The reigning XTERRA Trail Run National Champion Brett Hales from Layton, Utah is returning to defend his half-marathon national title at Snowbasin Resort on September 20th, but will be up against fierce competition in the form of familiar foe and two-time XTERRA Trail Running World Champion Patrick Smyth of Salt Lake City.
“Pat is a fierce competitor and a great tactical runner,” said Hales, a former track and cross country stand-out at nearby Weber State University. “He knows what his strengths and weaknesses are so he capitalizes when and where he can.”
Smyth, who won the 2013 XTERRA National Title in Utah, was equally complimentary of Hales.
“I’ll have my hands plenty full with Brett running,” said Smyth, himself a former standout cross country runner at the University of Notre Dame before turning his sights to trail running and becoming one of America’s best. “I'm psyched about returning to XTERRA Nationals! It doesn't get much better then Snowbasin in late September for trail running, and I'm looking forward to regaining my U.S. National title and get some good momentum going into Worlds in Hawaii!"
Hales is equally excited and echoes what Smyth said about the course at Snowbasin truly being the star.
“After last year’s XTERRA National Championship I was made a trail run fan for life,” said Hales, who did his first-ever trail race at Snowbasin last year almost on a whim.
“The euphoria that followed that race was awesome and I'm looking forward to racing hard and running through the heavens once again. I must say that the Snowbasin venue is perfect for the event. The trails are well-groomed and set for speed and the two separate vertical climbs challenge even the more experienced trail guys.”
Hales and Smyth aren’t the only stars to join the line-up at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, as the reigning women’s champion Liz Stephen, a two-time Olympic cross country skier, is also set to return.
“It was a really fun race and his is a really fun course,” said Stephen after last year’s race. “Falling leaves and spectators all around, I really love running at Snowbasin and XTERRA always does such a good job with the organization.”
The Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Nationals was staged at Snowbasin Resort for the first time in 2011, and it received rave reviews from the runners.
Runners of all ages and skill levels can participate in the Paul Mitchell 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 2015 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii.
The top five overall males and top five overall females from the 21K course will also receive prize money. Medals and other prizes will also be awarded to the top age-group runners from all three courses.
The Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Nationals will be held one day after the XTERRA USA Championship off-road triathlon to create the ultimate XTERRA racing weekend.
The two events will bring more than 1,000 of the nation’s very best amateur and professional triathletes and trail runners to Northern Utah to battle for the title of XTERRA National Champion.
Learn more at http://www.xterraplanet.com/trailrun/nationals