KING CONTINUES REIGN OVER XTERRA TRAIL RUN NATION; WINS FIFTH STRAIGHT

Max King from Oregon continued his amazing streak of XTERRA Trail Run Championships with another amazing weekend.

King, 32, won the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship for the fifth consecutive year on Sunday, September 23, at the Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah. The XTERRA Trail Run National Championship 21K has been staged five times, and King has won each one in convincing fashion.

“It means a lot,” he said. “I love coming back. This is actually one of the best courses for a trail run I’ve ever seen. It’s a beautiful course and XTERRA keeps putting on a great race. It’s a phenomenal event.”

King’s latest victory is all the remarkable when considering his weekend itinerary. During a 24-hour period, he completed 71 kilometers of trail running in two different states, traveled more than 1,000 flight miles, and won two national events.

On Saturday, he won the USATF 50K Trail Championship in his hometown of Bend, Oregon. He got on a flight shortly after that race and arrived in Ogden after midnight on Sunday morning.

“I didn’t get much sleep,” he said. “It was tough for me to get here. But I got a couple of hours of sleep and got here ready to race.”

Perhaps familiarity with such a hectic schedule helped — he also won those same two races on back-to-back days last year.

“It felt just like last year,” he said. “This morning on my warn-up it was tough, but once I got going and got my legs under me, it was alright.”

King took the lead for good midway through the 21K course. He finished with a time of 1:22:12, which was 1 minute, 36 seconds faster than the runner-up, J. Marshall Thomson. King said he knew Thomson was a good uphill runner, so he tried to push the pace before they hit the steep climb on the course called “Sardine Peak.”

Thomson, who is from Crested Butte, Colorado, said he was aware of King’s accomplishments prior to the race.

“I wanted to be within a few minues of him,” Thomson said. “That was kind of my goal and I think I did that.”

Thomson (pictured) actually was in the lead for a short portion of the race, but said he “stood still” as King passed him on a flat stretch just before the climb to Sardine Peark. “It was pretty impressive to see,” Thomson said. “He’s pretty awesome.”

Thomson said he enjoyed his first experience on the trails at Snowbasin Resort and will “definitely” return to chase after King’s crown next year.

“This could be the coolest trail I’ve ever been on for a race,” he said. “It was awesome. Up, down, up down. I love the climbing. I wish I had more time to look around.”

B.J. Christenson of Salt Lake City, Utah, placed with a time of 1:24:29. It was the second consecutive year that he placed third at this event.

Nick Mosey of California took fourth (1:24:41), followed by Will Christian (1:25:08) of Virginia.

Rounding out the top 10 were (in order): Calum Neff from Canada, Ron Tibaduiza from Nevada, Bret Ferrier from Ogden, Utah, Brandon Mader from Alabama, and David Clinger from Sandy, Utah.

Anderson takes women’s title in first try

Lindsey Anderson was the hometown hero in the women’s division. She placed 14th overall and was the top female with a time of 1:33:23.

Anderson was a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympics team for the steeplechase, and this was her first trail run.

“I’ve practiced on trails before, but this is my first race,” she said. “My coach told me to try this race and it was great.”

Anderson, 27, resides in Ogden and is regarded as one of the top distance runners in the history of the track program at Weber State University, which is located in Ogden. She is currently an assistant coach at Weber State.

A lead pack women ran together for the first half of the race, then Anderson and Kerri Lyons took the lead up the climb to Sardine Peak. Anderson eventually broke away for the win and finished more than a minute ahead of Lyons (1:34:27).

“It was just a lot of fun,” said Anderson, who took most of the last year off from training due to the birth of her daughter. “I would encourage anybody to do this.”

Lyons is from Salt Lake City, and interestingly enough, this was her first trail run race as well. She registered for this race only an hour before it started. “It was kind of an impulsive decision,” she said.

“I’ve actually been cycling a lot, but I started running a bit more and my friends all said I’d like the trails,” said Lyons, 23. “I loved it. I had a little trouble on the downhills, but it was a great race.”

Amber Moran from North Carolina took third in 1:38:53, followed by Megan Kimmel of Colorado in 1:40:09.

The rest of the top 10 were (in order): Jamie Pilkington from West Haven, Utah, Michele Suszek from Colorado, Nicole Hunt from Deer Lodge, Montana, Malaika Homo from Ogden, Utah, Alyssa Larsen from Jackson, Wyoming, Rachel Cieslewicz from Salt Lake City, Utah, and Selina Sekulik from Park City, Utah.

The top five men and top five women received cash prizes, including $1,000 each to champions King and Anderson.

Hildebrand wins fifth age-group title

Max King keeps winning XTERRA National Championships, and so does Don Hildebrand.

He won his fifth consecutive age-group title, this time taking first place in the 80-older division. At 80, Hildebrand was the oldest runner in the field.

The youngest runner in the field was 10-year-old Heather Welsch from Texas. She placed second in the 10-14 female division. Her sister, 12-year-old Kaytlynn, took first in the division, and placed 30th overall among all females with a time of 2:08:29.

Other runners who won age-group championships for the second or more time were Kevin Tuck from Utah (2 titles), Bob Evers from Utah (2), Hans Unger from California (2) and Amy Galbraith from California (3).

“It’s a beautiful course, and what I really like is you bring all these runners from different parts of the country here to Utah for this race,” said Evers, who resides in Park City. “It’s great competition.”

All the other age-group winners were first time XTERRA National Champions. Each age-group champion received a free entry to the 2012 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, which is scheduled for December 2 at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii.

For complete results CLICK HERE.

XTERRA Utah 10K / 5K Races

The XTERRA Trail Run National Championship also included 10K and 5K courses for runners of all ages.

Tom Ato from Deer Lodge, Montana, was the overall winner of the 10K, finishing in 42:02. He ran way from the rest of the field, as runner-up Carlo Cappellano from Salt Lake City came in next at 47:29.

Vania Grandi from Salt Lake City was the first female finisher in the 10K with a time of 51:42.

Ross Marabella from Brigham City, Utah, finished first in the 5K with a time of 25:16. Dylan Matlock from Ogden was second (26:43). Bob Marabella, Ross’ father, was fourth.

Sarah Taylor from Salt Lake City was the first female for the 5K with a time of 34:07.