The 2013 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series is fast becoming a showcase for Kaytlynn Welsch. The 12-year-old running phenom won yet another race in the series, placing first overall among all females in the XTERRA Camp Eagle Trail Run.
The event was completed on March 23 at Camp Eagle in Rocksprings, Texas.
Christopher Chancey from Austin was the overall winner, completing the 21-kilometer (13.1 miles) course in 1 hour, 27 minutes, 5 seconds.
"I thought the course was great," said Chancey, 32. "Plenty of rocks, roots, ups and downs with nice scenery. Weather was great as well - low 60s for the start."
Chancey took the lead 10 minutes into the race, and then ran away from the rest of the field. He finished more than four minutes ahead of the other runners. "It was a small field, but it was also a good group of runners," said Chancey, who works as a massage therapist. "I love racing no matter how large the field."
Adrian Slusher from League City, Texas, was second in 1:31:11, and Jeffrey Rosser from Houston was third in 1:37:03.
Welsch placed fourth overall with a time of 1:39:30. It was her second overall female win in as many races in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series this year.
"The course was amazing, the scenery was beautiful, and when we went on top of the mountain on the jeep trail, the sight was breathtaking," said Welsch, who is a seventh grade student at Alvin Junior High School in Alvin, Texas.
If a 12-year-old winning a 21-kilometer trail race was not impressive enough, Welsch rallied to this victory after falling in the first mile of the course. She ran the final 12 miles with cuts and scrapes on her left knee and thigh.
Her father, Rodney, was taking photos along the course, but he did not see her fall. "After she lost her footing, and went down, I am sure there was a struggle dealing with that, after all she is just a little 12 year old girl who had another 12 miles of trail in front of her to run," he said. "Somehow she didn't give up, she found the heart and drive to go on. Regardless of the outcome of the race, she showed me that she's a winner, and that she is a trail runner."
The Welsch family made a six-hour drive to get to the race site from their home in Alvin, so Kaytlynn's performance made the trip worthwhile.
Tracie Akerhielm from Denton, Texas, placed second in 1:43:00, and Jessica Scott from Webster, Texas, was third in 1:47:28.
Kaytlynn's younger sister, Heather, did not race due to a toe injury. Heather, 10, placed third overall at a couple of Texas races last year.
The XTERRA Camp Eagle Trail Run was the second of seven races in the 2013 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series. The next event will be XTERRA Bluebonnet Trail Run at Burnet, Texas, on April 20. To register for a race in the Texas Series, or to learn more about it, please visitwww.terrafirmaracing.com or www.xterratrailrun.com.