer from Hampstead, North Carolina, became the youngest runner ever to complete the 21K championship course at Snowbasin Resort. His father, John, accompanied him along the race.
"Up the hills got a little tough, but on the flats and downhills he did pretty good," John said.
Jake completed the course in 3:17:26, which included a sprint to the finish that allowed him to beat his dad by nine seconds. "Very proud of myself," said Jake, who is in the fourth grade at South Topsail Elementary.
It was the longest distance that Jake has ever completed, and he did it for more than just himself. He raised more than $1,000 for the Pender County Humane Society in North Carolina.
"I'm so proud of him," John said. "He worked so hard for this, and it really showed."
The oldest national champion crowned at the event was 75-year-old Jesus Romero from Snellville, Georgia. It was his first XTERRA National title, and he entered it this year with his wife, Linda, who placed third in the women's 60-64 division.
XTERRA WATCHES BY ROCKWELL
TEENS KEEP PACE WITH ELITES
If the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship was any indication, the future of the sport is looking very fast.
Seventeen-year-old Mauricio Mendez from Mexico City led the charge of teen runners with a fourth-place overall finish. His time of 1:21:19 is the best ever for any runner under the age of 20 on the Snowbasin 21K course. He is also the first runner under the age of 20 to earn a top-10 finish at the XTERRA Trail Run Nationals.
"It was awesome," said Mendez, who recently graduated from high school and is looking to attend a college in Mexico. "This is a really hard race, and I was pushing the whole time."
Mendez made the trip to Utah as part of his training for a bigger event in October - the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon. He will be a top contender for the 15-19 division, and maybe even for the overall amateur title at the race on Maui.
"For the future, my big goal is to be a pro triathlete, XTERRA of course," he said. "And on the way, do a lot of trail runs. Running is my strongest thing right now, but I train hard in everything - running, swimming, bike."
LEBRUN WINS FIRST XTERRA TRAIL RUN TITLE
Nicolas Lebrun is nicknamed "The Professor" and he figured out a way to win an XTERRA National Championship last weekend.
Lebrun is best known as a former XTERRA World Champion triathlete, and a two-time former winner of the XTERRA USA Championship off-road triathlon. Now he can add XTERRA Trail Run National age-group champ to his list.
After an eighth-place showing in the pro division of this year's XTERRA USA Championship triathlon on Saturday, he came back the next day to place 12th overall at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship. It was also good enough for first place in the men's 40-44 division.
"I can't say that I expected this, I entered this with no expectations," said Lebrun, who is from Digne, France. "I knew I was not in top shape this year to win the triathlon, so I looked at this weekend as a training weekend and I decided to try the triathlon and the (21K) run."
TRAIL RUN WORLDS ON TOP 15 LIST
Looking for another reason to enter the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship? How about it being listed as one of the top “15 Fall Races Under 15 Miles” across North America by TrailRunner Magazine.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ARTICLE
The 2013 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship is scheduled for November 24 at Kualoa Ranch on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It is open to runners of all ages and abilities, from anywhere in the world. There is no qualifying process, and there will be three courses to accommodate the various levels of runners – a 21K championship course, a 10K and a 5K. There will also be an “Adventure Walk” and children’s races.
Online registration is open, with prices ranging from just $30 to $55, depending on the race distance.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
COLORADO SERIES ENDURES AT CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN
The XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races took place as scheduled this past Sunday at Cheyenne Mountain Park in Colorado Springs, Colorado. That was noteworthy in itself.
Flooding throughout the state of Colorado in mid-September damaged roads, homes and even took lives. Still, nearly 300 runners showed up to participate in the Marathon of Trail Races.
"The course was beautiful," full-marathon course winner Alejandro Rocqu Venzor, told the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper. "You wouldn't believe what happened here just a couple days ago."
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ARTICLE
Race director Victoria Seahorn said volunteers and Cheyenne Mountain Park workers helped repair damaged parts of the course earlier in the week, and other parts of the course were re-routed to assure safety.
The event featured a 42K full-marathon course, a 21K half-marathon course, and a 5K.
Venzor finished the marathon course in 3:57:47, and was the only runner to complete it under four hours. Connilee Walter from Colorado Springs was an impressive third overall and the first female, finishing with a time of 4:29:32.
In the 21K, Dan Vega from Colorado Springs prevailed for the third consecutive year. His time of 1:32:26 was nearly three minutes faster than his time of last year. Rochelle Persson from Colorado Springs was the top female, finishing with a time of 1:50:03.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE RESULTS
ARIZONA SERIES SET TO START OCTOBER 6
The XTERRA Arizona Trail Run Series will kick off its 2013-14 season on October 6, when the XTERRA Estrella Mountain Trail Run takes place at Estrella Mountain Park in Goodyear, Arizona.
It will be the first of four races on the schedule for the Arizona Series. However, the second race is not until January, so register now to get your points on the board.
The Estrella Mountain event will feature two courses – a 20K long course and an 8K short course. Both courses are open to runners of all ages and abilities. The top finishers for every age group in the 20K race will receive points toward the overall standings for the Arizona Series.
To register for the Estrella Mountain race, or any other race in the Arizona Series, please visit www.aztrailrace.com.
WIN A FREE 3-NIGHT STAY IN HAWAII
Congratulations to Heather D. of Omaha, NE! Last month's 3-Night Stay in Hawaii winner. We've brought back one more chance to win a stay at the luxurious Kapalua Villas on Maui. Enter today!
Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has once again brought back one of our best promo offers for the XTERRA Tribe with their 3-Night Stay in Hawaii Sweepstakes running each month now until December. Enter Now!
Entries must be received by September 30, 2013 and certificate is good for stays through September 30, 2014.
ENTER TO WIN TODAY