RUNNER'S SPOTLIGHT: MARY COLBURN
A frustrating start was hardly enough to prevent a successful finish for California’s Mary Colburn at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship on Sept. 18.
On her way to Bend, Ore., for the XTERRA Nationals, Colburn got lost.
“Getting to Bend was not an easy deal,” said Colburn, who is from Culver City, Calif. “In fact, it was really difficult. It turned into this adventure I wasn’t expecting, and it was just a really stressful thing to have to go through before a big race like that.”
She took out her frustrations on the 22.5-kilometer course, finishing with a time of 1 hour, 29 minutes, 18 seconds. It was good enough to make the post-race podium, as Colburn placed third overall among the females, and first in the 30-34 age group.
“Looking at the times from the year before, I was hoping to get in the top five,” Colburn said. “So to get third was awesome. I was really excited to be where I was.”
It was Colburn’s first appearance at the XTERRA Nationals, so her third-place finish was considered somewhat of a surprise.
The only female runners to finish ahead of Colburn were defending champion Lauren Fleshman of Oregon, and Michele Suszek of Colorado. Colburn placed in front of Oregon standouts Sopagna Eap and Kami Semick.
Colburn’s training for the 2011 XTERRA Nationals has already started, as she is set to enter the XTERRA Point Mugu Trail Run on Sunday, Oct. 3. That race is the opening event in the 2010-11 XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series, and Colburn said she will try to enter several of the races in the series.
“As long as my schedule works, I’ll do what ever I can,” said Colburn, who works as a teacher at UCLA. “The (SoCal) Series is great. There are some really good trails and it’s good competition.”
More than 450 runners are expected to participate in the Point Mugu Trail Run at Malibu, Calif. Entries are still being accepted. For information visit www.xterratrailrun.com or www.trailrace.com.
HOT START EXPECTED IN ARIZONA
Temperatures are expected to be near 100 degrees this weekend for the debut of the XTERRA Arizona Trail Run Series at Goodyear, Ariz.
The XTERRA Estrella Mountain Trail Run is set for Sunday, Oct. 3, and more than 250 runners have registered to participate in the first XTERRA trail run staged in Arizona.
The 20-kilometer long course will have at least five aid stations, but runners should also hydrate properly to prepare themselves for the heat.
The Estrella Mountain Trail Run is the first of three races in the inaugural Arizona Series. The next races are scheduled for January and February, when temperatures should be cooler. Race-day entries will be accepted. For information visit www.xterratrailrun.com or www.aztrailrace.com.
GEORGIA SERIES STARTS WITH NEW WINNERS
New faces - with fast feet - prevailed at the XTERRA Harbins Park Trail Run at Dacula, Ga., today.
Tom Kutter of Loganville, Ga., and Erin Gower from Marietta, Ga., took top honors in the 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) course at Harbins Park Trails.
The race was the first of six in the 2010-11 XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series. Neither Kutter nor Gower competed in the Georgia Series last season.
Kutter was the overall winner, completing the course in 36 minutes, 52 seconds. He said he often trains at Harbins Park, so the familiarity with the trail helped his cause.
"I kind of knew what to expect because I run those trails a lot," said Kutter, 30. "It was an awesome race. Conditions were great, everything was great."
Gower was the first female finisher with a time of 45:30. She ran away from the rest of the women's field, as runner-up Elizabeth Johnson came in nearly two minutes later at 47:30.
To read more on the Harbins Park Trail Run visit http://www.xterraplanet.com/news/dsp_content.cfm?id=2883
QUICK TURNAROUND FOR GEORGIA RUNNER'S
The runners who participated in last weekend’s Harbins Park Trail Run won’t have much time to recover if they want to continue in the XTERRA Georgia Series. The XTERRA Fall Fitness Trail Run at Buford, Ga., is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 2.
The good news for runners with tired legs is that the Fall Fitness race will follow a “moderate” 5-kilometer course at Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center.
“It’s a great course for the first-time trail runner,” Georgia Series director Tim Schroer said. “It is mostly moderate to easy with about a half-mile of the course on paved surface.”
Entries will be accepted on race day. For information visit www.xterratrailrun.com or www.dirtyspokes.com.
OUT-OF-STATE RUNNERS DOMINATE UTAH RACE
Mark Lonac (pictured here) of Fort Collins, Colo., and Liz Stephen of East Montpelier, Vt., ran to dominating victories at the XTERRA Wheeler Canyon Xduro on Sept. 25 at Ogden, Utah.
Lonac was the first overall finisher, completing the 21-kilometer course with a time of 1:19:07. He finished more than six minutes ahead of runner-up Tom Diegel of Salt Lake City, Utah.
Stephen was an impressive fourth overall and the first female with a time of 1:27:44. Rachel Cieslewicz of Salt Lake City was second in 1:32:12.
More than 180 runners participated in the race, which was held in conjunction with the XTERRA USA Championship off-road triathlon. For full results visit http://www.xterraplanet.com/news/dsp_content.cfm?id=2883.
THE LEGEND OF MAX KING GROWS
Even when he’s not winning races, Max King comes across as a winner.
King, the three-time XTERRA Trail Run national champion, showed an amazing display of sportsmanship during the USA Track and Field 50K Trail Championship last weekend at Bend, Ore.
King voluntarily took second place after discovering that several of the race leaders inadvertently ran off course. Apparently, some of the course markings were vandalized, causing the runners to make a wrong turn.
King was all alone as he approached the finish line, but stopped to find out what happened. When he heard about the mishap, King decided to wait for the lead pack.
Eric Skaggs of Oregon was leading the race before taking the wrong turn, so King allowed Skaggs to cross the finish line first, and King took second.
King, who is from Bend, won his third consecutive XTERRA Trail Run National Championship on Sept. 18, also in Bend.
For a detailed recap of the USATF 50K race, visit “A Trail Runner’s Blog” by Scott Dunlap at http://runtrails.blogspot.com/.
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