Photo Courtesy: Jesse Peters
(Richmond, VA) - Olympic marathon hopeful David Fuentes of Austin, Texas ran away from last year’s winner Bryce Livingston to win the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Richmond Half-Marathon on an incredibly hot morning in and around the James River Park System and Brown’s Island today.
Fuentes, 28, an NCAA All-America cross country runner out of St. Edwards University, posted a winning time of 1:20:28, more than five minutes ahead of Livingston.
“It was hot, rolling, bouldering, and a lot of fun,” said Edwards, who qualified for the Olympic trials in the marathon distance to be held February in Los Angeles. “This was just my second trail race ever. I’m just trying to have some fun right now. It’s good to mix it up like this.”
Ellen Tarquinio from Washington D.C. won the women’s race in 1:39:03, just 23-seconds ahead of runner-up Leia Lautzenheiser, a standout from Midlothian High School (class of 2009).
“It was fantastic, an urban adventure for sure with all the scrambling, bouldering, the rivers, and the tunnels were amazing,” said Tarquinio, who was running with a group of four women before taking the lead at about the halfway point. “I didn’t see the second-place woman until we were on the bridge and then had to pick up the pace a bit.”
Tarquinio was a rower in college and turned into a trail runner thereafter. “Love running trails. This was my first time doing this race and it was awesome.”
Several hundred runners from across the nation took part in today’s runs. There was also a 10K race, won by Russell Reed of Onemo, VA in 39:28 and Jennifer Place of Southhold, NY in 50:14.
The run courses – both 21K and 10K – featured numerous obstacles, both man-made and natural. Perhaps the most noticeable were the “Mayan Ruins” stair climb, and the water crossings across the James River. The trails also took runners in and out of lush forest areas and alongside some of the historic buildings in the city of Richmond. The contrast has earned the event its “urban adventure” description.
The top runners in every age group in today’s 21K race received a free entry into the 2015 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Hawaii this December 6, 2015.
Tomorrow it’s the triathletes turn in Richmond, as the 17th annual XTERRA East Championship pro race gets underway at 7:50am with the amateur race to follow at 8:45am. Follow the pro race on twitter @xterraoffroad #xterraRVA.
Learn more about the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Series at www.xterratrailrun.com.
Learn more about XTERRA in Richmond at www.xterrarichmond.com.