Snowbasin Resort will host race on September 22
The reigning King and queen of the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship will be back to defend their respective crowns in 2013.
This year's XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is scheduled for September 22 at the Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah. More than 700 runners from around the country are expected to participate in the event.
Max King, the five-time defending men's champion of the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, will once again wear the No. 1 race bib as he seeks to extend his unprecedented string of XTERRA success.
"That course is one of my favorites for a trail run course," King said of the 21-kilometer championship course at Snowbasin. "It's beautiful that time of year with the changing colors and the crisp fall morning temps. The course is challenging but you can really run fast on it, which for me, plays to my strengths. I think it's a good mix of technical trail running, good climbing, fast smooth singletracks, and sweeping downhills. It has it all."
King will actually get some rest before this year's race, which could make him an even more prohibitive favorite than in recent years. The last two years, King competed in a 50-kilometer race in his hometown of Bend, Oregon, the day before winning the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah.
"Each year I continue to go longer and longer so my endurance on courses like this keeps getting better," King said. "And this year I get to come in fresh. No 50K the day before. Will it matter? I don't know."
King said his training routine is the same as in recent years, and he will approach the race weekend with the same mentality as last year.
"I can't let my guard down and think that it's going to be easy," he said. "The minute I do that, it will be my downfall. Each race you have to approach as if it's going to be the hardest thing you've ever done, that's how you have successful races. So, going in I have to keep the mental strength there as if I were going to being doing the two races."
In the women's division, Lindsey Anderson will be back to defend her title after a victorious debut last year.
"I actually haven't been up to run on the trails since the race last year," said Anderson, who resides in nearby South Ogden. "I think it definitely helps to know the course, so it will be nice that it will at least be familiar from last year. It definitely doesn't hurt to run the course one or more times before the race and I was hoping that I'd get an opportunity to go run up there during the summer but it just hasn't worked out so I'll go off what I remember and be confident that even though I had never run the course last year I was still able to pull out the win."
Anderson is actually a road and track runner, and last year's XTERRA Trail Run National Championship was her first trail race. She was a member of the 2008 United States Olympic team for the steeplechase, and is currently an assistant coach for the track team at Weber State University in Ogden.
The XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, from all states. Runners such as King and Anderson will be chasing the overall titles, but numerous age-group championships will also be at stake.
In addition to the 21K championship course, there will also be 10K and 5K races. Online registration for all three courses is open at www.xterrautah.com.