The 40-somethings are two of 25 age-group champions for 2013
Diana Pacheco has been entering races in the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series since 2006, and she finally won an age-group championship this year. Adam Hodges moved to Southern California from Colorado less than a year ago, and he won an age-group championship in his first season with the XTERRA SoCal Series.
Both runners happen to be in the 40 to 44 age group, and are just two examples of what it takes to win a title in the ever-growing XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series.
The 2012-13 season for the SoCal Series came to a close last weekend with the XTERRA Malibu Creek Trail Run. There were nearly 4,000 entries spread over seven races during the 2012-13 season.
Not surprisingly, both Hodges and Pacheco entered all seven races in the series.
"Consistency is key in a series like this that spans over seven months," Hodges said. "Consistent attention to recovery between races allowed me to put in consistent training, which in turn led to fairly consistent race results."
Indeed, Hodges finished either first or second in his age group in every race during the season. It helped that he came to Southern California from the high altitude of Boulder, Colorado, where he trained as an elite-level triathlete.
(Adam Hodges pictured, courtesy www.SuperSportsPhoto.com)
"The series has been a great way to explore many of the great trails in the area," he said. "I was worried about leaving behind the trails of Colorado, but the trails of SoCal are beautiful and challenging in their own ways … like those amazing ocean views!"
Hodges made the move to La Crescenta, Calif., last June for family/business reasons, and now works as a multi-sport coach for individual triathletes and runners, as well as a coach for the La Canada High School track and cross country teams.
While Hodges is new to the SoCal Series, Pacheco is one of the most experienced runners in the entire series, in terms of competing in the XTERRA races. She entered her first XTERRA Trail Run in October of 2006. She has not missed a race in the series since 2010 - a streak of 22 consecutive races.
"I've been coming back every season for the phenomenally beautiful and challenging courses," she said. "I also return because of the camaraderie among so many wonderful people I've met. Trail runners are truly selfless supportive athletes!"
This season proved to be the payoff for Pacheco, who works as a special education teacher for a middle school. For starters, she "aged up" to the 40-44 division for the first time, and it resulted in her first SoCal Series age-group championship. She had finished in second place in the 35-39 age group in each of the previous four years.
(Diana Pacheco pictured, courtesy Pacheco Family)
"Always a bridesmaid, never a bride was exactly how I felt after finishing second for the past four years, and always to a different amazing competitor!" she explained. "I find it surreal to finally move into age group first place! It's very exciting, and I'm humbled by it. It's great participating in such an exciting series, year after year, on some of the most beautiful and challenging courses with such incredible and inspiring athletes!"
A total of 25 runners earned enough points to win an age-group championship. All 25 will receive a free entry to represent the SoCal Region at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at the Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah, on September 22.
Of special note, Amy Galbraith of Venice, Calif., won the female 70-74 age division. It is the sixth consecutive year that she has won an age-group title in the XTERRA SoCal Series.
Hodges and Pacheco said they are both trying to make travel arrangements to compete at the Nationals in Utah.
The 2013-14 XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series is scheduled to start in October, and online registration is already open. To register for a race or learn more about the series, please visitwww.trailrace.com.
Here is the complete list of 2013 XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series Champions:
|Female 15-19||Elizabeth Ging||16||Newbury Park||CA|
|Female 20-24||Emily Waters||22||Lake Forest||CA|
|Female 25-29||Chelsea Alexander||25||Reseda||CA|
|Female 30-34||Dara Ditsworth||33||La Jolla||CA|
|Female 35-39||Maggie Shearer||36||Trabuco Canyon||CA|
|Female 40-44||Diana Pacheco||40||Norwalk||CA|
|Female 45-49||Katy McNamara||48||Woodland Hills||CA|
|Female 50-54||Susan Duenas||50||Thousand Oaks||CA|
|Female 55-59||Erin Fry*||58||Anaheim Hills||CA|
|Female 60-64||Kathleen Rydgig*||61||Oxnard||CA|
|Female 65-69||Cheri Uno||66||Los Angeles||CA|
|Female 70-74||Amy Galbraith*||70||Venice||CA|
|Male 15-19||Emmanuel Rubio||17||Calexico||CA|
|Male 20-24||Ivan Zarate||23||Walnut||CA|
|Male 25-29||William Caplenor||28||Reseda||CA|
|Male 30-34||Bradford Smith||30||La Verne||CA|
|Male 35-39||Joseph Beckerley||35||San Diego||CA|
|Male 40-44||Adam Hodges||42||La Crescenta||CA|
|Male 45-49||Jeffrey Dinkin||48||Pasadena||CA|
|Male 50-54||Eric Rignot||52||La Crescenta||CA|
|Male 55-59||Lou Bon||59||Santa Monica||CA|
|Male 60-64||Harold Kennedy*||62||Apple Valley||CA|
|Male 65-69||John Ganahl||69||Orange||CA|
|Male 70-74||Hans Unger||71||Sylmar||CA|
|Male 75-79||John Williams*||76||Culver City||CA|
*Repeat champion from 2012