RESULTS: 700 Runners Compete in XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs
By Wendy Osher
More than 700 runners registered to participate in the various trail run events hosted by XTERRA on Saturday morning in Kapalua, Maui.
The Kapalua Trail Runs included a 10K, 5K, and 1K children’s course, held one day in advance of the XTERRA World Championship triathlon taking place on Sunday, October 23, 2011.
For a third consecutive year, Nick Walker won the Dukes Beach House 10K, finishing with a time of 40 minutes, 42 seconds. Walker also won the event in 2009 and 2010, when it was held in Makena.
Walker, a resident of Victoria, British Columbia in Canada, called the trail an amazing course. “I really liked all the single track and all the twists and turns,” said Walker of the new XTERRA course, which moved to Kapalua this year.
Even on a new course, fellow runner, Yvonne Van Vlerken was also able to maintain tradition by taking a win in the women’s division for a second time. (Van Vlerken had won the event in 2008 and placed second last year).
At a time of 44:20, Van Vlerken was the first female finisher, and the third runner to finish the race behind Maui’s Paul Hopwood of Makawao who finished second with a time of 43:33.
Van Vlerken’s finish was nearly seven minutes ahead of the nearest female. “I just went off and didn’t look back,” said Van Vlerken who expressed difficulty in keeping up with a German competitor last year. “This year, I could just do my own thing,” she said.
Placing second in the women’s division this year was Christina Mata of Panama who finished with a time of 51:10.
Both Walker and Van Vlerken said they would use their grand prize awards of a round-trip airfare on Hawaiian Airlines, to return to Maui next year to defend their titles in 2012.
“Definitely, I will come back every year, not only because of the (free) ticket, but because it is a lot of fun,” said Van Vlerken.
All three courses started and finished at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua resort hotel.
In the Hula Grill XTERRA 5K Trail Run, Joe Morgan of Lahaina, Maui was the first place finisher, completing the course in 21 minutes, 4 seconds. “Great to be in my backyard. What a great place to win a race,” said Morgan.
Eleven-year-old Emily Armstrong of Spokane, Washington, was the first female finisher for the 5K, with a time of 26:19.
T S Restaurants of Hawaii and California served as the title sponsor for the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs. The event also served as a benefit for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui.
The XTERRA weekend in Kapalua will continue on Sunday with the XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon. The triathlon’s run course – called the Leilani’s On The Beach Run Course – will follow the same trail that the 10K runners completed on Saturday.
*** Supporting information/photos courtesy XTERRA.