(Beaver Creek Resort - Avon, CO) July 17, 2016 - Erik Nau from Boulder and Sarah Graves from Ballantine, Montana captured the XTERRA Beaver Creek 20K trail run titles on a beautiful morning at Beaver Creek Resort.
In the men’s race Nau was in the lead as soon as the cannon blast sent runners scrambling up the hill and he took the tape in 1:21:05, more than 11-minutes ahead of runner-up Mark Howell of Lafayette, CO.
Nau, who moved to Colorado from San Diego four years ago, has done a 50K and a few half-marathons on the road but today’s race was one of his first-ever trail races.
“Just enjoying the trails, nothing brings me more happiness than just being out on the trails and the racing is a blast,” said Nau. “I’m really just running for fun, just enjoying the whole experience. Today’s course really worked out for me because I love running hills. I’m not the fastest guy on the flats, though, so I’ll just put my head down and suffer through it … with a smile on my face.”
Indeed, the XTERRA Beaver Creek course is a hilly one, with more than 2,000-feet of climbing.
In the women’s race first-year XTERRA triathlon elite Sarah Graves took the tape in 1:32:22 and was the third overall finisher just a day after finishing 9th amongst elites at the XTERRA Beaver Creek Championship triathlon yesterday.
“I was questioning myself for today, because yesterday was tough,” said Graves. “I felt like I got warmed up on the first lap though and felt good the rest of the way. I just came out today to get some good training in, really didn’t expect to win it.”
Graves background is in running, and was a star cross country runner when going to school at Montana State University – Billings.
In other racing action today Samuel Williams (Warren Center, PA) and Carly Lockard (Avon, CO) took home the 10K titles in 39:24 and 46:39, respectively, while Brevik Petersen (Fraser, CO) and Michelle Rodgers (Littleton, CO) won the 5K crowns in 23:51 and 29:22.
Today’s XTERRA Beaver Creek 20K was the fourth of five races in the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series, and the top runners in every age group for the 20K course of the Beaver Creek Trail Run received points toward the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series standings and each division champion was awarded a complimentary entry into the 2016 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship to be held December at Kualoa Ranch on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.
The XTERRA Colorado Series finale is August 7 in Castle Rock, CO with 5/12 and 24K options.
Current standings, schedule, and information can be viewed at