At XTERRA Nationals in September Patrick Smyth took everyone by surprise when he went ahead and won with a commanding performance and by a large margin ahead of Joseph Gray, whom he also met later at XTERRA Worlds in Hawaii. The biggest surprise might have been to Patrick Smyth himself, this was his first try at XTERRA and trail running.
We sat down with Patrick to talk about his latest success.
XTERRA: What is your background in running?
Patrick: I ran collegiately at Notre Dame where I was a 7-time All-American across cross-country, indoor and outdoor track. In 2010, I signed with Nike and ran primarily on the roads (10k-marathon) but dabbled in cross country and track as well.
XT: How did you end up at XTERRA?
PS: In the fall of 2012, I enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Utah in my hometown of Salt Lake City. I rediscovered the thrill and escape of trail running around that time. Having logged a pretty good summer on the trails this past year, I decided to try my hand at the XTERRA U.S Champs held at Snowbasin. I was fortunate to get the win there and was able to keep the momentum going and win again at the XTERRA World Champs in Hawaii. Needless to say, I was hooked.
XT: What was your expectations of racing at XTERRA?
PS: I expected the races to be competitive, and knew it would be a dog fight to win at the U.S and World Champs. That was very much the case, as both were tough won battles.
XT: Tell us a little bit about your training.
PS: I am fortunate to have a lot of trails out my door in Salt Lake City, though most are covered in snow at the moment, so I utilize them often. I run a lot of hills in general, do a weekly long run and mix in some strength training when I can.
XT: Where will we see you in 2014?
PS: Hopefully another trip to Hawaii to defend my title!