On Saturday, November 24th, Elliott Bijlsma and Kathryn Donovan captured the 15K titles at the XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot.
Elliott Bijlsma won with a time of 1:05:18. Trevor Sode was second in 1:06:00 and Eric Mugnier was third in 1:12:54.
2017 XTERRA SoCal Regional Champ, Bijlsma praised Sode for pushing the pace from the gun.
“He dropped me going up the first climb and by the time we hit the singletrack at mile two, I was 50 meters behind,” said Bijlsma. “The next few miles of very technical downhill was tough because I couldn’t tell if I was gaining on him or if he was gone for good.”
Towards the bottom of the hill, Bijlsma caught a glimpse of Sode and gained a burst of confidence.
“The second hill wasn’t as steep and my legs finally found a climbing rhythm so I made sure I didn’t lose sight of Trevor again. When we got to the top of the climb, I pushed the steep downhill as hard as I could and caught him.”
Bijlsma took the lead at mile seven and never looked back. In the end, he and Sode beat their own course PRs by over four minutes.
A college freshman at Cal State Fullerton, Bijlsma is learning how to balance his music major with the other notes in his young life.
“My training has been a lot less structured because I’m no longer on a cross country team, but it’s also allowed me to begin new things and push things like mileage and pace to find my limits.”
In the women’s division, Kathryn Donovan won with a time of 1:19:57. Kandace Gonzalez was second in 1:21:56 and Joanna Moore was third in 1:33:42.
While the race was held just two days after Thanksgiving, some local honeybees took the attention from the turkeys. XTERRA regular, Freedy Luis, was stung during the race but he didn’t let that stop him.
“I got hit by yellow jackets!” he said. “At least five times but I ended up with more stings than that.”
In the 10K, Christian Buratti won with a time of 50:39. Richard Sloan was second with a time of 51:26 and Elliot Fleck was third in 52:43. Kara Barnard won the women’s race with a time of 53:49 and Partida Reesa was second in 58:42. Brooke Hammond was third in 1:03:30.
In the 5K Max Stayman won with a time of 30:56. Dewayne Sode was second in 32:03 and Michael Nazitto was third in 33:20. Leslie Cohen won the women’s race with a time of 34:05. Jennifer Aronson was second in 34:57 and Vlada Davydova was third in 41:42. XTERRA’s Trail Run Manager Emily McIlvaine was on the opposite side of the registration table today and finished second in her age group in the 5K. Look for Emily at this week’s XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch on December 2nd.