Kaytlynn and Heather Welsch had quite the trail running journey in 2012. Precocious performances in their home state of Texas led to national and international races on the XTERRA Trail Run circuit, as well as national and international publicity through the media.
The pre-teen sensations will run again in 2013. Kaytlynn, 12, and Heather, 10, plan to be regular participants in the 2013 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series. It will start with the XTERRA Eco Lonestar Trail Run 15K on March 10.
"The plan this year was to get (Kaytlynn) into more duathlons," said their father, Rodney. "And she is off to a good start as she was the overall female winner in a duathlon last week. But I know where her heart is, as she had to choose between the Eco Lone Star, and the Blue Northern Duathlon, and she choose to be out on the trail."
The sisters gained national attention last summer when Kaytlynn placed first overall at an XTERRA Texas Series race, and Heather placed third. Success in other races led to a lengthy feature in the New York Times. Just this month, the family was featured on NBC's Rock Center With Brian Williams.
Interestingly enough, Kaytlynn did not get to see the original airing of the television program because she had a school dance that same night.
"I had to leave and pick Kaytlynn up from the dance, so we both missed seeing the show," Rodney said. "But we watched it later on the Internet."
Despite the media attention, the sisters are apparently not treated any differently at their respective schools. Kaytlynn is in the seventh grade, and said the boys at her school only care about football and baseball, while the girls are mostly interested in volleyball. Heather is in the fifth grade, and said that none of her school friends ever talk about running.
In any case, the Welsch sisters will maintain a similar schedule as last year, with races almost every weekend throughout the year. They plan to race in at least six of the seven races in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series, and hope to run in the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in September, and the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in December.
All races in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series are open to runners of all ages and skill levels. To register for a race or learn more about it, please visit www.xterratrailrun.com orwww.terrafirmaracing.com.