Brett Hales from Layton, Utah and Lesley Paterson of San Diego, California (via Stirling, Scotland) won the 13th annual XTERRA Trail Run National Championship half-marathon at Snowbasin Resort this morning.
It’s the second win on this course in as many tries for Hales, who won the 2014 race, and the second win in as many days for Paterson, who won the XTERRA Pan America Championship triathlon here yesterday.
On the men’s side, Hales surprised no one with his first-place finish in 1:17:45, which was a sub-six minute pace over the challenging course. He finished a little over one-minute ahead of runner-up Anthony Costales.
“It was fun, it was good to be back,” said Hales. “It’s always fortunate when you can come back and run on these trails because it’s absolutely one of the best courses.”
The men’s race began with sub-4 minute miler and XTERRA Beaver Creek 21K champ Darren Brown of Massachusetts setting a very brisk pace, one he couldn’t sustain (he ultimately finished sixth).
“You try to get a gauge as to whether they are a legitimate contender or not because no one starts out this hard in a trail race,” said Hales, who caught Brown on the first climb. “I was like, I know what going hard is and this is a little insane so I knew he was going to come back.”
After passing Brown, Hales ran behind Costales on the single track and then put in a surge when the trail opened up before the third mile. “The mountain legs took over and went from there,” said Hales.
Costales, who made a name for himself last year after qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials in his debut marathon after only 18 months of training, was a former runner at California State University – Chico and qualified for the 2012 NCAA Track and Field Championships in the 10,000-meter.
“This was only my second time running with Brett, but we are familiar faces to each other,” said Costales, who ran the 21k in 1:19 flat. “It was fun running with him for the first part, but once he got away I didn’t see him until the end.”
Costales, who was also the runner up last year here to Patrick Smyth, ran alone for most of the race and loved the experience. “I love this course,” he said. “That last downhill section on the back side of Sardine never ends, but it’s fun.”
Finishing third in 1:20:50 was Adam Wollant of Bozeman, Montana. A recent graduate of Montana State, Wollant ran cross-country and track in college with an outdoor 10k PR of 31:10. Today’s race was Wollant’s first time on the trails.
“I really like the half-marathon distance and I really wanted to try the trails out,” said the soft-spoken Wollant. “The race went out a little faster than I wanted too and I just kind of tucked into fourth or fifth.”
He made his way into third on the downhill after Sardine Peak and got within a few seconds of Costales but couldn’t make the pass.
Nathan Peters, who won the 20-24 title back in 2013, finished fourth and Anthony Fagundes, the first finisher who does not live at altitude, placed fifth. Brown was sixth, Clayton Foster and Zachary Holloway from Alamosa, CO placed seventh and eighth, Travis Lavin, also from Colorado, was ninth and Andy Lee of Texas was 10th and won the 45-49 division, a day after winning the XTERRA Pan Am Championship triathlon crown.
This year’s XTERRA Pan Am Championship weekend can be summed up in two words: Lesley Paterson. A day after winning the women’s division in the off-road triathlon, Paterson came back and won the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.
To put this in perspective, Paterson completed the 21k in 1:33:59 at about 7:10 pace per mile over terrain that included rock gardens, single track, and 2,200-feet of climbing. And, she did this at an altitude of about 7,000-feet a day after completing a grueling triathlon that included a 1.5k swim, a 28k mountain bike, and 10k trail run.
Fellow pro triathlete Julie Baker said of Paterson yesterday, “Dude, she just goes insanely hard. And she breathes like a freight train coming by. I don’t know how she goes that fast and that hard for so long. It’s incredible.”
Paterson makes it all look easy.
“It was awesome, I felt great” said Paterson immediately after today’s 21k race. “I did not expect to feel that good. I was feeling super tired this morning but got out there on the hill and just felt in the zone. I knew there were some good girls here today and I thought they were going to come past, but I just felt great.”
Paterson said today’s trail conditions were amazing.
“Absolutely gorgeous, super tacky and the perfect temperature. I actually got a chance to look at the view and was around some good runners who kept me company.”
Next up for Paterson is a vacation slash training trip to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to celebrate her dad’s 70th birthday.
Morgan Arritola, the favorite in the women’s race, did not run today as she is recovering from broken ribs. “I tried to test them today but I can't breathe hard,” said Arritola. “I wanted to wish them better but I am not sleeping well and realistically I shouldn't be racing.”
Giselle Slotboom, a former University of Utah track and cross-country standout, finished second, averaging 7:23 pace and finishing in 1:36:48. Originally from the Netherlands, Slotboom ran a 17:07 5k and a 4:37 1500m while in college. The XTERRA Trail Run National Championship was the former track star’s first half marathon.
“It was fun,” said Slotboom after crossing the line. “It was long but a lot of fun. It was a very runnable course.”
In third was Jeanette Mathieu from Salt Lake City, who completed the race in 1:38:56.
“It was my first time racing out there and it was beautiful,” said Mathieu. “It was perfect racing weather and I had a lot of fun.”
Mathieu recently moved to Utah from Nashville and is making the transition from roads to trails. Growing up, Mathieu ran for fun but didn’t begin to race seriously until the spring before starting medical school at Vanderbilt University. She has run 5ks on the roads as well as well as a 1:24 half marathon.
Her medical training served her well today. She finished the race a bit bloody from a tumble downhill but immediately got back up and kept going.
Penelope Freedman was fourth, Megan Flannigan fifth, Ogdens-own Addie Stewart placed sixth, Lauren Zimmer was seventh, Megan Kupres from Phoenix was eighth, Texas rookie and regional champ, Emma Kosciak, was ninth in her debut race on the XTERRA National Championship course, and Christyn Murphy rounded out the top 10.
UTAH’S TUCK WINS NINTH TITLE
Although the elite runners chase the overall crown at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, the event remains an age-group race, and this year 27 runners representing nine different states and Canada took home age-group titles today.
The home-state Utah runners led the way with 11 champions, not including Kevin Tuck (formerly from Salt Lake City but now living in Tucson, AZ). Tuck, 61, was an impressive 16th overall, and this was his unprecedented ninth XTERRA Trail Run National Championship age-group win.
Tamara Tabeek (55-59) won her fifth title and was second at the XTERRA Pan Am Championship triathlon yesterday (last year she won both). Andy Lee, Micala Schultz, and Taha Mahmood each won their third national title today, while Hales, Costales, Williams, Lutzker, Paterson, and Wagner each won their second.
All of the age-group champions received a free entry to participate in the 2017 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship scheduled for December 3 at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii.
|XTERRA Trail Run National Champs (Male)|
|10 - 14||Noah Kilgore||Jonesboro, GA||1:51:50|
|15-19||Micah Kilgore||Jonesboro, GA||1:55:00|
|20 - 24||Adam Wollant||Bozeman, MT||1:20:50|
|25 - 29||Anthony Costales (2)||Salt Lake City, UT||1:19:00|
|30 - 34||Brett Hales (2)||Layton, UT||1:17:45|
|35 - 39||Albert Wint||Sandy, UT||1:33:48|
|40 - 44||Scott McMurtrey||Salt Lake City, UT||1:36:20|
|45 - 49||Andy Lee (3)||Lakeway, TX||1:33:35|
|50 - 54||Taha Mahmood (3)||Salt Lake City, UT||1:41:46|
|55 - 59||Brett Peacock||Jackson, WY||1:42:45|
|60 - 64||Kevin Tuck (9)||Tucson, AZ||1:36:43|
|65 - 69||Doug Beagle||Houston, TX||2:33:21|
|75 - 79||Thomas Miller||Mustang, OK||3:17:35|
|80+||John Williams (2)||Culver City, CA||3:59:55|
|CHA||Craig Vogtsberger||Aurora, CO||2:35:10|
|XTERRA Trail Run National Champs (Female)|
|10 - 14||Hannah Lutzker (2(||Park City, UT||2:09:14|
|15 - 19||Micala Schultz (3)||Fort Collins, CO||2:37:35|
|20 - 24||Giselle Slotboom||Salt Lake City, UT||1:36:48|
|25 - 29||Jeanette Mathieu||Salt Lake City, UT||1:38:56|
|30 - 34||Penelope Freedman||Steamboat Springs, CO||1:42:50|
|35 - 39||Lesley Paterson (2)||Ballantine, MT||1:33:59|
|40 - 44||Addie Stewar||Ogden, UT||1:49:05|
|45 - 49||Karen Oppenheimer||Redondo Beach, CA||2:14:20|
|50 - 54||Lisa Kirby||Logan, UT||2:40:05|
|55 - 59||Tamara Tabeek (5)||Ramona, CA||2:10:35|
|60 - 64||Susan Akenhead||Maple Ridge, Canada||2:17:30|
|65 - 69||Deborah Wagner (2)||Park City, UT||2:32:29|
The 2017 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship is presented by Paul Mitchell and the Utah Sports Commission. Sponsors include Outrigger Resorts, Muscle Milk, Gatorade Endurance, Suunto, GOAL Foundation, Oofos, XTERRA Boards, Utah Media Group, Maui Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Tourism Authority, U.S. Forest Service, and XTERRA Fitness.