“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 USA 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 warm-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 hour, 22 minutes, 12 seconds, 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”.
BJ Christenson of Salt Lake City, Utah, placed third 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.
In the women’s division, Lindsey Anderson was the hometown hero. 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. Olympic 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.”
Amber Moran from North Carolina took third in 1:38:53, followed by Megan Kimmel of Colorado in 1:40:09.
The top five men and top five women received cash prizes, including $1000 each to champions King and Anderson. 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.
5th XTERRA Trail Running National Championship
Ogden, UT, Sunday, September 23, 2012
1) Max King (OR), 1:22:12, $1000
2) J. Marshall Thomson (CO), 1:23:48, $600
3) BJ Christenson (UT), 1:24:29, $400
4) Nick Mosey (CA), 1:24:41, $300
5) Will Christian (VA), 1:25:08, $200
1) Lindsey Anderson (UT), 1:33:23, $1000
2) Kerri Lyons (UT), 1:34:27, $600
3) Amber Moran (NC), 1:38:53, $400
4) Megan Kimmel (CO), 1:40:09, $300
5) Jamie Pilkington (UT), 1:41:20, $200
Full results including age group champions and more at: www.xterraplanet.com/xduro/nationals.html