A year ago at this time, Jerry and Kim Bueno were dating, but had never entered a trail race together. Now, they are married and can both claim to be champions of the 2012 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series.
Perhaps thanks in part to a broken toe, the Buenos entered the XTERRA Muleshoe Trail Run in June, and enjoyed it so much that they entered subsequent Texas Series races in July and August.
"We got married in March 2012, and we planned our honeymoon in San Francisco in order to run our first trail marathon together," Kim explained. "Unfortunately, a week before our wedding, I broke my toe on our coffee table! I was in a boot for about six weeks, which put a damper on our training, as well as our honeymoon plans. When my toe healed in May 2012, we started looking for some new races to put on the calendar. We found the XTERRA Texas Series and decided to sign up. XTERRA Muleshoe was our first race. Jerry and I both had a blast and signed up for the rest of the series."
Despite missing the first two races in the series, Jerry wound up winning the male 35-39 age group for the series, while Kim placed first in the female 35-39 age group.
"We were both shocked to learn that we won our respective age groups - I thought for sure they made a mistake about me!" Kim said. "Neither of us is very competitive, and we certainly had no hopes of winning the series. We both just love being outdoors, running and spending time together. We were thrilled to learn about winning our age groups."
With the series championship, they each received a free entry to represent Texas at the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, which is scheduled for September 23 at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah.
They previously traveled together to enter road races in Montana and Oregon, but this will be their first trip to Utah "Neither of us has ever been to Utah, so we are thrilled about going to Nationals," Kim said. "We are looking forward to a great race with great people."
Although the newlyweds were new to the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series in 2012, they are no strangers to running. Jerry has completed several Ironman races, as well as more than 20 road marathons and numerous cycling races.
"During our first year of dating, we entered several 5K, 10K, and half-marathons together," Kim said. "As our mileage increased, we started training for marathons and have now completed four marathons together. Jerry is definitely the one who influenced me to start running. Now, we run together as much as possible."
The Buenos live and work in Austin, Texas. Jerry is an engineer and Kim is an attorney. Because of their busy schedules, they try to run together in the morning when ever time allows.
"We run together almost every morning," Kim said. "Jerry is a lot faster than me, so we are not competitive at all. When he wants to do sprints or run faster, he always leaves me in the dust! I can usually hang on when we do our longer runs. I'm the slow and steady one, and Jerry has all the energy and speed."
They are yet more proof that anyone can enter a race in the XTERRA Trail Run Series, including the National Championship race in Utah.
The XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, and there will be three courses to accommodate the various levels. The 21-kilometer course will serve as the championship course, and there will also be 10K and 5K courses.