Steve Sievert from Houston, Texas and Nikki Harvey from Birmingham, Alabama captured the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Marathon titles with winning times of 4:17:30 and 5:11:02, respectively, on a beautiful blue-sky day at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, AL on Sunday, May 9, 2021.
The event was part of the new 9-event XTERRA Trail Marathon Series which joined forces with the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) to provide athletes with ITRA Performance Index points.
In the men’s race Sievert started off conservatively because he was coming off a big effort at half-iron duathlon last weekend and wanted to make sure he had enough gas for the second half of the run.
“It was a good call, because I needed it,” laughed Sievert. “Second half was tough. Rugged course, but just amazing. XTERRA is known for going to unbelievable places and challenging us with really difficult courses and today was no different. It’s exactly what I expected and then some, and I really enjoyed it out there.”
Sievert said he thought he was in the middle of the pack about halfway through the run, but after he passed Joseph Carty from Georgia at about the 20-mile mark he became the race leader. When race officials let him know he was in front, that was all the motivation he needed to bring it home.
“When I heard I was in front that gave me a boost of adrenaline,” said Sievert, an executive with Discover. “There aren’t many opportunities in life at my age to win a marathon, so that was the goal. Plus, not a bad Mother’s Day gift for Mom so I’m dedicating this one to her.”
In the women’s race Harvey said she was happy to spend Mother’s Day with her family doing what they all love to do.
“It was beautiful day, the wind was blowing, and the trails were in great condition,” she said.
It was a podium day all around for the Harvey family, as her husband David finished 5th in the marathon and her daughter Madison finished 2nd in the 10-14 division of the 5K race.
The 42K marathon was one of five courses offered on the day. There was also a 20K half-marathon, a 10K, 5K, and a 5x5K team relay competition.
Griffin Oaks from Irondale, AL and Jennifer McGranahan from Pensacola, Florida won the 20K titles; Conrad Taylor from Birmingham, AL and Alevtina Rihtar from Bessemer, AL won the 10K, Jonathan Hernandez from Cleveland, AL and Callaway Wheeler from Signal Mountain, TN captured the 5K crowns; and the Relay Peak Performance Running team from Peachtree City, GA won the 5x5K.
2021 XTERRA Trail Marathon Series Schedule
Date – Race (Location) – ITRA Points
Mar 28 – XTERRA Kenting Trail Run (Taiwan) – 1 ITRA point
May 9 - XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Run (Pelham, AL, US) – 1 ITRA point
May 16 - XTERRA Taihu Trail Run (Suzhou, Jiangsu Sheng, CN) – 2 ITRA points
May 29 - XTERRA Tahiti Trail Run (Papeotai, Moorea) – 1 ITRA point
June 5 - XTERRA Gozo Trail Run (Ghajnsielem, Malta) – 2 ITRA points
Sep 11 - XTERRA Dolomiti di Brenta Trail (Molveno, Italy) – 2 ITRA points
Oct 10 - XTERRA Vallée de Joux Trail Run (Switzerland) – 2 ITRA points
Oct 17 - XTERRA O-SEE Ultra Trail (Oybin, Germany) – 2/3 ITRA points
Oct 30-31 - XTERRA Trail des Balcons d’Azur (Mandelieu la Napoule, France) – 2 ITRA points
Check out our image gallery here.
Oak Mountain State Park is home to some of the best trails on earth. Credit goes to the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers, aka BUMP, the local trails advocacy group, who have spent more than 100,000 hours on the design and construction of new trails over the past 20+ years and to this day are hard at work to build, preserve, maintain, and ride the sweet single track in the park. Thanks also to our presenting sponsor Paul Mitchell, who in in partnership with Reforest'Action, has made a commitment to plant one million trees by the end of 2022. And to our sponsors from Shelby County, Gatorade Endurance, the local crew from Oak Mountain State Park, and all the fabulous volunteers for their generous support and hard work.