Veterans Clark and Faulkner win opener at Point Mugu
Jon Clark and Anissa Faulkner are not just fast for their age. They are fast, period.
They proved it last weekend by winning the XTERRA Point Mugu Trail Run at Point Mugu State Park in Oxnard/Malibu, California. The race, which was the opening event of the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series, was completed on Sunday, October 14.
Clark, 39, was the overall winner, completing the 18-kilometer long course in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 41 seconds. He has been an elite runner in the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series for several years, although this was his first victory since the 2010-11 season.
"When I was driving up the coast line to get to the race itself, I remember thinking how lucky I was just to be a part of this event because it was such a great day," said Clark, who is from Rancho Santa Margarita. "I knew there was going to be great competition, so I had no thoughts of winning going into this race."
But Clark took the lead in the first mile and stayed in front the rest of the course. James "JJ" Timphony, who won this race last year, placed second with a time of 1:12:14.
"I was running scared the whole time," Clark said. "It was kind of stressful, to be honest, to have him behind me the whole time because I know how fast he is."
Clark works as a fitness trainer, and his conditioning helped him late in the race, when the runners faced a strong headwind. "It was a pretty demanding race," he said. "It was a little warm, but that continuous headwind out there was what made it really tough."
Owen Kiely was third in 1:13:49, and Dominic Grossman was fourth in 1:14:01.
Faulkner, 40, was the first overall female with a time of 1:24:16. Like Clark, she has been an elite runner in the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series for several years.
"I'm happy anytime I can win a race," said Faulkner, who resides in Ojai, Calif. "What's funny is I actually had a faster time last year, when I got second"
Faulkner said she took the lead midway through the course and ultimately finished around two minutes ahead of the other female runners. Maggie Shearer was second in 1:26:08, and Kate Freeman was third in 1:30:47.
CLICK HERE to see the complete results. There was also a separate 11-kilometer course. Jeffrey Dinkin was the overall winner of the 11K, and Nita Davanzo was the top female.
Close to 500 runners ranging in age from 13 to 76 participated in the event, which was the first of seven races in the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series.
The next races in the SoCal Series will be XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot on November 22. To enter a race in the series or to learn more about it, please visit www.trailrace.com.
About the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series
The XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. In the 2012-13 season, there will be seven races available for runners, with the courses ranging in length from 5 kilometers to 22 kilometers. The top runners in every age group will receive points after each race that will count toward the overall series standings. At the conclusion of the series, each age-group champion will receive a free entry to represent Southern California at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah. SoCal is one of 13 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Northern California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pacific Northwest, Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and Texas.