Baldwin, Shearer set new course records
The 2012 edition of the XTERRA Crystal Cove Trail Run was one for the record books.
Patrick Baldwin of Encinitas, Calif., and Maggie Shearer from Trabuco Canyon, Calif., shattered the course records to take top overall honors in the 15-kilometer race, which was completed on Sunday, December 9, at Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach.
Baldwin placed first overall, finishing with a time of 1 hour, 1 minute, 10 seconds - nearly seven minutes faster than the previous course record. "Conditions were perfect - cool and clear with some incredible views up on top of the hills," he said. "The course left me pretty beat up! The most memorable section was about a quarter-mile steep, steep downhill that had a surprise u-turn that turned up what felt like a wall. I have never gone from free fall to climbing almost with my hands that abruptly. It was a shock!"
(Patrick Baldwin pictured, courtesywww.SuperSportsPhoto.com)
Baldwin, 36, is no stranger to XTERRA Trail Run success. He has placed in the top three of numerous races in recent years, including two previous overall wins in the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series. This, however, was his first try at the Crystal Cove course.
"I hadn't raced Crystal Cove ever, as I usually miss it when it sells out," he said. "I love the area and really just wanted to get back into the XTERRA mix."
Baldwin and Michael Sevier set a quick pace from the start, and they exchanged the lead several times throughout the course. Baldwin took the lead for good on the final uphill climb and eventually finished 52 seconds ahead of Sevier.
Nathan Platt, a senior at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, placed third overall with a time of 1:05:11.
Shearer was the first overall female, and finished with a women's record time of 1:10:50 - four minutes faster than the previous mark. Like Baldwin, Shearer was running at Crystal Cove for the first time.
"If you like hills, it offered an opportunity to get out ahead of the competition right from the beginning," she said. "Prior to the start of the race, someone mentioned a big hill - 'The Wall.' I ran the entire hill, but I'm sure I would have gone backwards if I did not. It was pretty steep!"
(Maggie Shearer pictured, courtesywww.SuperSportsPhoto.com)
Shearer, 35, ran away from the other women from the start, and kept pace with the lead males for most of the course. "They were very supportive and encouraging!" she said of the men. "Many segments of the race were on a single track so there was a constant exchange of race efforts between a few of us."
Shearer has placed second overall at several previous XTERRA SoCal Trail Run events, and this was her first overall victory in the series.
Mollie Rosing placed second in 1:14:56, and Tara Kulikov was third in 1:16:38.
The event featured a capacity field of 600 runners, ranging in age from 16 to 87.
The Crystal Cove Trail Run was the third of seven races in the 2012-13 season for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series. The next race in the series will be the XTERRA Boney Mountain Trail Run at Newbury Park, Calif., on January 6.
To register for 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.