Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii (November 24, 2013) – Patrick Smyth of Salt Lake City, Utah, is the new men’s champion of the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship.
More than 2,000 runners from 12 countries and 36 states competed in the event. Smyth was the overall winner, competing the 21-kilometer championship course in 1 hour, 16 minutes, 38 seconds. It was his first appearance at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Hawaii, and it came just two months after he burst onto the trail running scene with a victory at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in his home state of Utah.
Smyth stunned the field in September when he won the XTERRA Trail Run Nationals in his first ever trail run event at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah. On Sunday, Smyth proved he is no fluke.
“I didn’t think it would come this quickly, taking back-to-back races like this,” said Smyth, 27. “I’ve run a lot of races against some of these guys, just not on terrain like this. Getting my mind and body ready for the trails was my biggest concern, so to get back-to-back wins is really nice.”
Smyth forged a lead of more than a minute late in the course, but he made it interesting when he fell while trying to go around some of the slower runners (who were getting lapped by the elite runners at that point).
“I tried to go around one guy, and went off the trail and then kind of tumbled head over heels,” said Smyth, who emerged with a scraped shoulder. “I knew I had the lead, but when something like that happens, all these thoughts go through your head, and I was just imagining (others) catching me after that, so I got up and kept going as hard as I could to the finish.”
Nathan Peters, also from Salt Lake City, Utah, was fourth in 1:23:44. It was also his first appearance at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship.
Polina Babkina was the women’s champion. It was a payback win for the Russian runner, now living in Hawaii. In last year’s World Championships, she had the lead, but ran off course, got lost, and had to settle for third place. She didn’t do that this time.
Image and content courtesy of Xterra