On Sunday the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship half-marathon will take place at Snowbasin Resort for the third straight year. Last week we brought you the race preview for the contenders, if you missed it read it here, and here's a look at some of the intriguing age-group entries from the field this year:
Jake Mackleer (Hampstead, North Carolina) - Youngest runner in this year's 21K field at age 9 (second youngest in history of the event, behind 7-year-old Zoe Allen in 2010). He won the 9-younger division in the XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series. Using this race to help raise funds and awareness for Pender County Humane Society in North Carolina.
Oldest runners - There will be three runners in the 75-79 age division, all from outside of Utah. John Williams from Culver City, Calif., is the oldest in the field at 76; Adrian Wolford from Mustang, Okla., is 75 (will be 76 in December; Jesus Romero from Snellville, Georgia, is also 75. Wolford won the 75-79 division at this race last year.
Jase Bell and Korey Shively (Madison, Alabama) - Track/cross country runners at James Clemens High. Jase won XTERRA Nationals and Worlds for 10-14 division last year and is moving up to 15-19; Korey won 10-14 division in both the Alabama and Georgia Series in 2013.
Deanna McCurdy (Peachtree City, Georgia) - Head coach and founder of Team Miles for Smiles, a charity running team that raises funds for research through the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (F.A.S.T.). One of her daughters was diagnosed in 2009 with Angelman Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.
Kaytlynn Welsch and Heather Welsch (Alvin, Texas) - The sisters from Alvin, Texas, have returned to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship for a second consecutive year. They made headlines last year, when the New York Times and NBC's Rock Center With Brian Williams did feature stories on them. Kaytlynn, 13, has continued to run with success in 2013, as she was the first overall female at three different races in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series. Heather, 11, is the youngest female in this year's field for the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.
Across the nation - This year's field will feature runners from 32 different states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Mexico. The home state of Utah will, of course, have the most runners, with more than 300. California is next with 33, followed by Georgia and Texas with 16 each.
Double duty - The XTERRA USA Championship off-road triathlon will also be held at Snowbasin Resort on September 21 (the day before the trail run). Several triathletes will pull "the double" by entering both the triathlon and trail run events. Tamara Tabeek from California won her age group (women's 50-54) in both the triathlon and trail run last year, and will attempt to do so again this year. Andy Lee from Texas (men's 40-44) placed second in his age group at last year's triathlon, then won his age group in the trail run the next day.
XTERRA TRAIL RUN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Where: Snowbasin Resort, Ogden, Utah
When: Sunday, September 22, 9 a.m. start
Who: Open to runners of all ages and skill levels
Courses: 21K (championship course), 10K or 5K
Entry fees: $50 for 21K, $40 for 10K, $30 for 5K (discounts available for students and military)
In-person registration: Friday, Sept. 20, at Ogden Amphitheater Park, noon-6 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 21 at Snowbasin Resort, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
ABOUT THE XTERRA TRAIL RUN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Runners of all ages and skill levels can participate in the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, as there is no qualifying process. Last year, close to 500 trail runners from 30 different states gathered at Snowbasin Resort for the event. There will be three different courses to accommodate the various levels of runners. A 21-kilometer half-marathon course will serve as the national championship course, but there will also be a 10K and a 5K. Every age-group winner from the 21K course will be awarded a free entry to race at the 2013 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, which is scheduled for November 24 at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii.