More than 700 run at season finale at Malibu Creek
The XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series came to a close last weekend for the 2012-13 season, and at least two runners are wishing it could go on longer.
Patrick Baldwin and Maggie Shearer continued their impressive late-season runs in the SoCal Series by taking top overall honors at the XTERRA Malibu Creek Trail Run. The event was completed on May 18 at Malibu Creek State Park, and more than 700 runners participated.
Baldwin took top overall honors, completing the 22-kilometer course in 1 hour, 39 minutes, 1 second. Baldwin won four of the seven races in the series, including the last three.
(Patrick Baldwin pictured, courtesywww.supersportsphotography.com)
"Most of all, I credit consistent training through the years, six days a week," he said. "I've gotten to the point, as many of us do, that it is far harder to take a day off than to get a training session in! I've also been running and racing for quite a few years now; experience is key. I guess it also helps I live in a very hilly area, there are no easy runs!"
Baldwin works as a landscape architect in Encinitas, Calif. He said the Malibu Creek Trail Run was probably the toughest race of the seven in the series.
"The course contains the longest climb and descent, and it's the longest race in the SoCal series so your legs definitely remember this one," he said. "I am still hobbling around two days after the race!"
A year ago at this same race, Baldwin got passed for the lead midway through the course and finished in second place. He relied on that experience this time and maintained his pace throughout to finish with a relatively comfortable victory. "I knew this year to keep the focus, not necessarily go harder, but stay on a consistent pace," he said.
Nils Arend from Venice Beach placed second in 1:41:40, and Greg Abrams from Newbury Park was third in 1:44:52.
Maggie Shearer placed 14th overall and was the first female. Like Baldwin, she won four of the seven races in the SoCal Series, including the last three.
"That's a tough course," she said. "You really need to dig deep for the entire 14 miles. I raced Malibu Creek last year, but I can't say it was any easier the second time around. The climbs are unrelenting, but the view is breathtaking so it's well worth the effort."
Because of the numerous climbs and descents, and twists and turns, Shearer said she was never quite sure how far ahead she was of the other females. "I ran with the men from the start, but in this particular race there are so many climbs and descents that by mile 7 most racers are well spread out," she said.
Shearer, who works as a pharmaceutical representative in Trabuco Canyon, Calif., finished with a time of 1:54:55. Anissa Faulkner was second in 1:58:07, and Joanne Dow was third in 2:00:45.
In addition to the 22K long course, there was also a 6K short course. Jonathan Toker and Amy Shertzer took top honors in the 6K.
The Malibu Creek Trail Run was the seventh, and final, event of the 2012-13 XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series. Next up for many of the SoCal Runners is the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, which is scheduled for September 22 at Ogden, Utah.
Baldwin and Shearer said they are both trying to arrange plans to enter the XTERRA Trail Run Nationals in Utah.
"My family and I have a busy summer/fall ahead, however, I am planning on racing in Utah for XTERRA Nationals," Shearer said. "I'm looking forward to racing against some incredibly talented runners in Utah!"
The 2013-14 season for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series is scheduled to begin in October, and online registration is already open. 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 are 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 16 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Atlantic, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Pocono, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.