She is one of 19 runners to win age division titles for 2013
As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas. That includes the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series, which featured seven races in seven different locations across the state during the 2012-13 season.
Tracie Akerhielm was up for that challenge, and as a result, she ran away with top female honors for the season, which ended earlier this month.
Akerhielm, who is 30 and resides in Denton, Texas, was the only runner to compete in all seven races in the series for the season. And she didn't just compete, she competed well. Akerhielm placed first overall at three of the races, and second overall at four of the races.
"Well, I turned 30 this year and just wanted to do something special," she said. "It had been many years since I had done any competitive running and I had never competed in any trail races, and thought it sounded like an adventure. I really enjoyed experiencing the different trails and parks in Texas and making new trail racing buddies."
Because of the vast expanse of Texas, just getting to the races was an adventure in itself for Akerhielm. Some of the venues required a four to five hour drive, and Akerhielm and her boyfriend would often surround the races with a weekend of camping.
"I can't think of one that stood out," she replied, when asked which venue was her favorite. "I loved them all!"
Akerhielm is a former cross country and track runner at Texas Tech University who is now a doctoral candidate in exercise science at Texas Woman's University. In addition to running she stays in shape by participating in roller derby - she is a member of the North Texas Derby Revolution.
Akerhielm is one of 19 runners who scored enough points to earn an age division championship for the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series for this season. Among the other notables:
- Kaytlynn Welsch, the 13-year-old phenom who won her second consecutive title in the 10-14 age group. She placed first overall at three of the races in the Texas Series (tying Akerhielm for that distinction).
- Tom Hutson from Houston won the men's 60-64 age division for the second consecutive year, and that's not the end of it. Earlier this year, he won his age division in the XTERRA Florida Trail Run Series. He is now one of six runners in XTERRA Trail Run history to earn two regional championships in the same year.
- The husband/wife team of Lonn Hart and Sandy Hart from Cedar Park, Texas, both took home titles. Lonn won the men's 40-44 division, and Sandy won the women's 40-44 division.
Here is the complete list of Texas Series champions:
|Female 10-14||Kaytlynn Welsch*||13||Alvin||TX|
|Female 25-29||Aimee Newsom||29||The Woodlands||TX|
|Female 30-34||Tracie Akerhielm||31||Denton||TX|
|Female 35-39||Kim Bueno*||39||Austin||TX|
|Female 40-44||Sandy Hart||42||Cedar Park||TX|
|Female 45-49||Shay Robertson||48||League City||TX|
|Female 55-59||Tamra Walthall||56||Waco||TX|
|Female 65-69||Jo May||65||Houston||TX|
|Male 15-19||Ryan Woelfel||17||Round Rock||TX|
|Male 25-29||Adrian Slusher||26||League City||TX|
|Male 30-34||Christopher Chancey||33||Austin||TX|
|Male 35-39||Jimmy Olivares||38||Austin||TX|
|Male 40-44||Lonn Hart||43||Cedar Park||TX|
|Male 45-49||Jay Yanek||48||Katy||TX|
|Male 50-54||Michael Nosalik||53||San Antonio||TX|
|Male 55-59||Bill Ewton||57||Salado||TX|
|Male 60-64||Tom Hutson*||61||Houston||TX|
|Male 65-69||Lenord Burns||66||Arlington||TX|
|Male 75-79||Adrian Wolford||76||Mustang||OK|