Polina Carlson won the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Running World Championship women’s elite title in 2013. Patrick Smyth took home the men’s titles in each of the last three years. Both will be looking to add another crown to their trophy case at Kualoa Ranch on December 4.
“I’m pleased with my training right now and I’m excited to test my fitness on race day,” said Carlson, who won the Great Aloha Run, the XTERRA Gunstock Half-Marathon, and the Fontana Half-Marathon overall with a PR of 1:13:35 this year. “I’m increasing my mileage every week and my workouts show that I am more fit than a year ago and I’ll be ready to race on December 4th.”
Last year Carlson was 2nd only to Kimber Mattox, who won’t make this year’s event.
“The Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail World Championship is one of the most amazing and unique trail races in the country with the most breathtaking views of the mountains,” said Carlson, a former stand-out cross country runner at Hawaii Pacific University.
“It’s a tough course, but I enjoy the challenge and I try to embrace it. Every year I look forward to coming back, because it’s not a just typical race, it’s a true adventure! Running the last few miles of the race are the toughest but the most memorable. The last hill is killer, but the breathtaking views definitely make up for it, and having cows mooing and spectators cheering as you approach the finish line is just epic!”
For Smyth, who finished 10th at the New York City Marathon last week, he said he’s looking forward to racing against Joe Gray and chasing the legacy of Max King.
“I’m really looking forward to racing Joe, it's been awhile and he's had an amazing 2016,” said Smyth. “For him to win the World Mountain Running Championship is really impressive. Even with Joe on the start line I probably won't mix up my strategy too much. I'm as fit and confident as I've ever been and really just need to focus on racing tough.”
Smyth will also try to match King’s record of winning four straight XTERRA World Titles, a feat King accomplished from 2008-to-2011. King, unfortunately, is still recovering from injury and will not make it to Oahu this season. “He set the standard, so that’s what I’m chasing,” said Smyth.
Learn more about the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Running World Championship at www.xterrakualoa.com.