Forrest Misenti and Lauren Wallace captured the titles at the XTERRA Gold Rush 10-Miler in Granite Bay, California on Saturday, September 22nd.
Misenti blazed over the course in 1:06:06, with Rasmus Hoeg barely a minute behind in 1:07:11. Marc Peachey was the third men's finisher, fourth overall, in 1:14:30.
“The race was great,” said Misenti. “I had only been running for a month leading into the race because I broke my ankle trail running, so I didn’t know what to expect. My longest race before XTERRA Gold Rush was a 15K on the roads. As one might expect, I went out too hard, so the second half of the race was quite the grind. Between the winding trails, sand, and sun, it was wicked challenging but so much fun. I think I’ve found my niche.”
Wallace, the women's winner, was third overall with a time of 1:13:00. Tracy Hoeg was second in 1:19:59 and Geeta Pearson was third in 1:30:49.
“That was so much harder than I thought it would be,” said Wallace. “The elevation gain wasn’t a factor but the sand absolutely zapped my legs. Unlike Forrest, I have been consistently training with the hopes of racing on a more competitive scale.”
Misenti and Wallace are a couple off the podium as well. Misenti was a cross-country and track standout at Syracuse University and moved to Flagstaff after graduation to run for Team Run Flagstaff Pro. While there, he met Wallace, who was in Flagstaff for a high-altitude training camp. Misenti asked a friend to introduce them, the two began dating, got married in July, and are living in Sacramento.
Misenti, who is in law school, took two years off from running because he had so much on his plate and running began to feel like a chore.
“It took a long time to feel like I wanted to run or race again, but once I found trail running, my motivation skyrocketed,” he said. “Let me tell you – it is fun! I haven’t felt this way about running for some time, which bodes well.”
Misenti will be competing in another trail race in October, will head to New York for the marathon in November, and then compete at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship on Oahu in December with Wallace.
Wallace is a former professional track runner. She competed for Oiselle from 2013-2016 and for New Balance in 2017, all while training with the NorCal Distance Project. She specialized in the 800 meter run and raced in almost every national championship – both indoor and outdoor – including the US Olympic Trials in 2016. She won the Indoor National Championship in the 1000 meter in 2015.
“Needless to say, trails weren’t something I focused on until recently,” said Wallace. “However, my love of hiking and spending time in the mountains has always been there. Now trail running seems like an easy and fun way to combine my love of the outdoors, running, and competing.”
The XTERRA Gold Rush Trail Run included a 5K option as well. In the men’s division, Bryan Albor won in 18:43. Jeff Rapetti was second in 21:19 and Nathan DeVault was third in 21:44. In the women’s race, Ashly Albor was first in 21:32 while Maricela Rivera was second in 24:31. Amparo Farias was third in 25:05.