Van Reenen, Gist take top honors
Sometimes, a 5-kilometer trail run can go a long way. Such was the case at the XTERRA Moab Trail Run last weekend at Moab, Utah.
"The course was surprisingly challenging for a 5K," is how runner-up Richard Burgunder described it. "The diverse terrain included an interesting mixture of single track trails, sand, water crossings, suspension bridges, steep climbs, and a fully exposed half-mile trek across the dam at Ken's Lake. Overall it was a beautiful course and provided some spectacular scenery. The waterfall was simply amazing."
Robert Van Reenen from Salt Lake City was the overall winner, completing the course in 26 minutes, 53 seconds. Burgunder, who drove six hours from his hometown of Boulder, Colorado, to get to the race, finished second in 27:28.
Burgunder said he led for the first mile, then Van Reenen took the lead on one of the longer climbs. "We ran neck-to-neck through most of the race, rotating the lead a couple of times," he said. "It wasn't until the final half mile where Van Reenen pulled away."
Katja Gist from Denver placed fifth overall and was the top female with a time of 29:12. Amy Hammermeister from Gunnison, Colorado, was the second female at 30:36.
All of the runners were treated to PowerBar products before, during and after the race, and Burgunder performed double-duty as a runner and PowerBar Field Marketing Associate.
This is the first year of the XTERRA Utah Trail Run Series, and the Moab Trail Run was the second of three races in the 2013 Utah Series. Burgunder recently moved to Colorado from Pennsylvania, and has become a regular participant in races in both Colorado and Utah.
"The races out west have proved to be a vastly different experience for me thus far," Burgunder said. "First, I am coming off of a very serious injury that nearly ended my season. With only a couple of weeks of training over the past several months, the races have been especially challenging for me. The Moab race was extremely hot and exposed in the desert, which is something that I'm not accustomed to. I like the challenging nature and stunning scenery that the races out west have provided."
The next race in the Utah Series will be the XTERRA Wolf Mountain Trail Run at Eden, Utah, on July 13. That will be the final race of the season, although the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship will also be held in the state of Utah - at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah, on September 22.