Last week defending XTERRA Trail Run World Champ Patrick Smyth confirmed he’ll be back at Kualoa Ranch to defend his title and this week we learned several of his all-star teammates from the U.S. Mountain Running team will be joining him.
Allie McLaughlin (Colorado Springs, CO), and David and Megan Roche (Sunnyvale, CA) have all been added to the start list for the adventurous half-marathon scheduled for December 7th in Kaaawa, Hawaii.
McLaughlin, who won the World Mountain Running Association Long Distance Challenge in August and was the top American and bronze medalist at the World Mountain Running Championships in Italy in September, could be considered America’s fastest trail runner right now…
“That I don't think I can say, but definitely work towards it every day!” said McLaughlin, who will be making her first appearance at XTERRA Trail Run Worlds. “I mean there are so many trail races and so many different lengths. I am probably most competitive in the half marathon and under but there are a lot of women I haven't raced yet. I am definitely up for the challenge to be considered the fastest though!”
The recently turned 24-year-old showed signs of being great after posting a remarkable freshman year running for the University of Colorado cross country team back in 2009, but was subsequently plagued with injures for years.
“A sacrum, heel, and fibula stress fractures,” she explains. “I definitely learned a lot those years though and could not have had better coaches to support me through such a devastating time. After forgoing my fifth year and taking a year off, I not only got a job outside of running in country radio which excites me in a whole other way, I also found my strength again back home in the springs and on the trails! I think I've finally made it through the rebound phase and can now move forward confidently and have never enjoyed running more! As painful as it was, I thank God for the broken road that led me here!”
She also said she was thankful for the opportunity to run in Hawaii, in a race she had long dreamed of competing at.
“To be honest, I remember seeing ads in running magazines about it when I was in high school and always thought in the back of my mind how awesome it would be to go,’ said McLaughlin. “There never was an ideal time to do it during those seasons, however, and I don't think my parents would have seen it necessary. Now all of a sudden it just feels right to come and my parents are meeting there as well so it's going to be special no matter how the race goes.”
The event will also be special for the newlyweds David and Megan Roche (see recent article in Competitor Magazine).
“We are so excited to race Worlds to experience the beauty of the course firsthand,” said David Roche, “We have heard incredible things about the trails, the views, and the area. Plus, XTERRA always puts on fun events, mixing a low-key vibe with stellar competition and challenging courses. Basically, Worlds represents just about everything that makes trail running awesome!”
Roche, who won his second US 10k trail national championship in two years at Lauren, NC with time of 42:42 this year, is quite familiar with the XTERRA scene.
He won the XTERRA Earth Conservancy half-marathon in Mocanaqua, PA back in June. In that same race, Megan – a two-time USATF National Champion this year with trail 10k and 50k titles – ran away with the women’s title.
XTERRA’s own trail correspondent DJ Quinn caught up with the couple after that race and brings us this great insight into the pair (SEE; http://www.xterraplanet.com/unstructured-training-leads-adventure-results)
The event, which traverses one of the most pristine stretches of Oahu’s countryside on the northeast coast, boasts a $10,000 prize purse and is filmed for a feature segment in XTERRA’s national syndicated television programming.
Learn more at www.xterrakualoa.com